Something good has come out of the pandemic for at least one Chilliwack musician.
Leonard Hodgins, who performs under the band name The Leonard Hodgins Endeavour, found time and inspiration to write and record a seven-song EP while in isolation.
“This whole thing wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for COVID. For me there has been a silver lining,” he said.
Hodgins lost one of his two jobs in March and when they contacted him in July to come back, he declined. He was enjoying spending time with his family and liked working on his music from home.
During the time he was home, Sonny Rozsa of Rosewood Studio contacted him asking if he wanted to be part of Artists in Isolation Vol. 2, a compilation album featuring various B.C. artists (most from the Fraser Valley) and their original music. Rozsa had heard about Hodgins through local musician Trevor McDonald.
Hodgins thought it was “absolutely incredible” McDonald recommended he be part of the album, and so began the recording process. Audio files were sent back and forth and Rozsa constantly gave Hodgins feedback.
“He would really push me to give the best performance.”
What came of that first recording between Hodgins and Rozsa for Artists in Isolation Vol. 2 was the song ‘What changed.’ And because of that, Hodgins was inspired to continue writing music.
“It’s been worth it to be home,” he said. “Now that I’m down to one job and I’m able to be home with the kids and I’ve got a little bit of a home studio, I can create music and go back and forth. It really got me on this creative writing spree.”
Over the months, he wrote several new songs. His seven-song EP A Date, with Disaster was released on Monday, Jan. 4.
The album title was originally a song he wrote almost 20 years ago which was released on an EP in 2003. He rerecorded the song for the 2021 album, keeping the spirit of the song and the lyrics the same, but giving a darker sound to the music.
“It feels a little bit more moody,” he said.
Unlike the original version of the song, the 2021 version of ‘A Date, with Disaster’ has Hodgins singing the piece and performing all the instruments.
In fact, with the exception of a violin in two of the songs, Hodgins plays every instrument – guitar, bass and drums – in all the songs on his new album. With the help of Rozsa, he worked hard to perfect it.
“If it doesn’t sound good, I can’t blame anybody but myself,” Hodgins said.
He even did the majority of the artwork on the album cover, which was finished and edited by Charlie Orellana.
Hodgins is donating 10 per cent of the sale of every album to BC Children’s Hospital, a place many of his family members and friends have been “so grateful” for, he added.
“I think everybody has had to utilize BC Children’s in some way, shape or form – if not directly then indirectly. It’s really effected so many people and it’s such a great thing.”
People can buy the EP A Date, with Disaster by The Leonard Hodgins Endeavour on CD for $12, or a digital copy for $10 at leonardhodgins.ca.
The digital album is also available on all major streaming platforms including Spotify, Amazon and iTunes. CDs can also be found at Chilliwax Records (45895 Wellington Ave.).