Hedley’s latest sleight of hand is turning personal troubles into upbeat songs about finding the silver lining.
The Vancouver pop band’s latest radio-friendly singles, Invincible, One Life and Kiss You Inside Out, have helped turn the group’s fourth album Storms into a gold record.
The normally goofy musicians, who are known for clowning around in front of audiences, faced some deadly serious news recently when their bassist Tommy Mac revealed his cancer diagnosis.
Lead singer Jacob Hoggard revealed in a radio interview that Mac’s health troubles came to light just before the band was to start recording its latest CD in 2011.
“It provided us with an opportunity to stick together,” stated Hoggard — and was also a chance to give the recording project the serious theme the band was looking for.
“We were pushing ourselves to say something. . . . We were on a quest for substance,” stated the singer, who performs with Hedley on Wednesday, July 18, at the Red Deer Centrium at the start of Westerner Days.
Mac’s perseverance in the face of adversity — he still recorded his tracks for the album in between cancer treatments (and has since been declared cancer-free) — inspired his bandmates to create the kind of uplifting songs that might spur others to carry on through their own hard times.
“The beauty of storms is they have to end . . . life goes on,” added Hoggard.
He said the members of Hedley, including guitarist Dave Rosin and drummer Chris Crippin, had to rely on each other to support Mac. “We found ourselves drawing strength from adversity and deciding to fight on. . . . We’re such a close band of brothers that when someone falls, you pick them back up, and what this record’s about is perseverance.”
Storms is full of melodic anthems, ballads, love songs and confessionals that seem to be striking a chord with fans.
Invincible, released last August, is the group’s fastest-selling digital track — which is saying something, considering Hedley’s previous singles include the popular Cha-Ching, as well as On My Own, Don’t Talk to Strangers, She’s So Sorry, Hands Up and Perfect.
The band named for a small town in interior British Columbia has been packing arenas since 2005 and touring with the likes of Adele and Nickleback. One of Hedley’s highlights was performing in front of a global audience during the televised closing ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
But it all started back in 2004 when Hoggard was a finalist on Canadian Idol.
The group’s original members bet their lead singer $150 that he wouldn’t make it into the top three in the TV show. Hoggard proved them wrong, making it to third runner-up before being eliminated from the competition — and the rest is history.
Tickets to the 8:30 p.m. concert are $54.25 from Ticketmaster, plus gate admission to the fair.