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BIOGRAPHY

Jacob Hoggard

BIOGRAPHY | GALLERY | GOSSIP

Jacob Hoggard, born July 9, 1984, is a Canadian singer from Abbotsford, British Columbia (though he was born in Burnaby, BC). He finished in third place on the second season of Canadian Idol. He is currently the lead singer of Hedley.

Jacob Hoggard

On Hedley's self-titled Universal Music debut, one can easily tell frontman Jacob Hoggard is a rocker - but not off his rocker.

Stories about his antics include urine, birthday cakes, thongs, tampons, and breaking stuff, but you'll have to get the circumstances out of him or he'll create new ones for you. That's just the kind of guy he is - unpredictable, wacky, obnoxious, over-the-top, and charming. His nuttiness is not mean or malicious, rather at his own expense.

His Vancouver-based bandmates - bassist Tommy Mac (ex Flybanger, Everything After), guitarist Dave Rosin (ex Day Theory, Everything After), and drummer Chris Crippin (ex Bif Naked, Everything After) - have no idea what's in store when Hedley hits the road in support of the 11-song album, which is a good thing in this often dull 21st-century rock world.

Beyond Jacob's jackass nature, his voice sets him apart, a nasally, earnest, melodic rock style that can be heard on both singles, the fervent "On My Own" which is at CHR/Hot AC radio and the pumping "Villain" for rock radio. On "Street Fight," his 15-minutes of fame denouncement, Jacob comes out swinging with a kind of punk passion, while in the full-out-throttle of the ball-and-chain meltdown "321," he tells the girl how it is with both anger and regret. On the gun-toting tale "Johnny Falls," he lowers his voice to an almost maniacal level, while on the soaring spiritual ballad, "Trip," he displays an uncharacteristic sensitivity and beauty.
Indeed, Jacob's voice and presence are one of a kind.

Jacob Hoggard

"Hands down, he's the best frontman I've ever worked with," says Hedley's Tommy. "He's the kind of guy that walks in a room and everybody's eyes are on him. With Jake, it's basically what you see is what you get and usually you see way too much (laughs)."

What some people might not expect from Jacob, who made 2004's season of Canadian Idol a cooler affair with his punk approach to cover songs and said goodbye after climbing to the top 3, is that the lip-ringed ham is hardworking and knows when to buckle down, as he did in the studio for the self-titled album.

Recorded in separate sessions - the first half with producer Brian Howes (Hinder, Closure, DDT); the second with Gggarth Richardson (Rage Against The Machine, Trapt, Red Hot Chili Peppers) - Jacob jokes that he must hold the world record for being told, "There's a time and place for everything." In other words, if he is going to wear a thong in the studio on a bet with the engineer, he better deliver musically.

'"I think that's one thing I've been credited for," says Jacob. "Yeah, I drink and I party a lot, but when it's time to work, people can count on me. That's really important to me is to have other people have confidence in me, as opposed to people being wary of what I'm gonna do next." So he may be a loose cannon, but he also let's that energy explode in the music.

Jacob Hoggard

Says Tom: "He works his ass off. I think that's the one thing that people might not get that's he's a super super intelligent guy and if we need him there, he's there and sings 10 hours in a row and doesn't complain and gets up the next day and does the same thing."

Although Jacob wrote a handful of the songs - "Sugar Free," "Street Fight," "Trip," "Saturday" and "Gunnin'" - a couple of years ago, working with Brian, Gggarth, and his new bandmates have taken them to a whole new level and also taught the 21-year-old a thing or two about professionalism, songwriting, singing, and the music industry.

'"What I've learned in the last four months compared to what I've learned in the last four years is laughable," says Jacob, "just the business side of it and really learning how things operate to the songwriting and really getting a grasp of what a good structure is and how to write a better song and the science to it - because there is a science to it."

He notes the difference working with the two producers. "Brian is really in tune with melodies and melodic structure and really getting down to that and GGGarth looks at the full song and works on the arrangements and he's really picky on the musical aspect of it," says Jacob.

After two blistering showcases during Canadian Music Week '05 in March, Hedley signed a demo deal with Universal Music Canada and cut three songs with Brian at Greenhouse Studios in Vancouver. Those songs landed the band a full-fledged contract and the guys joined up again with Brian at The Armoury, then did the second half of the album with Gggarth at his own studio.

Besides the handful of original Hedley tracks, they came up with another five songs, including both singles - "Villain," which Jacob says is about "the harlots on the road," and "On My Own," which is about a new life, a new beginning.

Jacob Hoggard

Jacob realizes that Canadian Idol may have fast-tracked him to a deal, but he's quickly stepped up. And he has no plans to be on his best behavior when he is on the road, onstage, or in front of fans and industry types. "There's really no intention of having a nice calm time," he laughs.

Tommy thinks there should be a new word invented just for Jacob that means "charmingly obnoxious." "He does things onstage and in public and around town that 99 percent of people just wouldn't get away with. He's so charismatic and he's such a character that he just sneaks it by everybody. He's just crazy."

Fan site: A Jacob Hoggard Fansite

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