Hugh Dillon

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Hugh Dillon Biography

Some roles we grow into. And some roles we're born to play. For the past five years Hugh Dillon has been doing the former growing into one of Canada's hottest and most in-demand television actors, earning accolades and industry acknowledgments for his gritty portrayals in programs such as the cop drama Flashpoint and the moody, cerebral, serial thriller Durham County. Now, well, now he's ready to return to the character he's most comfortable and at home in. Hugh Dillon. Musician. And he's a natural.

This fall Dillon drops the stunningly assured Works Well With Others, a testament to who he is, where he is and how far he's come in the past decade. No longer the angry young man, although far too driven and intense to ever be tamed, the 14 tracks, produced by the Tragically Hip's Paul Langlois in his band's Bathhouse Studio, showcase an individual and artist who's mature, confident, in control, and finally ready to express himself on his own terms.

"Music somehow makes me more honest," says the Kingston native, who first gained acclaim in the '90s with his spit 'n' sneer chart-topping rock act The Headstones. "It's almost subconscious but once I sit down and I hear a melody, the words just kind of come out and they just seem to be," he pauses, "they just seem to be less full of shit."

He credits the songwriting process as his creative outlet. "There's a freedom in songwriting when you don't have the pressures of writing for a band or an audience or a live performance," the unapologetic artist says. “I’ve always considered myself a songwriter. I never really stop thinking about words and music."

Dillon's trademark, no bullshit, tell-it-like-it-is approach rings loud and clear throughout Works Well With Others. From the remarkably restrained yet somehow soaring first single and album-opener Friends of Mine to the poignant and wistful Sentimental Me the swampy, Stonesy throw-back rocker Ten Feet Tall and the effortlessly poppy Surface of the Sun, Dillon is utterly at home and relaxed in the sonic scenes and set dressings he's created for himself on this, his solo major label debut.

Even Dillon's suddenly burgeoning television career couldn't stem the flow, actually helping by providing an outlet to get the songs heard, as producers and directors were rightfully amenable to having tracks grace the soundtracks to their shows -- Flashpoint utilizing the smoldering, Cohen-esque Lost at Sea, and Durham County adopting the gorgeous and contemplative Puzzle I Am.

There was also the opportunity to road test some of the songs in front of audiences as the Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir, which in turn paved the way for the High Cost of Low Living, an independent, limited release CD.

Now? Well, with his acting career at full boil, he's returning to his first passion, making music. He's doing it with songs he's passionate about and with material he feels represents who he is and where he is at this time in his life. And he's even doing it knowing full well that after such a lengthy hiatus and without the name recognition of his previous band it's almost as if he's starting over.

But that's just another challenge, another door Dillon's ready to kick down.

"I've always started from scratch," he scoffs. "Even when I was younger, I moved to England when I was 19 and started playing with my first band. I moved back to Toronto didn't know anybody and it was a struggle, and I started from scratch. And then when I left The Headstones I was chopping wood up north, I was starting from scratch. I got back into acting and built my way up. It's like that with this record. I'm not riding on my reputation, you can't go back. You've got to start from scratch".

And so it is with Works Well With Others. A new episode, a new season, a new series for Hugh Dillon. In the role he was born to play.

Just The Facts:

  • Works Well With Others will be released simultaneously on October 13, 2009 by Warner Music Canada and exclusively through Itunes in the US.
  • · Flashpoint, now airing in over 50 countries around the world, has consistently won its time slot across all categories the US, averaging 9 million US viewers per episode. Production for Season 3 begins in January 2010.
  • · Flashpoint has earned 19 Gemini Nominations for 2009. Hugh Dillon received two nominations – Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role (Flashpoint) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series (Of Murder and Memory). Hugh has received two nominations in the past, one in 2006 and 2008. The Awards will be given out in November.
  • · Durham County debuted on The Movie Network, Movie Central, Showcase in Canada to critical acclaim in 2008. Season 2 aired this summer, garnering more praise and accolades. Season 3 begins shooting this fall in Montreal.
  • · The ION Network in the US premiered Season 1 on Sept 7th and will begin airing Season 2 in October. The New York Times rave review stated “Durham County in short, is very very creepy and unsettling, and entirely addictive, a modern murder mystery… This series is appeals to grownups who prefer their crimes served fresh and with film noir understatement… It’s not what a lot of people think of when they think of Canada, but it’s a lot more intriguing”.