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Today we Spotlight – Men Without Hats. Being part of the of Canadian Music industry for years, Men Without Hats have been making people groove for a while now. We get to chat about their music and the newest release Again. Check it out now.

Thank you for joining us today. My first question, after four decades of music, how does it feel to be one of Canada’s longest-lasting pop groups?

It’s a great feeling knowing that so many people still resonate with our music. It’s nice to see the cross generational effect it’s having as well, our original fans are showing up at concerts with their kids, and sometimes their grand-kids! It’s awesome!

Men Without Hats have been on and off throughout the years, always coming back stronger than they were before. What are the lessons you have learned throughout each reunion? How are you approaching this stretch?

This quote sort of sums it up for me:

 

“Learn from your mistakes is my only advice. And stay cool is still the main rule” (Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music – Editions of You)

 

We want to make sure that we keep having fun on this leg of our journey.

The new EP features a reimagined version of your worldwide hit single “The Safety Dance.” Depending on the artist, there are mixed feelings among groups with outstanding singles. It seems Men Without Hats refuses to be a one-hit-wonder while at the same time embracing the reach that song has had.

The fact that Safety Dance is such a hit is really humbling. I think the fact that it is so popular means that it speaks to people in a strong way, and I do feel it’s my duty to get out there and continue to give the people what they want! When I perform Safety Dance I feel like a travelling museum curator presenting this extraordinary artefact that brings incredible joy to people, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What is the reason for splitting the album into two parts?

This whole project started out as a full album of covers. After working on it for a while though, we started to realize that to truly celebrate 40 years of Safety Dance, it may be more fitting to give a little more variety by releasing an EP of covers and a re-invented Safety Dance, as well as an album of original music including songs we wrote decades ago, over time on the road, and recently.

This EP features covers of iconic groups such as The Tragically Hip, David Bowie, and The Rolling Stones. How do these covers complement the second half of the album?

This EP is a nice start to the project because it gives a glimpse into the music we love and continues to influence our songwriting. It will complement the second half nicely, where we’ll share original music that we’ve written since the ‘80s up until now but have not yet shared with the world.

Tell us the process of writing the “Again (Part 1)?”

Recording this record was an extraordinary experience. We spent seven months in isolation at a mountain property overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Our only other companions during that time was a family of peacocks that we watched grow. We wrote music from dusk till dawn, using a combination of analog and digital instruments including a 20+ keyboard rig that included the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 used in our original Rhythm of Youth sessions.

Is the group still based in Montreal? For a group born in a variety of places what made you settle in Montreal originally?

We’re currently based in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. My parents moved to Montreal from Urbana Illinois when my father accepted a teaching position at the University of Montreal.

As a long-standing group, you must have run into drastic changes in the music scene. From the boom to social media promotion to new mixing equipment etc. Are there any changes that were hard to adapt to in the last few decades?

The loss of a standardized format took a lot of getting used to, also the loss of physical record stores where we used to hang out and crate dig.

If Men Without Hats had to be boiled down to one thing, that you will forever be known for, what would that be?

WE CAN DANCE IF YOU WANT TO!

Which album do you think best reflects this ideal?

Rhythm Of Youth!

What is the best piece of advice you have received? How did this direct the path of your career?

Arlo Guthrie came to one of our shows once and saw me get into an altercation with security about letting people get up and dance. Arlo told me to space out my fights. I took his advice and it saved me from burning out in anger too quickly

What is next for Men Without Hats?

Shows and more shows! There is also a Part 2 to this project of course, 12 brand new original MWH songs which I am excited to share soon.

Thank you for joining us today. Finally before we let you go, what part of this album excites you the most?

My hope that people of all ages can relate to it is exciting. The ‘80s have had such a big influence on modern music, so young people are always listening to its remnants whether they know it or not.

Spotlight – Men Without Hats is a wrap! Big thanks for taking the time with us.

Check out Again (Part 1) right now!

Keep up with the band right here

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