Official Web Site
Hawk Nelson Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Hawk Nelson lyrics)
Hawk Nelson Biography
The concept of following a dream is often reduced to a string of clich statements that can be easily brushed under the rug or be deemed worthy of an eye roll. But despite the non-existent idealism of past generations and the mixed messages thrown at today's youth by the media, there's still some folks governed by tireless work ethic and a tenacious spirit who go against the odds to make a difference in the world they live in.
Hailing from a mid-sized suburb of Ontario, Canada, power pop/punk foursome Hawk Nelson cites itself as diehard believers in the transformative power of dreams, planning a course in musical expression underwritten by Biblical rooting at a young age and following through with vivaciousness each inch of the way.
But more than just a haphazard pact or loose-ended commitment, the gang was very specific in plotting its destiny. As lifelong fans of pop/punk music the guys knew the steps it took to break a band and invested every ounce of energy at cultivating careers. "We defined our sound, cut an indie disc and started getting it in the hands of people," interjects Jason with unflinching fervor. "We toured all around Toronto- from youth groups to colleges to arcades- and sought to get kids into it."
And that's exactly what the band achieved, through continuous spurts of infectious, radio friendly sugar rushes, a dynamic live spectacle and intimate interaction with fans both on and off stage. Soon, the buzz spread beyond tiny rooms and brought the band to the area's most prominent venues, eventually attracting the attention of fellow Canadian Trevor McNevan (from Thousand Foot Krutch). "Trevor went to bat for us in the early stages and pitched us hard to the label just when his band was getting on board," says Matt of the Tooth and Nail artist. "He's been a mentor in our lives and helped us get serious about our career."
Not only did McNevan continually light the sparks of Hawk Nelson, but he gave members the break they needed by introducing their music to Tooth and Nail figurehead Brandon Ebel. The Seattle based record company owner was so intrigued by such sounds that he hopped on a plane to Ontario and signed the band to a record deal following an amped up crowd reaction at a sold out homecoming show.
After growing up listening to the likes of TFK, MXPX and Slick Shoes, the contract was the first of several major dream fulfillments that have led to the brand new full-length debut Letters to the President. The 14-track disc is packed to the brim with explosive power chords and fist pumping anthems, backed behind the boards by producer Aaron Sprinkle (Supertones, Pedro the Lion, Poor Old Lu) with co-production and co-writing by McNevan.
"He's always been a mentor, a real big brother to us," reiterates Daniel of the latter collaborator. "We've especially admired his encouragement and the way he has been so humble despite his notoriety level. Every time we give him recognition and thanks, he tells us to direct that praise back to God."
Aside from the aforementioned influences, elements of Good Charlotte, Simple Plan and Blink 182 are evident, as is the slightly older schooled rock and roll rebellion of Goldfinger. Despite that popular pool from which Hawk Nelson pulls, there's still a distinct balance of harmonies, intensity and experimentation that standout on the admittedly cluttered airwaves.
"The way we blend the different elements and diversify the sounds really helps our personalities shine through," observes Jason. "Beyond just the music, we're a group of lifelong friends who are pouring everything we have into this. We look at this as being on a journey together."
Everyone's character traits- complete with their triumphs, shortcomings and observations on the world's current state- shine through loud and proud with gut-wrenching honesty and demographic spanning relatability. One moment the record may be busting with summertime sights and sounds ("California") another it may be aching with struggle and pain ("Things We Go Through") or bustling with carpe diem appeal ("First Time"). Even more thought provoking is the title cut, which deals specifically with this generation's several instances of ethical backsliding (from same-sex marriage to high school shootings to the shambles of crime).
"'Letters to the President' isn't necessarily about the president of the U.S., but about higher authority in general- whether that be a boss, your parents or whomever," Jason explains. "We're always to stay respectful of authority, but it's essential we stand up for what we believe in. Just because someone is older doesn't mean they are lining up with your moral beliefs and you have to stick to your guns. By telling someone in charge what you think, they have the potential to make a change."
No matter what the challenge or circumstance one might be facing, the band hopes its listeners will take away a sense of encouragement and positivity, especially given the darker themes of its mainstream counterparts. And beyond just giving them a quick pick me up, members hope to instill a similar sense of dream pursuit that's fueled their quest thus far.
"Letters To The President is all about making a stand," enthuses Daniel. "Since the start we've always wanted to help change the world for the better. People need to hear about hope and people deserve to be loved. We want to bring inspiration to the uninspired."
Concludes Matt: "We seek to create anthems to get you thinking about what it is that you want to do with your life and then give you a jump start to go all out for it. No matter what your ambition is in life, you can succeed beyond your wildest dreams with God's backing. If you have something you love in life, get out there and go do it. We are and we're having the time of our lives!"
"When we get a bunch of people together in a room, it's time to let loose, be yourselves, and have a good time," says Coffee. "Hawk Nelson is all about getting involved and having a celebration."