By Ian Brannan
On Feb. 7, hundreds of Algonquin students and general fans lined up to watch Rory Gardiner, Kira Isabella, and Tim Hicks put on a ‘Hell Raising Good Time.’
However Hicks was sitting in his green room talking with members of the band, staff and a reporter. Though he would not sing until he got on stage, he did allow those listening to him, a peak into his world.
The first story that Hicks shared is how he grew up in Niagara Falls, but he went on to tell about how his career went from playing in everything from small dive bars, to the top level of a double decker bus, all the way to playing in front of 20,000 people with Blue Rodeo at a music festival.
But he still remembers the Magical Mystery Tour as the worst gig he ever played. Hicks shared that he gets car sick, and a rich guy hired him to play on the top of a double decker bus for what he called a magical mystery tour. It ended up with Hicks getting sick, and it eventually got so bad that one of the passengers told him “Man you should just sit down and look forward.”
Eventually, Hicks was discovered while he was sitting at a bar and a couple of guys walked up to him and told him “We like your voice, we are going to go write some songs…want to come write some songs with us?” The two guys turned out to be Neil Sanderson from Three Days Grace and his partner at Public Artist Development Casey Marshall.
“It was probably just my normal Wednesday night when I was up on stage eating chips, a gig that I’ve played for eight years and they just happened to be there and like what they heard,” he said jokingly.
It worked out well and they put him in contact with Ron Kitchener over at RGK Entertainment Group with whom he eventually signed with.
So far Tim has four hit music videos one of which, Hell Raising Good Time, features a theme that he likes a lot, and he explained how he came up with the idea for it.
“We were sitting down to plan out the video and we were waiting for the execs to get on the line, and somehow the Walking Dead came up, and I happened to be deep into the second season.” Hicks said. “The producers said why don’t we do that?”
While he didn’t believe that they could pull it off because of the expense involved, the producers took a day and planned it out, and they started filming it in California. Where he even invited his brother down to take part, which led to a successful filming, and the crew lighting his brothers pants on fire. A pair that, unfortunately, was the only pair that he had brought with him, so they had to buy him another pair so he could get back on the plane.
It has been a good 14 months for the rising star, having three top 10 singles on the Canadian country charts, and a nomination from the Canadian country music association for a rising star award, and most recently received nominations from the Juno association for country album of the year for his album Throw Down and for break through artist of the year. Topping off the award nominations comes the mention of a new album possibly coming next year.
After the interview, Hicks went onto stage after Isabella, and put on a show that not many would forget anytime soon. Playing songs from his album and surprising audience by breaking out his cell phone and taking pictures and videos of the audience.
“Tim Hicks and Kira Isabella we’re absolutely unreal” Ashley Kelly from the paralegal program said while lining up to get an autograph signed by Tim. “Going to be very hard to top these amazing performances.”
Hicks closed out the performance with a meet and greet with some contest winners, and then stepped out into the main commons to sign autographs and take photos with the fans at the merchandise booth.