Hollerado day at CKDJ
By: Dali Carmichael
Feb. 28 was dubbed Hollerado Day as Algonquin’s student-run radio station CKDJ played the local band’s music for 24 hours straight.
Starting at midnight, the station dedicated their airwaves to Hollerado to honour the release of White Paint, the band’s second full-length album which became available for purchase Feb 26. They kicked off with the track Pick Me Up, already in regular circulation on CKDJ and one of the first singles released off the new album.
“The format for the station is really centered on exposing the local Ottawa music scene and Hollerado is the number one right now,” said Jeff Ford, a program director for CKDJ. “They’re the biggest guys, so we figure, celebrate them for that.”
Hollerado commended CKDJ on their commitment to showcasing local talent.
“They all seem like they have their hearts in the right place and they all really love music,” said Jake Boyd, the band’s drummer. “And that’s wicked; that’s the way radio should be.”
It’s been a while since Hollerado put out their first album. In 2009, they released Record in a Bag shortly before winning $250,000 through LiVE 88.5’s Big Money Shot contest. They were excited to finally have new music ready for their fans.
“White Paint is like a fresh start,” said Menno Versteeg, the band’s lead singer and guitarist. “No matter what you do you can always try and be a better person and start again… but there’s always whats underneath.”
The album cover reflects the sentiment. It features a photo of a stained-glass window pieced together by Versteeg’s grandfather, whose passing had a large influence on the album. In what they describe as a party with friends, the band hand-painted 10,000 copies of the album with white paint.
“You can scratch into it and stuff and it’s also so us and all of our friends can make our own,” said Nixon Boyd, guitarist and singer, in an intimate interview and concert with LiVE 88.5 and fans who won tickets to the entertaining and exclusive event.
But, putting out this album wasn’t all fun and games.
“It was a lot more work than it felt like art,” said Nixon Boyd when asked about painting the covers.
“The first review of our record was not super favourable,” said Jake Boyd, the band’s drummer. “It made us realize that, ‘Oh yeah, that’s right. We’re on this long road together, the four of us.’”
When asked if they had any advice for anyone trying to break into the industry, Versteeg said that it was important to “play and write all the time and love that. Just do that all the time, every free moment and you can’t fail. And the other thing is believe in yourself. That’s it.”
Ottawa indie-rock group Hollerado played an intimate show for family, friends and winners of a LiVE 88.5 contest at Ritual nightclub on February 28. 2013.
The band had a chance to play in Ottawa, their old stomping grounds, one more time before touring across Canada for a month. On March 14 the band will begin their first stadium tour, Dead Silence, where they’ll be touring with fellow Canadian acts Billy Talent, Sum 41, and Indian Handcrafts.
“It’s really nice. It’s really nice to see my parents and old friends, and neighbours,” said front man vocalist Menno Versteeg.
The band started their journey by playing in Ottawa, as a whole and as individuals.
“I remember times when we played Café Dekcuf,” said Jake Boyd, the band’s drummer, as he recalled his first performances in the nation’s capital. “I remember the first time we played there and there were 80-90 people and we all said, “Holy shit this is wicked, we have a crowd to watch us!”
The band has performed in a variety of Ottawa venues including basements, campus bars, local nightclubs and pubs.
“This is where we grew up. We’ve played all over. It’s good to be home,” said Boyd.
DJ Noah, an Algonquin radio broadcast graduate and current music director of LiVE 88.5, remembers the band interacting with fans after they performed at the now closed Live Lounge in the Byward Market.
“When their show was done, they came down to where I was DJ’ing and partied all night with everybody, right to the end. They didn’t have security around them, and they were just like everyone else, there to party. They’re so down to earth and cool people,” said Noah.
As part of their ongoing effort to showcase local bands, Algonquin’s radio station CKDJ dubbed Feb 28. as Hollerado Day and played their music for 24 hours straight.
Hollerado has a philosophy of surrounding and supporting those in their inner-circle, in any way possible. The band has supported their friends by signing acts to their record label Royal Mountain Records, promoting their businesses, and hiring them to help out while on tour. The band believes it’s important to support their friends and those close to their hearts.
“I love all of the LiVE 88.5 guys. Chelsea, Noah, Lee Wagner, John Moran, Eric who does the sound, and everybody else I’m forgetting. They’re all awesome people,” said Boyd.
The group is known for having some quirky tastes. They often promote how much they love confetti guns and draw their own posters and website layouts with markers. They are also known for their love of food, especially nachos. After touring across North America, China, and Brazil, the band has experienced all forms and flavours of fine dining but they’re always on the hunt for new experiences.
“A good buddy of mine from Manotick, Matt Heinds, is in the process of starting a food truck. It’s going to be along Bank Street and it’s called Urban Cowboy. It’s going to be a Tex-Mex thing. That’ll be the place to go for nachos,” said Boyd.
“I’m a big food guy, and the food is amazing and cheap. Stuff like steaks, cheese, and wine,” said bassist Dean Baxter, when asked about his favourite aspect of touring Brazil.
Hollerado begins their month-long cross-Canada tour on March 14 in Vancouver B.C, and will finish it on April 16. in Halifax, N.S. The band feels that there’s no way to practice for a tour like this, and will “just go out and play the stadium,” according to Versteeg.
The band is looking forward to touring across Canada and see it as a chance to play in the same arenas as their favourite hockey teams. However the humble boys from Manotick don’t let their growing fame get to their heads.
“Hollerado would play to five people in a park, just to play. They’re fun. We needed a fun band,” said Noah.