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Hollerado at Hopped & Confused Festival 2017. Photo: Landon Entwistle/Apt613

HOPE Festival: Interview with Hollerado

By Stephane Dubord on July 13, 2019

HOPE Volleyball SummerFest is being held this Saturday featuring Elijah Woods X Jamie Fine (2:30pm), The Beaches (4pm) and Hollerado (5:30pm). In Part 1 of our feature, we chatted with Kylie Miller of The Beaches, on their success so far and what they have coming up next (including new music soon!).

In Part 2, we chat with Hollerado frontman Menno Versteeg about their recent retirement announcement, their farewell tour, and what other plans they have in store.

APT613: First off, the bombshell announcement that Hollerado is retiring. What brought that on?

Menno Versteeg: Well, the band’s run its course. The main question I ask people is: how many bands’ is the sixth record your favourite record? It’s not very many. We’re all still best friends, we’ve had the best time, we’ve gotten to travel the world and make all these new friends. So we just figured it would be a good time. We didn’t want to just be making music for the heck of it.

We’ve talked to a few bands that have hit that same wall, around 10-12 years in, like Tokyo Police Club who were close to splitting up, and The Trews after their greatest hits compilation was released.

It’s rare that a band changes trajectory after that amount of time. The first few years, a band could still become really huge if you came up with the right song. But once you’ve been around for as long as Hollerado or Tokyo Police Club or The Trews, you’re basically as big a band as you’re gonna get. There’s not really much you can do to blow it open. For us, it’s not like we’re raking in the money where it’s worth it to just keep touring and playing just for money. It’s a lot of work, so if you’re doing it just for money, it’s not worth it.

The response to your retirement tour has been quite strong, with quick sellouts. Did that plant any seed of doubt you should reconsider?

No, it reaffirmed it even more. These shows wouldn’t have sold out if we hadn’t made the announcement we were retiring. It’s not like we could go on another tour after this and sell as many tickets anyway.

So you aren’t going to be doing The Who reunion tour every year for the next 20 years.

No, that’s not the plan, that’s for sure. Obviously, you never say never. In some time, if someone offers us a huge chunk of money to come play a show again, we’ll do it if we’re feeling it. You can’t write those things off, but I don’t foresee that happening.

We’ve seen a lot of the 90s and early 2000s bands that broke up early on seem to be having success waiting a while then do reunion tours lately.

Yeah, I’ve seen a few of those working out. But it’s so far from my mind right now. We’re just focusing on the stuff we’re doing next. We all have cool stuff on the go.

What do you guys have on the horizon, individually?

A whole bunch of stuff. I’m busy as hell with the record label. We all have different musical projects. I’ve got a really cool single coming out with a bunch of other singers in Canadian rock bands. We all got together and made a band just for fun. Nick (Nixon Boyd) is producing a lot of stuff, him and I are doing stuff together, working on a couple of songs. Just keeping it going. There’s no big after project in the works, but these things start small and become something else. Jake (Boyd) is playing with a couple of the guys in Tokyo Police Club in one of their side projects (Girlfriend Material).

When are details going to drop for that supergroup of Canadian rock singers?

In probably six months or so? I haven’t actually told anybody about it yet, but you’ll hear about it.

This is the first time you’ve played HOPE since 2010, back when you opened for Hawksley Workman. Now you’ll be sharing the stage with The Beaches. Does it feel a bit like passing the torch?

I don’t think we’ve ever done a show with them. I see them around, we’re buds, but we’ve never done a show, so that will be nice. Bands are on their own schedules, so it’s hard to see shows of your friends unless you’re playing together.

Any nerves playing your hometown show?

No nerves at this point. We’ve been doing this for so long now. We’re calling this our retirement tour, so there’s no stakes. We want to have fun and put on a good show, but none of us care if we miss a couple notes here and there at this point. We have a ‘No Practice’ rule this year. No band practice at all. We’re going to go out the way we came in: not really taking it too seriously.

Check out Part 1 of our HOPE concert feature for our chat with The Beaches, and stay tuned for a special Hollerado announcement after the show on Apt613’s Twitter feed.

HOPE Volleyball SummerFest is being held this Saturday, July 13, at Mooney’s Bay Beach, starting at 2:30pm. If you haven’t registered to play in the tournament, you can still get tickets to the show at the gate for $27.