ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 26, 2004
By Steve Newton
Hugh Dillon turned a few heads when he laid his popular guitar-rock band, the Headstones, to rest last year. The Toronto-based outfit had been making well-received music for a decade, but that didn’t stop the singer, songwriter, and guitarist–also noted for his acting work in films like Bruce McDonald’s Hard Core Logo–to call it quits.
“It was a great run, man,” he recalls, on the line from T.O. “We did it for a lotta years–longer than most bands. We had three gold records, toured everywhere, so it was a gas. But we all just decided it was time. I hate it when these guys are always sayin’, ‘I’m gonna quit when it’s not fun anymore.’ Who wants to wait? So last year around this time I packed it in and went up north and was cuttin’ trees for a while.”
The HDRS–which plays Wake West at Plaza of Nations on Saturday (August 28), on a bill headlined by Bif Naked and the Tea Party–is just finishing its debut CD, with production by Tragically Hip rhythm guitarist Paul Langlois. “He’s the guy that said, ‘These songs are too good to sit on your tape deck,’ ” says Dillon, whose new band did its second-ever show three weeks ago at a surprise birthday party for Langlois in Kingston.
For those old Headstones fans itching for a sample of what its former leader is up to, Dillon expects to soon have one track, “Surface of the Sun”, available on his new Web site (www.hughdillon.com/). He cowrote much of the Redemption Society’s music with bassist Chris Osti; other band members include guitarist J. P. Polsoni, drummer Derek Downham, and keyboardist Ben Kobayashi.
Uh-oh. Did I say keyboardist? Won’t those riff-crazed fans of the Headstones’ guitar-drenched tunes be a tad choked when they discover there’s a stinkin’ keyboardist in the lineup! “Uh, it’s not the thuggernaut that the Headstones was,” Dillon replies, “but it’s very honest, organic kinda songs. It’s still authentic rock ‘n’ roll.”