Best mates first, band mates second - the heart of Hockey Dad has always existed in the friendship between duo Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming, who first met in early childhood, growing up two doors apart in the unassuming, laid back coastal town of Windang, NSW. The foundations for the band began in early 2013, where an underage Fleming and Stephenson would sneak into their local live music haunt to catch their favourite bands. Eventually they were granted regular slots playing to an ever-growing crew of enthusiastic friends turned fans, and quickly picking up the attention of local Wollongong indie label Farmer & The Owl. In 2014 they released their Dreamin’ EP and were finalists in the triple j unearthed high competition.
Now, the duo are on the verge of releasing their highly-anticipated second album Blend Inn, the follow up to 2016’s debut Boronia. Where Boronia celebrated the long days of summers past, of mates, the ocean and the sublime naivety of youth, Blend Inn is Fleming and Stephenson coming to us with more perspective following a year of relentless touring which took them far from the streets and waves of their hometown.
The growth that Hockey Dad have experienced over the past 18 months has been no accident. The fast-paced, punk style of Billy’s drums is executed in perfect synchronicity with Zach's jangly guitar, anthemic choruses and ever confident vocals to give life to their unmistakable and infectious brand of rock-pop. After the release of their debut Boronia in August 2016, the duo embarked on sold out tours across the capital cities and regional centres of Australia. They travelled extensively through North America playing headline and support shows, including showcases at SXSW and a Canadian tour with Dune Rats. 2017 also took them to the UK, Europe, and further across Australia as the main support on the 25+ date tour for iconic Aussie rock band Grinspoon, plus more shows alongside Dune Rats and Wavves in some of the country’s biggest venues - a world away from the 70 cap band room where Hockey Dad first cut their teeth.
The upcoming album holds onto the charm and energy of youth which won hearts originally - the playfulness, the edge, that quintessential Hockey Dad surf rock sound - but it comes to us from two people with an expanded mindset; “We’re still kids,” reflects Fleming “But we’re just a little bit more... tinged”
The release of 'Blend Inn' saw Hockey Dad debut at #6 on the ARIA charts and also make their first hottest 100 entry at #54 with the first single 'Homely Feeling'. The duo completed two sold out national tours in Australia as well as tours across Europe, the UK and USA. They played huge festival slots at Splendour In The Grass and Yours & Owls Festival and 'Blend Inn' was nominated for a J Award for album of the year.
To kick off 2019, three tracks from the 'Blend Inn' album landed in the Triple J Hottest 100. 'Join The Club' at #18, 'I Wanna Be Everybody' at #61 and 'Sweet Release' at #73, he band completed a US tour selling the majority of the shows and were also announced for UK's Reading & Leeds festivals.