Energetic indie-rock quartet Hollerado are playing Toronto’s The Danforth Music Hall tonight! Accompanied by Toronto rockers PUP, and infectious-pop makers The Zolas, A Music Blog, Yea? can’t wait to attend and cover the show. Lucky enough for AMBY, I had the chance to catch up with Hollerado’s lead vocalist Menno Versteeg last night in a phone interview. Have a look as we spoke about touring across Canada, their off-the-cuff rehearsals, and literally painting White Paint.
AMBY: Over the next few months, the band has a pretty big tour across Canada. So what are you most looking forward to?
Hollerado: That’s a good question. I love just seeing the country; no matter how many times through it, it doesn’t really get boring. I think the thing I’m most looking forward to is that this time we’re touring a whole bunch of our new songs, so I’m excited to play a bunch of new song off White Paint.
AMBY: Speaking of embarking on this upcoming tour journey, what are the best and worst parts of touring for you?
Hollerado: Well, they all have their own charms. When we’re doing an arena tour, it’s pretty luxurious when we’re opening for someone, and there’s something nice about that. But there’s also something great about headlining our own band tour, and small, sweaty clubs. Both of them have their pluses and minuses. But, you know what? My favourite type of touring is just in hot weather, that’s by far my favourite. Just touring in the cold and in the snow is a giant pain in the ass. But when it’s hot, it’s beautiful.
AMBY: And before you mentioned how you love touring across the country, but there is a specific city you like to play the best?
Hollerado: In Canada?
Hollerado: There’s a bunch of places we love. We love Toronto, obviously. And then playing Ottawa is great, Montreal is great, there are too many to mention!
AMBY: I have one last tour question for you. I wanted to bring up that whenever I attend a Hollerado concert, the energy and fun-factor is always through the roof. So, what’s one of the funniest things to happen to you at a show?
Hollerado: Well, a couple weeks ago at Osheaga this guy proposed to his girlfriend on stage.
AMBY: Oh, wow.
Hollerado: Yea, that was pretty amazing.
AMBY: Alright, well before we move onto the next question I wanted to mention that I’m looking forward to the show tomorrow night. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
Hollerado: I know, we’ve been looking forward to it a lot, too. It’s going to be a lot of tricks pulled up our sleeves.
AMBY: Great! So now we have some questions on music. We know that there was quite a journey for you within the time of recording White Paint, and it’s often been noted as bittersweet. But I just wanted to say that we found it’s truly beautiful how you commemorated and honoured your grandfather with the album, and So It Goes.
Hollerado: Thank you.
AMBY: Of course. I actually read that every CD started out with a picture of a stained glass window that your grandfather had made.
AMBY: And then there were two-thousand vinyls and ten thousand CD covers that you actually painted. And in the video you posted, it looks like you all were having a great time doing this. What was the main inspiration behind literally painting White Paint?
Hollerado: Just the idea of being a big community art project; it was simple and right, but the act of getting everyone together. It was all of our friends throwing a big party and celebrating the act of being creative and being a community. It was really successful and a great gathering of people, and a great party. And a celebration of art and wanting to show how we couldn’t do this without the support of our community and friends. So, that’s kind of the statement that we wanted to make.
AMBY: White Paint was released back in February, what are your thoughts on the album now that there’s been a little bit of time to reflect on it?
Hollerado: The same. I mean, I like the album and am proud of what we did. I’m looking forward to making the next one already, and just part of the evolution of the whole thing.
AMBY: Great, what are the plans as far as future recording goes?
Hollerado: We’re working on our custom songs right now, which are taking a really long time because we have 200 of them to make. But that’s what we’re working on, slowly but surely, and hopefully we’ll be able to release some things in the New Year.
AMBY: We look forward to it. In an interview earlier this year, you said that “you can’t think of success as a thing that already exists, you just have to think that this journey is amazing and go on it.” I love that way of looking at things. So, we were wondering, how would you describe success for yourselves as a band?
Hollerado: As long as we’re continuing to create things, then we’re being successful. That’s success, every day when we make something or go to a show or play a show, and then we’re being successful at what we do.
AMBY: In our interviews we always like to ask a few fun questions that ourselves and our readers take interest in. So, on your Facebook page it says that Hollerado are “enjoyers of soup, vinyl listeners, amateur painting enthusiasts, and collectors of nothing.” But what is your favourite past time?
Hollerado: We all have different ones, but me personally, I love walking around. Besides playing music and everything, I love exploring, I really like jumping in water, I like swimming in oceans, and lakes.
AMBY: Perfect. We know that the band must be busy between playing shows and personal commitments. So when it comes to playing together, what are your rehearsals usually like? Does the band have a set time to practice or are rehearsals usually more off-the-cuff?
Hollerado: They’re pretty off-the-cuff. We only really rehearse when we have something we need to learn, otherwise we’re writing or playing shows. So we’re writing, or playing shows, or once in a while, “okay, we’ve written something but we haven’t played it in a while”, so we’ll rehearse it for a couple days until we can play it properly.
AMBY: And I’ve been able to chat with each of the guys in the band, and of course you each have different personalities. How would you describe each band member in one word?
Hollerado: Oh, in one word? Alright, so Dean- funny. Jake- funny. Nick- funny. Me- not funny.
AMBY: Alright, if you say so [laughs]. So now we have the very last question of the interview—
Hollerado: Sorry, I’ve got to add one thing to that. Dean, [laughs] you have to put down “really funny.”
Hollerado: And Nick, you have to put “pretty funny.”
AMBY: [laughs] So, what’s something about the band that nobody knows yet?
Hollerado: No one knows… yet. Oh, that’s a good question.
AMBY: Thank you.
Hollerado: If no one knows it, we probably don’t even know it yet!
AMBY: The alternative is what’s the best part of being in Hollerado?
Hollerado: The best part, I mean, there’s so many good things. The fact that I get to play music every day, that is a really amazing thing.
Thank you Hollerado, for giving us your answers!