There’s a long-standing clichÃ© that says a band’s home is on the road and to a certain measure the maxim is true. But all four members of Hollerado take the saying to heart.
This past Saturday their van, plastered in hand painted designs, was parked just outside of Le Divan Orange. It was the first night of a month long residency tour that will span the month of February. Inside from the drivers seat guitarist Nixon Boyd explains how the van, littered with sleeping bags and pillows, has become a second home.
“We spend our time touring on the road. We’re still kind of on the road so much that we don’t really live anywhere,” said Boyd. “But with the residency we’re going to stay mainly in Montreal.”
It’s not the first time the band has embarked on a month long residency tour, in fact this year’s schedule of playing each Saturday is tame in comparison to what they dreamt up last year.
The idea was “seven bars in seven cities seven nights a week.” The seven destinations: Boston, New York City, Lacolle, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. The weekly trip covered about 2,787 km of road a week.
While the weekly tally might be astounding the band had originally intended to take this year’s residency tour up in the air. Vocalist and guitarist Menno Versteeg, perched in the back of the van, laid out what they had in mind for this year. They were going to fly across Canada in a nationwide tour. On the slate of cities that would become temporary homes: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Halifax. The plan fell through after realizing the tickets would not be as cheap as they had expected.
February is the ideal month for a residency tour because it’s the shortest month and it’s symmetrical, explained Versteeg. This February also happens to be the same month that Hollerado is re-releasing Record in a Bag. Originally released as a digital download, the album will now be available on CD or vinyl.
As the title of suggests the record will come in a zip lock bag, a signature that has been a feature of all the band’s past releases. They came up with the idea after burning a spindle of CDs with just a few songs and had nothing to put them in. After rummaging in a kitchen they settled on sandwich baggies since they’re the perfect packaging.
“At the time we were just buying recordable CDs while touring through Canada and the US and burning them on a laptop as we drove,” Boyd said. “We just ran with that idea and figured we’d make it special.”
However this time around there is an added bonus to buying the album, inside are handwritten notes, stickers, confetti, or prizes that include having Hollerado cut your grass or play your birthday party.
Part of the funding for Record In a Bag came from the $250,000 they won after participating in a battle of the bands hosted by a radio station in Ottawa. The band has also used the money to produce a music video for their single “Juliette,” which stars Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane alongside Christopher Reeve. The money has also funded a number of tours, including a recent stint in China. Hollerado quickly found out that partying wasn’t a justifiable expense.
“We don’t get a fat cheque. They pay for stuff that we need so we cant just throw a rad party. Even though when we first won we did that. We weren’t exactly clear about how it worked. So we thought “Oh my god we’re rich!’ We literally blew all our band money. We had saved up $3,000 in our three years of touring. We fucking spent it all, every last dime on beer and gave it away,” said Versteeg. “Then they told us they don’t pay for booze.”
By the kilometre
Boston to New York: 346 km
New York to Lacolle: 561 km
Lacolle to Hamilton: 658 km
Hamilton to Toronto: 70 km
Toronto to Ottawa: 450 km
Ottawa to Montreal:194 km
Montreal to Boston: 508 km
Total distance: 2,787 km