Winter Interview Series #3: Hollerado
The VMR popped in on Hollerado before their first ever Arena show in Vancouver last Thursday night, in support of Sum 41 and Billy Talent. We were excited to meet them and ask a couple of questions backstage before the show. Menno and Nick were lovely people to chat with and we can’t wait to see what these creative guys will be up to next. Here’s what they had to say…
Char: White paint just came out… is there a story behind painting the albums?
Nick: Well, it’s an art project. We wanted to do something with all our friends. We had a really good time doing it.
Menno: The album is called White Paint so we kind of had to paint them all white.
Char: Well you could have done it digitally?
Menno: We like to be hands on. We like to think of ourselves as exploding out into people’s rooms as they open our CD. The paint represents us in a way.
Jess: Is it like a lotto ticket?
Nick: It works that way.
Menno: It’s finger paint – tempera. Nontoxic, you could drink it. It’s kindergarden paint. It scratches off really easily.
Char: You guys also have super creative music videos, I first discovered you guys from Ameracanarama on CBC Radio 3 Bucky winners.
Nick: Oh right, we have a Bucky! Woo!
Char: Where do you guys get your inspiration?
Menno: Well we like to take trips and do things we normally wouldn’t do.
Nick: It’s also our desire to be hands on. Going places, you know… the Americanarama video was all people instead of graphics.
Char: Do you guys go on trips specifically to film the videos?
Nick: We went to a hot air balloon festival for Pick Me Up and LA for Americanarama… yeah. We do.
Menno: We like to make them all different.
Jess: So no more zoo animals?
Nick: No ostriches. Well… no more riding ostriches. I won’t say no ostriches.
Menno: I’m never going to go near another ostrich again in my life!
Char: Didn’t you fall off of an ostrich?
Menno: We all did.
Char: Do you think music videos are still important in a post-Much Music era?
Menno: It’s what you make of it. It’s another medium of doing something cool and arty. If you want it to be, it is.
Nick: I think it’s important because people like to experience as many types of media, I find, at the same time these days. A musical element and a visual element is really important.
Char: Cool! So you guys are on tour with Sum 41 and Billy Talent, how did that all fall into place?
Menno: Basically I play hockey with John from Billy Talent and I bugged him all the time. He was like ‘Okay, fine.’
Char: We called Sum41 + Billy Talent our “high school dream team”… so on that high school theme, what bands were most influential to you when you were in high school?
Nick: Green Day and Blink 182.
Menno: Lots of stuff I listened to in high school I listen to now and I’m like ‘Wow, that was so terrible.’ But… Dude Ranch really holds up. It’s a great pop-punk album.
Nick: It’s a splendid album.
Char: I’m with you.
Menno: We’re all very open with musical taste. We listen to some underground stuff, and top 40, classical, jazz… we’ve always been that way.
Char: Any embarrassing high school moments you’d like to share?
Menno: The entire high school experience was embarrassing for me.
Char: What was plan B if you guys didn’t….
Menno: NHL hockey player.
Nick: I was in school maybe to become an engineer…
Menno: Not maybe! You were.
Jess: Did you do your degree in engineering?
Nick: I did 3 years of it.
Menno: He still does…
Nick: I dabble.
Char: What’s the last show that you went to?
Menno: Leonard Cohen. We play so many shows with such great bands that I don’t go to a lot of shows that we’re not playing. 200 night a year we play. We love watching the band we play with. Passion Pit was amazing. We watched every night.
Nick: We watched this band Calexico, they were pretty cool. Just knew a guy, he got us in.
Menno: Oh right! This is supposed to be speed-round.
Char: Favourite thing to do in Vancouver?
Both guys: Sushi!
Menno: Actually last night we had really bad sushi. It was some fancy place the hotel recommended.
Jess: Oh no! The dirtier the place, the better the sushi.
Menno: We know! We walked into that place and knew it was going to suck. Shouldn’t have trusted the hotel.
Char: Favourite Canadian craft beer?
Menno: I like Uncle Tom’s. Mad Tom IPA.
Nick: It’s really good! Granville Island is really great, excellent beer from Vancouver!
Char: Last record you bought?
Menno: We played an in-store the other day in Toronto at Sonic Boom and they gave us free records as payment. We got to pick whatever we wanted.
Nick: I got the album Paul McCartney.
Menno: Jake picked for me because I had to leave before this happened but he picked me 36 Chambers by Wu-Tang Clan.
Char: Favourite hockey team?
Char: Do you guys fight?
Menno: No, we both like both. We’re crossover fans.
Thanks so much, Hollerado! You can follow the Facebook events to see if the Dead Silence Tour is coming to your town if you’re from outside of Vancouver.