Artist Profile: Hawk Nelson

The guys of Hawk Nelson
Hawk Nelson

Many music bands have interesting stories on how they came up with their band’s name. This is not one of those stories. Beginning in 2002, three musicians from Ontario, Canada, (Jason Dunn, Davin Clark and Matt Paige), formed a pop punk band called SWISH. A little later they changed it to Reason Being briefly before landing on the name, Hawk Nelson. To the un-initiated, one would think that with a name like that, someone in the band would actually be named, “Hawk” or “Nelson.” But you would be wrong. Turns out, frontman Dunn was playing a video game and he named his avatar character, Hawk Nelson and the name just sort of stuck. So, if you’re trying to find a spiritual meaning behind the name, look no further.

This isn’t to say that the group itself isn’t spiritual. They are. And after a little shuffling of the deck (Clark and Paige moved on while Jonathan Steingard, Daniel Biro and Justin Benner signed on), and  nine years of playing together, they still have a lot to say. Recently, the band released its 5th album, Crazy Love.
Crazy Love focuses on the living and the need for truth. “Part of this truth talk is about growing older and us wanting to sing about what’s real to us,” says bassist Biro on the band’s website. “The truth topics make Crazy Love the most different from past records; we are definitely more overt about our faith this time. It’s satisfying to be real like that.”

Even if you are unfamiliar with the band, you might know them better than you think. A few years ago, the squeaky-clean-looking band got the chance to portray the legendary group, The Who, in an episode of American Dreams television show for NBC. Asked how the band got that gig, Dunn explains that the group was still young at the time. Many of the other bands who tried out for the role, were more seasoned and polished. Dunn thinks they got the job because they appeared more fresh and excited to play music. From there, their music has been featured in television shows, movies and even a video game including SmallvilleYours, Mine and OursMelrose Place and an album featuring music inspired by the movie Charlotte’s Web of all things.

While the group has been nominated many times in America for the GMA Dove Awards, Grammy Awards and Juno Awards, they have achieved more actual “wins” in their native country’s GMA Canada Covenant Awards including “Modern Rock/Alternative Album of the Year” 2006 and “Modern Rock/Alternative Song of Year” in 2009 for “Live Life Loud,” “Modern Rock/Alternative Album of the Year” in 2010 for “Live Life Loud” and “Song of the Year” in 2010 for “Never Enough.” The song, “Live Life Loud” is currently being featured as part of the promotion for Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play 2011 which will be held on Saturday, September 24th in Washington D.C.

Crazy Love, inspired by Francis Chan’s book of the same name, Hawk Nelson continues the call for action heard on the band’s last studio album Live Life Loud. “This record has got some old-school punk rock feel to it, as well as some songs my mom would appreciate. Overall it is one of our most well-rounded albums dealing with truth,” says frontman Jason Dunn. “Sometimes submerged in a Christian environment, we lose perspective of what Jesus did for us on the cross. We need to wake up and grasp the meaning of what he did; Jesus made something completely unattainable, attainable, and we are called to live in and practice that same ‘crazy’ love."

promote my blog