The Tragically Hip stays on the road >> LiveDaily

The Tragically Hip stays on the road >> Tour dates and concert ticket info >> LiveDaily
July 11, 2007 04:07 PM
By Kym Kilgore
LiveDaily Contributor

Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip [ tickets ] just keep on truckin’, having recently added more North American dates to a tour that kicked off in January.

The band continues the trek tonight (7/11) in Redmond, WA, and hits several Canadian arenas and US festival and club shows through mid-October. In the midst of that schedule, the Hip will jet to Europe for a handful of performances from late September to early October. North American dates are listed below, while overseas shows can be found at the band’s website.

The Tragically Hip is supporting its 11th studio album, “World Container,” which hit shelves in the US in March. The lead single, “In View,” is streaming at the band’s MySpace page, along with a few other songs from the set.

“World Container” follows 2005’s “Hipeponymous,” a 37-song, two-CD, two-DVD box set that includes a full-length concert DVD and a bonus DVD with 23 videos.

After 25 years together with its original lineup, The Tragically Hip has sold more than 6 million albums worldwide and won a dozen Juno Awards (Canada’s version of the Grammys)–more than any other act, according to the New York Press. The band was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

To top it all off, The Hip completed its own personal holy trinity when it toured with The Who earlier this year.

“We played with Page and Plant. We played with the Stones. When the opportunity came up to play with The Who, we jumped at it. Those are the big three,” drummer Johnny Fay told LiveDaily during a recent interview.

Can’t be contained

The Buffalo News: Gusto

The Tragically Hip continues the “World Container” tour with a two-night stand in Lewiston’s Artpark, beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday and continuing Sunday at the same time. Both shows have been sold out since the day tickets went on sale to the public.

The band is a world-class album-rock ensemble, and its studio efforts have been consistently inspired across the span of its 20 years together. Live, however, the Hip is notorious for taking it all somewhere else. Singer Gordon Downie has transportive powers as a front man, and he’s more than eager to take the audience through the looking glass with him.

Once there, the band’s music — which, when stripped to its core components, is straightforward rock- and folk-based stuff — transcends itself, as Downie leads the proceedings like a mad carnival barker trying to break on through to the other side, the uber-tight rhythm section becomes hypnotic and sensual, and the twin guitars weave together into one. This usually happens by the end of the opening tune.

Hopefully, the Hip will wend its way back to our neck of the woods near the tour’s end. In the meantime, keep one eye on for the consistently updated “song of the day” and “featured video” content.

— Jeff Miers

New York Press – JON LANGSTON – Hip Check

New York Press – JON LANGSTON – Hip Check
The biggest band in Canada is not from Montreal
By Jon Langston

Canada’s favorite band doesn’t garner four-star reviews in Rolling Stone. They get no fawning fluff jobs in indie rags, no name checks at cooler-than-thou music websites. No, the biggest band in Canada is not some quirky-cute hipster collective from Montreal (neither is it an aging power trio that admirably churns out albums year after year). It’s a quintet called The Tragically Hip, and they’ve just released their 11th album, World Container, which was produced by veteran twiddler (and fellow Canadian) Bob Rock and is a welcome return to form.

The Tragically Hip’s early sound, bluesy and tinged with twang, was an immediate hit up north. By the early ’90s, the band had matured sonically into a more polished rock that maintained its wry lyrical hues, and The Hip endured a groundswell of popularity, cementing their status as Canada’s favorite sons. To date, they’ve sold more than six million albums worldwide, have won more Juno awards (Canada’s Grammys) than anyone ever and have been inducted into the Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They routinely sell out arenas from Vancouver to Halifax. But The Hip, which still boasts its five original members—vocalist Gordon Downie, guitarists Rob Baker and Paul Langlois, bassist Gord Sinclair and drummer Johnny Fay—have never ventured past cult status in the U.S. And after 25 years together, they’re just fine with that.

“Something as mundane as ‘breaking’ in the States is certainly not an ambition of ours at this point in our career,” says Downie. (Indeed, on playing the SXSW Festival earlier this year, Downie said the band felt decidedly un-hip: “That slouch,” he says with a laugh, “comes straight out of some manual that I sure didn’t get.”) When touring America the band plays smaller, midsized venues, and Downie admits that he and his mates relish the intimate challenge.

“When you’ve been doing this as long as we have, you take a certain amount of pride in being able to play anywhere, at any time—on the ass of an elephant, if need be,” says Downie. The Hip’s live shows are legendary in Canada; the band’s versatility and Downie’s onstage antics and peculiar banter make every performance distinctive. The band squelched a black market early on by allowing the recording of its shows; the Internet is rife with fans’ dubs, which these days include numerous digi-vid files as well as audio clips. The band embraces the new technology and Downie, for one, doesn’t mind the effect downloading has had on the music business.

“I don’t lament it or despair for the industry,” he explains. “I’ve always felt that rock ’n’ roll is just melodious air. I get perplexed when music gets blunted at the border by some artificial demarcation line—whether a corporate border or a technological one. Music, or any kind of art, is like water, and it needs to be able to find its way. Fifteen years ago, we would have needed a licensing deal, some kind of emissary to chaperone our music into the same kinds of places that it’s getting to naturally these days. It’s fluid; it’s just doing what it should be doing.”

As for the recent popularity of Canadian bands such as Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene, Downie understands the appeal. “Those bands are exuding exuberance and enthusiasm,” he says. “People want authentic, organic music these days. As the old model of the music industry shrinks daily, there’s so much more room to make it up. And given the opportunity to make it up, what do you do? You speak from the heart. Kids want to hear the sound of guitars going through amps. They’re sick to death of being virtualized.”
April 24-25, Fillmore NY at Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Pl. (at 15th St.), 212-777-1224; 9, $25 (SOLD OUT).

New Jersey Record article

New Jersey Record

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mug shots, he confides. Gord Sinclair is getting mug shots taken.

Sinclair is not at a police station. And he doesn’t really mean mug shots. He is busy posing for ID photos for The Tragically Hip’s upcoming trip to the Cayman Islands.

If you do not recognize the face in the photos, don’t be alarmed. Most Americans wouldn’t. The Tragically Hip (or simply “The Hip,” as they’ve come to be known) have always had far more popularity north of the border.

“It was a little mysterious when we were around our second, third or fourth record,” Sinclair said during a recent phone interview. “We were still with Universal at the time, MCA in the States. They were pulling out a lot of stops, trying to run us up the media flagpole. It never seemed to take off. You kind of learn not to get frustrated with it. The road is littered with media casualties.”

The Kingston, Ontario-based band is not one of those casualties.

Stars up there, familiar down here, The Hip are popping by for two sold-out shows at Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Tuesday and Wednesday. The group’s new album, “World Container,” is a socially conscious offering, but Sinclair doesn’t think it’s any more socially aware than previous Hip albums.

“I think there’s always been a social consciousness to what [Hip frontman Gordon Downie] writes,” Sinclair, the band’s bassist, said. “Over the last three or four years, if you weren’t aware of your relationship to where you live and your planet and your environment and who you are, you certainly would be now. It’s become such a huge concern for everybody that, God, even politicians are beginning to talk about it.”

No song personifies that ideal more than the title track, the final song on the album.

There’s a world container with your name on it

And a billion ways to go berserk

When the country quits on you it must be dinner

And the Himmler on this one is there’s no dessert

(He’s the one who couldn’t imagine all the people living life in peace).

“It’s actually one of my favorite songs to play live now,” Sinclair said. “We ended up using the title of the song as the title of the record because it encapsulated loose themes that [are] running [through the album].”

Reaching for a singular theme that connects the 11 tracks, Sinclair zeroes in on love.

“When it comes time to start writing for a record,” Sinclair said, “we literally sit around in a circle, and take turns throwing out ideas.”

What they came up with this time around was an album of love and maturity, an album tweaked by former Metallica producer Bob Rock.

It is an album Canadians love, an album some Americans love, too.

Copyright © 2007 North Jersey Media Group Inc.

From the “Burlington Free Press”

Tragically Hip returns for two sold-out shows

Published: Monday, April 16, 2007
By Brent Hallenbeck
Free Press Staff Writer

Why is it, Gord Sinclair, that The Tragically Hip is so popular around these parts?

“It’s a credit to the good taste of the people of Burlington,” according to the band’s bass player. That was his half-joking response. His serious answer attributes the Canadian rock band’s tendency to play sold-out shows in Vermont — as it’s doing tonight and Tuesday at Higher Ground — to a mix of geography and adventurousness.

The geography relates to the band’s roots in Kingston, Ontario, which, Sinclair pointed out, is about 20 kilometers (that’s a little more than a dozen miles to us metrically challenged Americans) from Watertown, N.Y., placing The Tragically Hip’s home base closer to a host of U.S. burgs than to Canadian cities such as Vancouver. When the band’s vocalist, Gordon Downie, sings about intrigue on the ice on “The Lonely End of the Rink” from the new Hip album “World Container,” fans in hockey-absorbed communities like Burlington just nod at their neighbors to the north and say, “I hear ya.”

Sinclair, speaking recently by phone during a tour stop in Seattle, also suspects the Vermont way of thinking has something to do with his band being a consistently big draw here. “Generally speaking, people in your neck of the woods are more open-minded to things that are not from America,” he said, nothing that local fans also seem more accepting of music that’s not spoon-fed to them by radio. “We’ve never had the benefit of a stateside single. With a group like ours, all you have to do is get us in front of people.”

That live show Sinclair referred to is The Tragically Hip’s trademark. Downie’s dervish-like persona and the band’s musical intensity in a live setting are legendary, even if they haven’t always transferred that power into the studio.

They come close with “World Container,” the 12th Tragically Hip album. The band leaned on producer Bob Rock, known for his work with hard rockers Metallica and Motley Crue and not so much with anthemic pop-rockers like The Tragically Hip.

“What he brought to us was a real focus on each individual song,” according to Sinclair. Rock helped refine the arrangement of “The Lonely End of the Rink,” Sinclair said, turning the track into a Who/U2/Midnight Oil-styled rampage that’s one of the disc’s highlights. His contributions weren’t all about frenzied moments, though; Sinclair said Rock also steered the band toward an elegant piano texture on the track “Pretend.”

“He just has a really focused ear,” Sinclair said. “He became the ersatz sixth member of the group.”

Speaking of The Who, an obvious influence on the band, The Tragically Hip recently played several opening dates for the legendary British rockers. The Tragically Hip has been around more than 20 years and the band members are in their 40s, but they still feel a rush of teenage hero worship around Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend.

“It’s impossible to divorce yourself from when you’re 15 years old,” Sinclair said. “We grew up with that group.

“Opportunities like that make you a better band. You have to get up and you have to entertain these rabid Who fans,” according to Sinclair. “In terms of a dream come true, that’s right up there.”

The Tragically Hip might be aiming toward a little of their own Who-like longevity. It’s already rare for a band to have the same five members it started out with more than two decades earlier. Sinclair said there are moments when they get together after time away and find themselves saying, “How can we do this again?” Yet they always manage.

“We’ve grown up together, put the band together as young men doing this. It’s based around our friendship and the bond we have as a group. It’s a collective experience, a shared experience,” Sinclair said.

“It is a lifelong bond.”

Contact Brent Hallenbeck at 660-1844 or

FIVE THINGS: About the Tragically Hip

FIVE THINGS: About the Tragically Hip

April 12, 2007

Canadian rockers the Tragically Hip will be at the State Theatre in Detroit tonight and Friday. Doors open at 6:30, and maple leaf attire is welcome.


The name comes from a skit in Michael Nesmith’s “Elephant Parts,” and the band formed in Kingston, Ontario, in 1983. Vocalist Gord Downie, guitarists Paul Langlois and Rob Baker, bassist Gord Sinclair and drummer Johnny Fay were childhood buddies. The band is egalitarian: Everyone makes the same amount of money, and nobody’s in a position to fire anyone.

The Hip is huge in Canada, with a whole slew of Juno Awards. It’s in the Canadian Hall of Fame and has a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame in Toronto.

Fellow Canadian Dan Aykroyd is a fan and got the guys a guest spot on “Saturday Night Live” in 1995.

They love hockey and often reference it in songs.


The band has a legion of dedicated fans called Hip heads. Some travel from show to show. The double disc “Yer Favourites” was so named because the fans voted on what songs they wanted.

Fans can post stories, called the Hip Story Project, online at


The 1998 album “Live Between Us” was recorded at Cobo Arena.

“We wanted to do an album that really represented us live — no cutting, overdubs,” said drummer Fay. “We wanted it completely authentic and the best night we played was in Detroit, which was funny because it was our official Canadian tour.

“I grew up listening to Yes, and they did two records at Cobo. And, of course, Kiss did one. When you’re onstage you play better in certain rooms, and Cobo is like that.”


“World Container,” released in the States last month, was produced by Bob Rock, who produced Metallica and glam rockers Mötley Crüe. It was recorded in Toronto, Vancouver and Hawaii, where Rock lives.

“He did a great job of capturing the live band sound,” Fay said. “We really enjoyed working with Bob. He’s very grounded, always listened to what we had to say. He was a great coach on the drums.”


Fay says the band will play stuff off the new album and some old favorites. The set lists for the tour are on the band’s Web site, and new songs “In View,” “The Lonely End of the Rink” and “Yer Not the Ocean” show up frequently. For old songs, there’s “Grace, Too,” “New Orleans Is Sinking” — written a decade ago — “Scared” and “Fully Completely.”

A hallmark of Hip shows is Downie’s rapid, evocative stream-of-consciousness monologues. Sometimes they become lyrics for future songs. The guy has a way with words — his son’s name is Tarzan.

LiveDaily Interview: Johnny Fay of The Tragically Hip

LiveDaily Interview: Johnny Fay of The Tragically Hip

March 29, 2007 11:48 AM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

The Tragically Hip has recorded a handful of records in New Orleans, but nothing prepared the members of the Canadian rock band for what they witnessed on the way to the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, TX, earlier this month.

“You would have thought the hurricane hit yesterday,” drummer Johnny Fay said. “There were sections that they just haven’t done anything with. If you didn’t know and you arrived in the French Quarter, you would never know except lots of places are for sale because the crime rate has gone up.

“Knowing what you know, it’s kind of sad for the city. There’s been some real improvements in the quarter, but overall the city is struggling. It needs people to go and spend their money. That’s what we did. We went and took our crew out for dinner. Stayed in hotels. There’s so much music and so much history in that town, it can’t die. It would just be a shame. But it seemed like the outer-lying areas–like the Ninth Ward that was really hit bad–is just sort of sitting there. It’s not right.”

Currently promoting 2006’s “World Container,” The Tragically Hip recently toured with The Who as an opening act. Fay–who is joined in the band by singer/acoustic guitarist Gordon Downie, lead guitarist Rob Baker, rhythm guitarist Paul Langlois and bassist Gord Sinclair–said playing with The Who was like completing the holy trinity.

“We played with Page and Plant. We played with the Stones. When the opportunity came up to play with The Who, we jumped at it. Those are the big three,” he said.

Fay talked to LiveDaily about “World Container,” the song “New Orleans is Sinking” and the importance of notoriety.

LiveDaily: Your experience in New Orleans really gives new meaning to your song “New Orleans is Sinking.”

Johnny Fay: We had people in Canada and they said, “We’re not gonna play that song.” But if you did the history on that city, they’ve always been expecting a big one. They have a drink called the hurricane. You go down Bourbon Street and they say, “Bring it on. Bring it on; we’re ready for it.” Gord [Downie] wrote that in 1984. That’s a long time ago. He was just even then getting the vibe of the city and the people. They were talking about it back then. Waiting for the big one. It was done with no disrespect, obviously, if you listen to the lyrics. It’s nine feet below sea level, so it was bound to happen. And it’s very sad that it did. Gord introduces the song now as “New Orleans is Sinking and We Don’t Want to Help.” It just seems like people don’t want to help.

You’ve pretty much consistently released albums every two years. Is that a schedule that’s tough to stick with?

It’s interesting, because Bono said you don’t want to let too much time pass before you get together and at least write some songs and keep that going. When you do take time off, that’s when it gets harder. If you’re a true band and you hook up with each other at least every couple weeks, then you’ve got that thing going and you’re able to stick to it. Then you got a couple songs, then you go into the studio and you’re ignited again. That’s the most important thing.

Do you write mostly in the studio or outside of the studio?

I think it’s a little of both. We used to write in jams. With “New Orleans is Sinking,” the music was written out of a jam for a song we were playing. I forget what it was, it was so long ago. That gives you an initial spark for a song. You might hone in when you’re in the studio.

What was it like to work with producer Bob Rock on “World Container”?

It was really cool. We spend so much time going in the southern states working with Americans, it was really cool to record in Canada with a Canadian after all these years. We kind of pick the producer based on his prior work. Don Smith, on our first couple records, he worked with Tom Petty and he worked with Keith Richards. We liked his approach. Maybe we didn’t know too much about him as an arranger. We were very happy with the way those records turned out. Working with Bob, he’s awesome. He gets involved in everything. He sort of hones in on the parts. The songs come together pretty fast with him. They’re either a song or they’re not.

In your bio, it mentions you had a newfound freedom on this album. What were you able to do on this record that you couldn’t do before?

[Rock] would tell me to play out, do crazy Keith Moon rolls, and only Keith Moon can do that. He gave me direction and [told me] to have some fun with it. It wasn’t all business, and he never once came out and said, “We’re not getting a track here.” He said, “Just explore that.” It’s kind of sounding a little like the SNL, “Just explore with the cowbell.” But it was a little like that. He gave us all kinds of room to just have fun. He was really open to stuff. I think when you’re that mega, nothing really phases you. You just take it in stride. We’ve worked with, obviously, guys who have not been as mega and they’ve been really protective: “This is my sound and I have to do this.” He just let stuff happen–the happy little accidents. And also, for all the stuff that he’s been through, he was very about sounds. He’d say, “See you guys later. Be back tomorrow,” and a half an hour later, you’d still see him in the studio playing a guitar or playing the piano. He just loves music so much. It was really refreshing to see a guy who’s been through all of that with Metallica and back, if you watch the video, those records couldn’t have been easy to make. It hasn’t jaded him in any way. So it’s very refreshing.

It sounds like it was a very organic experience.

Very much so, yeah. He didn’t want us to know the songs too much. He wanted sort of rough ideas, and then none of the bad habits crept in, which is cool. We wouldn’t spend much more than six or seven takes getting a track.

On your new album, there’s a song called “Lonely End of the Rink.” Tell me about the meaning of that song. I’m a huge hockey fan.

“Lonely End of the Rink,” well, Gord [Downie]’s a goalie. Many times, he says it’s not a hockey song. But I think our songs are cool in that way that it’s left up to whoever wants to interpret it. I think there are some hockey references in it. It can be a very lonely job if your team’s good. But goalies have the hardest gig out there in hockey.

You’ve opened for a myriad of legends. What did you learn from playing with those bands?

It’s really interesting. I think the band we maybe learned the most from was Midnight Oil. We toured with them. We did a thing called Roadside Attraction. We toured across Canada years and years ago. The way they attack their songs live–they play them a little faster, a little more aggressive. They were already a heavy band. You take something away from every song like that. How they re-intrepret those old songs it’s cool.

You’re nominated for four Junos. Congratulations. Is it important to win a Juno?

No, it’s not so much important to win. When it’s fan-voted on, that’s when it’s most important. We’ve won a couple of those awards. I did watch the Grammys, and it was really crazy for the Dixie Chicks. I never bought their record. I still don’t think I would. The politicking that goes in those sort of things … we don’t invest too much in that. When it’s fan voted on, that’s what’s best.

How about being inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame?

No, no, no that was cool. It was kind of weird, but it was kind of cool. We were just about to put our greatest-hits package out. We walked down the red carpet and there’s all these young bands there. But we still got gas in the tank. It was a little crazy. The induction is kind of crazy because you think they’re putting you out of your misery; then you look and Neil Young got it, Rush have it, all those people are still playing. It’s nice. Awards in the early days were cool and now they’re for your families. I gave all mine to my mother, for instance. It’s nice to be recognized.

Summer Fling ’06: Fan recordings

Here’s the breakdown of what shows we’re working on for release through The Hip Tracker.
Volume 01: 2006-05-26 – Vancouver, BC (DVD & Audio)
Volume 02: 2006-05-27 – George, WA (Audio)
Volume 03: 2006-06-16 – Pittsburgh, PA (DVD & Audio)
Volume 04: 2006-06-17 – Lewiston, NY (DVD & Audio)
Volume 05: 2006-06-18 – Guelph, ON (DVD & Audio)
Volume 06: 2006-06-21 – Belleville, ON ( & Audio)
Volume 07: 2006-06-23 – Toronto, ON (DVD & Audio)
Volume 08: 2006-06-24 – Toronto, ON (DVD & Audio)
Volume 09: 2006-06-30 – Charlottetown, PEI (DVD & Audio)
Volume 10: 2006-07-02 – Milwaukee, WI (bootleg unknown)
Volume 11: 2006-07-03 – Chicago, IL (bootleg unknown)
Volume 12: 2006-07-07 – London, England (DVD & Audio)
Volume 13: 2006-07-08 – Brugge, Belguim (DVD & Audio)
Volume 14: 2006-07-09 – Weert, Netherlands (DVD & Audio)
Volume 15: 2006-07-11 – Amsterdam, Netherlands (DVD & Audio)
Volume 16: 2006-07-12 – Utrecht, Netherlands (DVD & Audio)
Volume 17: 2006-07-15 – St. Adele, PQ (bootleg unknown)
Volume 18: 2006-09-09 – Stratford, ON (DVD & Audio)
Volume 19: 2006-09-15 – Austin, TX (bootleg unknown)

The Leafs and the Hip

The Leafs and the Hip
by Jody Vance
March 5, 2006

Certainly watching the Leafs in HD is reason enough to order LeafsTV but we are upping the ante in March.  Make sure you are dialed in March 6th and 16th.
Both games feature one of the premier players in the game in Washington’s Alex Ovechkin but it’s also the debut of our much anticipated series titled “The Hip and Hockey”.The Tragically Hip and The Toronto Maple Leafs finally come together officially on LeafsTV.
These two quintessential Canadian treasures are woven into the fabric of our Nation.  Think about it, it would be tough to find a Canadian hockey fan who can’t sing a few lines from “50 Mission Cap” – the story of Bill Barilko – or any of the many hockey anthems penned by Gord Downie and company.The band lives for hockey and in our series they will share fantastic stories that prove their passion for the game.  From the rink they built off of their studio in Kingston to the tale of their tour in Mexico when they twisted the arm of a bar owner to switch his satellite from soccer to the Leafs game.  It is no surprise that this Kingston band have become synonymous with The Toronto Maple Leafs … rarely is the blue and white not represented en masse at Hip shows.When you watch “The Hip and Hockey” on LeafsTV you will see first hand just how much this game means to the band – PLUS you will hear from TML Players who feel the same way about The Hip.  Late last year we had exclusive “all access” of the band’s sound check for their sold out show at The Phoenix.  We rounded up a few boys from the Leafs to come along and of course the result was something special.  Take Andrew Raycroft for example.  Here’s a Bellville/Kingston boy who grew up on a steady diet of the Hip.  Then consider this … Gord Downie, typically very camera shy, became a kid in a candy store when he met his idol in Andrew.  Yes, Downie is a Bruins fanatic.  (He is forgiven of this due to the fact that Harry Synden is Gord’s god-father).  Suffice it to say Mr. Downie was just as in awe of Raycroft as the goalie was with the rock star.
Here is a “taste” of The Hip and Hockey coming soon to LeafsTV.