Saturday, February 24, 2018

Hollerado return on their own terms

May 17, 2017 by Adam Boyle, staff writer

Tragedy can strike when least expected, as Ottawa indie rock band Hollerado found out when their guitarist Nixon Boyd was diagnosed with testicular cancer during the album’s songwriting process. Vocalist Menno Versteeg says that Boyd’s diagnosis was hard on the band but also helped them realize how important some things in life are.

“It was hard on Nixon,” says Versteeg. “It wasn’t an easy time, but he’s better now. Nixon saw it as a wake-up call about what you’re doing and that there’s no point in doing something that doesn’t mean something to you. That’s one of the reasons why it took us so long to make this record—we wanted to stand behind every single word we said and really feel like we gave it our all.”

Ottawa indie rockers Hollerado are back with their first album since 2013 (photo provided).

Versteeg also says that they don’t care that it took them a long time to come out with this album, which follows up 2013’s White Paint. He says that they wanted the quality to be good and that they wanted to be proud of what they had created.

“It’s probably a dent in our career, taking four years to put a record out, but for us, that’s not what’s important,” he says. “We wanted to create something with a lasting impression, something that’s semi-permanent, something that we really mean. We’re not doing this for money; we’re doing it for the people who like it, and for ourselves.”

Versteeg has grown to not care about what other people think or about what critics say in reviews, but he accepts that the band’s music isn’t for everyone.

“We don’t care about the criticism anymore,” he says. “When we put out our second album in 2013, I was reading a review, and at that time I was having a really rough day. When I read the review, I literally burst into tears. It wasn’t even a bad review—I think the guy gave us 3.5/5—but I just felt that the reviewer said some things that were wrong, like that our influences were such and such band that I didn’t like, and I sort of just lost my mind. Now, I don’t care. The people who don’t like it, it’s not for them, and that’s fine.”

Hollerado recently toured in Europe, and Versteeg found out that it’s a different world of performing over there.

“It’s a lot more exotic playing in Europe,” he says. “The reactions for what is good there is on a different scale. When we played in the UK, we thought that everyone hated us every single show. It took us three or four shows to realize that, despite getting the odd heckle, the fact that they stayed and watched the whole show meant they loved us. France gave us a reaction like The Beatles would get. The Germans would come up to you and be like, ‘Oh, I very much liked your music. I will buy your CD’; another guy would come up to you and say, ‘I did not care for you one bit.’”

Friday, June 9
$22.50, Sugar Nightclub

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