Ivan Doroschuk From Men Without Hats Shares Thoughts On His Career & New Single ‘No Friends of Mine’

Kat Harlton

Canadian new wave electro-pop pioneers Men Without Hats, recently released a reimagined version of their iconic, smash hit single ‘The Safety Dance’ titled ‘No Friends of Mine’ on August 25 via all streaming platforms.  The single is from their forthcoming EP, which features five tracks, including four covers. The EP is the definition of 80’s grit meeting new era pop, and is sure to captivate audiences from across generations. 

Men Without Hats

For the past 10 years, Men Without Hats have toured the world with the cream of 80’s royalty, playing for crowds in North and South America, Europe, Scandinavia, Jamaica, Australia, Mexico & South Africa, in fact reaching even more people and places than the first time around. Their crossover sound and message is resonating with a new generation of fans eager to understand and appreciate the 80’s influences in their own current brand of pop. Since their formation in 1978, Men Without Hats have been at the forefront of popular electronic music, creating worldwide anthems of joy and positivity that have weathered all musical styles and trends, mirroring and recounting the mysteries and challenges of the space and time we live in. Now, as we approach the dawn of a new era, it’s the perfect time to listen to Men Without Hats… again.

We had the opportunity to chat with bandleader and founding member Ivan Doroschuk about the band’s reimagined version of their iconic song, career highlights and his creative process.

Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your single, a reimagined version of your iconic, smash hit single “The Safety Dance” titled “No Friends of Mine”?

Ivan: This whole project started out a few years ago as a re-imagined “Best Of Men Without Hats” for solo piano and voice. One thing led to another, new songs were written, old songs were taken from the vault, and Men Without Hats…Again was born!

Kat: What do you hope fans take from the song?

Ivan: I’ve always believed that there are only a handful of archetypal stories from which all other stories derive. This new version of the Safety Dance is in keeping with that notion of reworking a familiar narrative. The message has proven to be timeless, you can still dance if you want to!

Kat: What do you find is the most challenging part of your creative process?

Ivan: The most challenging part of the creative process with each new project has always been to know when the piece of work is finished. You can always hear another string line, another synth sound, another word… It’s hard to finally say “it’s done’, and to let go of it.

Kat: What has been a career highlight for you so far? What have you learned along the way?

Ivan: One of my career highlights is to have been able to meet, and often share stages with, some of the people who influenced me as a young musician starting off. I got a lot of great advice along the way, but I learned the most just by watching them at work. Bryan Ferry taught me how to remain calm and collected in the face of adversity, and it came in handy when we opened up for them at the Montreal Forum and our bass synth conked out during Safety Dance. Arlo Guthrie told me to space out my fights when he saw me go after a security guard who wouldn’t let people dance at one of our shows. Howard Jones taught me that you can still love your craft after 40+ years, Eddie Money taught me you can play rock and roll and still be a nice guy, and Lemmy Kilmeister taught me the benefits of freezing cold winters (x-rated).

Kat: What’s next?

Ivan: Shows, shows and more shows. 2022 is the 40th anniversary of the Safety Dance and Rhythm of Youth album, and we’re putting together something special for the occasion. See you then!

For more Men Without Hats visit: https://www.safetydance.com

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