Canadian Rockers’ First Album of New Material Since 1985
17 JUNE 2013 (Toronto, ON) – Once dubbed ‘the loudest band in Toronto,’ CONEY HATCH return with their first record of new material in nearly three decades. The veteran rockers today announce their new album, FOUR, will be released September 24 through Frontiers/Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company.
Andy Curran, Carl Dixon, Dave Ketchum and Steve Shelski formed Coney Hatch in the early ‘80s and, in a short spate of years, released three albums and toured relentlessly, alongside bands the likes of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Accept, Ted Nugent, and Cheap Trick—to name a few—before going their separate ways in 1986. The story of this reunion is an amazing journey that only fate could be responsible for.
On his way home from a recording session in Australia in 2008, Dixon suffered a head-on car collision that left him clinging to life. With Carl in an induced coma, his wife reached out to the other members of Coney Hatch to ask them to offer words of encouragement over to the phone to him as he lay unconscious. “I told him to get better quick,” says Curran. “I said we had a lot more rockin’ to do with Coney Hatch. I really didn’t think we’d play together again but it just came out of my mouth… and Carl remembered it!”
This spontaneous remark wasn’t taken idly and, after much surgery, rehabilitation and sheer force of will, Carl Dixon returned to the stage with his three band mates in 2010 for a one-off show in Hamilton, ON. Word of the show spread overseas and Coney Hatch was soon invited to play UK’s Firefest in 2011—their first time ever in the UK. The band returned to their home and native land to find a record deal waiting from Frontiers Records for an all new Coney Hatch album.
The quartet entered the studio with long time friend and Juno Award winning engineer Vic Florencia (Danko Jones, Nelly Furtado, Marc Jordan) to capture the new recordings. The result is FOUR, a record brimming with the unique brand of melodic riff-rock that first brought the band to the attention of critics and rock fans all over the world.
“All of us are thrilled to have recorded a fourth Coney Hatch record” says Curran. “We never thought it would happen but the stars aligned and hell froze over! The new material feels like it could have been the record after OUTA HAND before FRICTION... Its raw and not too over produced, but still has that vintage Hatch sound. Sonically we did a ‘2013 LA botox face lift’ job and it sounds pretty fresh. The recording process was extremely challenging as the four of us all live separate lives in four different towns...it was honestly like herding cats, but eventually we got them all in the same bag! We’re very happy with the final outcome.”
One could forgive Carl Dixon for being surprised to still be alive, to say nothing of reuniting with his original Coney Hatch band mates to be releasing an album of new material in 2013. With a measure of understatement, he says, “we think everyone will agree that FOUR was worth the wait!”
Down & Dirty
Do It Again
We Want More
Devil U Know
Songs from FOUR can be sampled via: http://youtu.be/kaX7gLnhuFY
Carl Dixon (lead vocals, guitar)
Andy Curran (lead vocals, bass)
Steve Shelski (lead guitar)
Dave Ketchum (drums)
Coney Hatch was one of a gang of young, loud rock bands that sprang up around the turn of the 80's.
Beginning in 1980 with a line-up that included founding members Andy Curran and Dave Ketchum, Coney thundered across Canada,
swapping the first few guitar players for Steve Shelski and Carl Dixon as they went. By Early 1981, the changes were complete and songwriting
focused among the front triumvirate of Carl, Andy and Steve carried by the unstoppable bedrock drumming of Dave (Thumper) Ketchum.
Added to a batch of songs from the pre-Carl era, Coney's new writing and constant touring soon had them ready to record. Enter Kim Mitchell,
legendary Canadian singer/guitarist, who offered to help out. Without question, this was the big break every band dreams of. Kim worked in
rehearsals and studio with the lads, then took the results to Anthem Records (his label at the time) among others.
Anthem signed the band in November '81, and the following summer saw the first of three worldwide releases.
Having quickly made a name for themselves on the Canadian club circuit, Coney Hatch signed with fledgling Anthem Records in early 1981 and proceeded to record their freshman effort with no other than legendary singer/songwriter (and label boss) Kim Mitchell acting as producer. Not too shabby. In an era when rock radio thrived on a steady diet of Boston, Journey, and Foreigner (vocalist Carl Dixon drew comparisons to a less strident Lou Gramm, fused with a certain Joe Lynn Turner vibe), the foursome's commercial brand of hard rock seemed like perfect fodder for the airwaves.
OUTA HAND.-Released July 1983. Produced by Max Norman. One year and much touring later. Don't Say Make Me.-Our angry "rebel" song from "Outa Hand". It became our live opening song forever after because of the mighty guitar riff starting it. Andy has long wanted to record a sensitive acoustic version of this one. C.D.Shake It-Andy's lyric, based on the previous year spent with our heads buried in video games whenever not actually on stage. Note the return of Steve's jazzy organ style. Video performance by the band followed soon after the release of "Outa Hand". C.D. First Time for Everything-Our shot at a single was most added radio-play song in the USA the week it came out. Shelski music track, Carl added lyrics and melody. There are some nice background vocals by Peter Fredette here. A video for this one also. A.C. Some Like It Hot-An Andy lyric based on some interesting experiences in Arizona when we toured there with Judas Priest. Andy says this is his favorite guitar solo from Steve. Cool drums from Thumper. C.D. To Feel The Feeling Again-Our only ballad: Andy had a gorgeous bass part, Steve added the lovely guitar, and I had to come up with lyrics and melody as good as the music. Nice, sentimental thing it became for us, especially in our reunion shows. C.D.
FRICTION- Released in February 1985, again produced by Max Norman. A change in the band: Dave Ketchum out as drummer, Barry Connors in. This Ain't Love-Guitar thunder on this track owing to the 8000 overdubs Max had us do. One of the better Carl/Andy collaborations. C.D. Wrong Side Of Town-Andy wrote this after being caught in a silly street-hustle in bad Detroit. Something about hot jewelry? We worked the tune several ways before we decided to just rock. Blazing solo from Steve. C.D. Girl From Last Nights Dream-I was in charge of adding lyrics to a music idea from Steve, but I was stuck. In he walks to rehearsal one morning in a daze saying "I had a dream last night about the most incredible girl". Bingo! C.D. Fantasy-Starting again from a musical track Steve wrote. We were stumped for a change in the song until one night after dinner I sat outside the studio in the back of Steve's car, just thinking, and the "did you give it up" section fell from the sky into my head. Nice when that happens. Another video, shot in England this time, C.D.
A fine introduction to these Canadian rockers' career, Best of Three assembles the best tracks from the LPs Coney Hatch, Outa Hand and Friction.
Four kicks off with the high-energy video single, "Blown Away." And despite some rather 80's-era lyrical cheese, it makes a bold statement — WE'RE CONEY HATCH. AND WE'RE BACK!
Other highlights include "Boys Club" — a track that offers plenty of the band's signature-style, gritty guitar work. While "Down & Dirty" recreates their classic vibe, "Do It Again" and "We Want More" both possess a fresher-sounding edge. "Connected" and "Marseilles" are groove-oriented nuggets and ooze an AC/DC-like intensity. Finally, "The Devil U Know" is a textbook example of how a great rock track can (and should) be built around a great guitar riff.
"My personal objective was to not over think
the music and just let the creativity flow."
Yes, after more than thirty years, 2013 finds Coney Hatch at the top of their game—both musically and vocally. In sum, Four serves as a mighty vehicle for a band that remains a powerful and authentic hard rock force.