While working day jobs in Montreal’s hotel industry, Rod spent the nights of his early 20s playing music professionally with a number of bands. He studied a little music at Concordia University but spent most of his time working with and learning from established players in rock, folk and even Brazilian jazz.
As a boy, he was introduced to a songbook with songs written by Woodie Guthrie, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and spiritual hymns like Amazing Grace. The elegant simplicity and meaningfulness of these songs left a lasting mark on his writing. Over the years he wrote a small catalog of songs, some of which were reworked with HemlockHotel and appearing on their first album.
Dan started playing drums at a very young age. Flipping over his mom's cookware and wailing on it in the middle of the kitchen. He later got his first drum set handed down to him by his brother and was performing in front of audiences by the age of 10.
He first learnt by ear but eventually studied how to read music and was percussionist for the Ottawa Youth Orchestra at the age of eighteen. Dan is a very versatile drummer and has played in various bands throughout his career.
At the turn of the century, Dan settled down and put aside the drums to raise his family. However, he was always tapping a rhythm on anything he touched. Now he is back behind the kit doing what he loves.
Growing up on the outskirts of Toronto, Mark’s early inspiration came mostly from bands played on the mighty CFNY, and while Pearl Jam and Nirvana were changing the world, Mark was hiding out in places like the Opera House and the Rivoli, cheering on artists like Hayden and Change of Heart.
He cut his teeth musically with multiple appearances at both le Festival franco-ontarien and Sudbury’s La nuit sur l’étang. Mark then took a lead guitarist position in a country band and has played with a few Ottawa-based rock and indie bands before joining HemlockHotel.
Currently, Mark’s musical influences are Neil Young, Alabama Shakes, Ben Harper, and many other artists across the spectrum.