HemlockHotel weigh in on the state of America in their debut single and video — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
“Some critics wondered why a Canadian band wrote a song that focused on the U.S.A. … there are a few reasons,” bandmember Rod Leggett offers. First and foremost: “I was listening to a bunch of protest music (and) the muse did visit, so I listened before she escaped.”
Then there’s the bigger picture: “A lot of us want to see political change, but how do you go about that when you no longer have role models? There’s a line in the song about ‘What can be done, of fathers and sons?’ The boy in the song wants a better world, and a country that can stand on its feet, but he’s clearly unsure of himself and what to do. There’s no doubt there was a direct focus on the political. I mean, you can’t have it both ways: American art and culture gets exported everywhere and we’re so close to them, so we take a lot in. With adoption comes questions. American politics is in a wild period and it’s sometimes difficult to watch.”
The song arrives on the precipice of the Ottawa roots-rockers’ self-titled album, which is set for release this October. The disc finds Leggett, Dan Leduc and Mark Paré blending their varied and expansive histories to create a new yet, familiar sound.
“The goal of our first album together was to get comfortable and put together some tunes in the Americana tradition,” Paré says. “I mean, that’s pretty much why we got together; we all like that stuff.” Adds Leduc: “We didn’t write a concept album Rather, we wanted to keep the production close enough to what a live performance sounds like; that was our primary goal. Generally, we’re very song-by-song driven,” he continues. “Every song is a microcosm which fits in the given galaxy of the time and place of the recording and the people involved in the production. Maybe in a few years we’ll see a more obvious pattern that was at work … Some hidden hand.”