Phill Hood & The Exclamation

Newfoundland native Phill Hood puts The Exclamation on his bands’ debut album Detour, which features his signature blend of melodic rock with a maritime accent


Fifteen years after leaving Newfoundland and Labrador to pursue a career in music in Ontario, Phill Hood returned home with his new band The Exclamation. 

And yes, it took a bump or two in the winding road between then and now to produce the aptly titled record, Detour, but the road less travelled always yields the best results. For the band that are best described as melodic rock with a maritime accent, the miles and minutes spent were well worth the wait.

made from scratch

“I had previously poor experiences in Toronto going into the studio and paying by the hour,” Hood says of the new album in an interview with The Herald. “For this record I decided to do it all from scratch on my own. I bought my own equipment, learned how to mix, and that was a huge process in itself. Over the span of two to three years it started coming together. I called it Detour because of all the bumps in the road that came across trying to get it finished.”

“I found the whole process of the do-it-yourself, that there were so many avenues that I could explore without having to worry about paying for an extra day in the studio, or getting everyone together,” he adds. “It was potentially the case where it could have gone on forever. I highly recommend doing it this way, just set a date and get er’ done.” 

After previously playing in the well travelled ensemble The Tartan Terrors out of Burlington, Ontario, as well as numerous solo engagements, Hood enlisted the aid of The Exclamation in 2013, with the group traversing the country playing notable gigs on legendary stages such as The Hideout, and Horseshoe Tavern. 

With Hood on vocals alongside bassist JW Blakeley, drummer Charlie McKittrick and multi-instrumentalists Jake Saenz and Jarred Albright, the group have formed a tight bond that have made crafting and creating groovy tunes near effortless. 

“I’ve got to be honest with you, we’re all best friends,” Hood explains. “I have a friend who I play with sometimes who says it’s not worth the band if it’s not a good hang. The music comes from the hang. It’s because we’re so close anyways, I think it speaks through the music. I’m really lucky to be able to play with these guys.”

As for how to classify Hood’s unique blend of rock and folk music, he serves up a quite worthy response.

a unique blend

“I call it melodic rock with a maritime accent,” he says. “The Celtic influence is definitely there. I grew up on like Big Shiny Tunes – that was my era of learning to play guitar and getting into the music scene in St. John’s. That’s definitely my go-to, the rock thing, but the more I get older, the more I’m entrenched in the folk side of things, the roots and the Celtic. 

“I’m working on tunes right now that is total genre mashing, traditional stuff that takes influence from bands like Figgy Duff and then other things from Dave Matthews Band and mashing those things up into a thing that’s fresh.”

Hood recently had the opportunity to tour the east coast, including home province showcases in Port Blandford and St. John’s. Touring across North America is one thing, but having the opportunity to return home, with a new album and rising career, is something else entirely. 

“I’ve toured in and around Canada and the United States for the past six years now and I’ve been carrying a lot of these tunes from home around and tunes that I’ve written myself,” Hood shares. “It’s great to bring to a new audience, but it’s a total different experience to bring it all back home.”

Detour is available on all platforms May 25th. For more visit 

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