MEN WITHOUT HATS at Lee's Palace (529 Bloor West), Wednesday (November 7), 8 pm. $13.50. HS, RT, SS, TM. See listing.
When it came time to step into the studio to make the first Men Without Hats album since 2003, Ivan Doroschuk was pretty clear about his goals.
"We purposely wanted it to sound like it was recorded two weeks after The Safety Dance," says the singer over the phone from his home in Victoria, BC, referring to the band's ubiquitous 1983 hit single. "We wanted to go back to the big bang of Men Without Hats."
While the frontman admits he hadn't planned on writing new songs when he reformed the group in 2010 with a different lineup, he was inspired by events like the Occupy movement and the student protests in Montreal, where the band first formed.
On a more personal level, the resultant album, Love In The Age Of War (Cobraside), was also informed by Doroschuk's split from the mother of his nine-year-old son.
"It came from my heart, whereas previous albums came from what was going on around me."
The songs echo the new wave synth-pop sounds that first made the band famous 30 years ago. After all, Doroschuk hasn't forgotten about his back catalogue. Nor has anyone else. Men Without Hats' songs have been covered on Glee and are played in soccer stadiums worldwide.
The 55-year-old singer is grateful that his music has affected so many people.
"A friend of mine sent me a YouTube video of a Hasidic wedding in Detroit where they were playing The Safety Dance," he recalls. "These songs don't belong to me any more. They belong to the fans."