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8 Questions with Hollerado, a redux

Back [in early May](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/articles/blogs-shanghai/shanghai-the-beat-new/8-questions-w-hollerado/), Manotick, Ontario four-piece [Hollerado](http://www.hollerado.cn/), crossed the pond to play shows in Beijing, Shanghai and [Shenzhen](http://www.chinatravel.net/china-destinations/shenzhen/cityintroduction-63.html) as part of the [transmitChina](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/articles/blogs-shanghai/shanghai-the-beat-new/blame-canada-transmitchinas-ambassadors-of-music/) musical exchange, and ended up bumming their way through [Hubei](http://www.chinatravel.net/china-destinations/hubei/provinceintroduction-20.html), [Hunan](http://www.chinatravel.net/china-destinations/hunan/provinceintroduction-21.html), [Shaanxi](http://www.chinatravel.net/china-destinations/shaanxi/provinceintroduction-26.html) and [Sichuan](http://www.chinatravel.net/china-destinations/sichuan/provinceintroduction-6.html), offering up servings of their raw and raucous rock and roll to any audience that would have them. Unfortunately, after a month in China, their visas ran out and the band was forced to return to the Canadian tundra, where they immediately started concocting a scam that would help them return east. What resulted was winning $250,000 at the [Live 88.5 big money shot](http://www.live885.com/index.asp?id=3785&mn=10&cc=1), landing an opening slot for current buzz band [The Dead Weather](http://thedeadweather.com/), a series of bookings in Brazil and Argentina, and an invitation from [Split Works](http://www.spli-t.com) to headline a 14-date tour through China, which hits the [Yuyintang](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/nightlife/live_music/has/yuyintang/) stage on [Sunday, December 5th](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/events/55979/). “Hollerado showed that they just want to do everything possible to play to as many people as they can,” comments Split’s Archie Hamilton. “They were completely insane . . . we were really happy to have them back.” In anticipation of their second China tour in 2009, Hollerado: Menno Versteeg (vocals, guitar), Nixon Boyd (guitar), Jake Boyd (drums), Dean Baxter (bass); indulged us in a little “8 Questions with” action . . . City Weekend: Hollerado was just in China. It's really rare that a band comes here twice, let alone in one year, so how did this second trip come about? Dean Baxter: We fell in love with China the first time around. The people were so nice everywhere we went: on the street, in the clubs, everywhere. The food is some of the best we've ever tasted and the shows are the best. It was clear to everyone on the flight home that we had to get back as soon as possible. We started working on it as soon as we got home and thankfully it was a success! Our Chinese promoters were willing to have us back and I'm sure it won't be our last trip to China. CW: What have you been up to for the past seven months? Menno Versteeg: It's been a blur. We did a cross Canada tour which was fun. One of the highlights has been competing in the Live 88.5 big money shot radio station from Ottawa is giving away a quarter million bucks as part of a contest to help promote the Ottawa music scene. We are playing in the grand finals on November 27th . . . the outcome is pretty much gonna determine whether we take planes to China or if we are gonna have to swim. Nixon Boyd: We've also been writing a lot, working on our next record. It's not close to being done but we're always thinking about new songs and our trip to China in the spring has been a huge inspiration! CW: I've spoken with some Chinese folks who saw you guys at MIDI and said the show was pretty bitchin. What are your thoughts on last April/May's tour? What were the highlights of the tour? What do you miss about China? MV: I miss everything. it was such a mind-bending tour for us. The air in China smells different than in Canada and I'm looking forward to smelling Chinese air again. And eating [eggplant](http://www.chinatravel.net/forum/HUngry-Dan-s-Dish-of-the-Day-Yuxiang-Qiezi/2600.html). DB: The food in [Chengdu](http://www.chinatravel.net/china-destinations/chengdu/cityintroduction-46.html) was the best food that ever entered my mouth. I've never been so adventurous with my tastes, I couldn't stop eating everything, I miss that the most. I'm a food guy. NB: The Chinese culture seems very wise to me. That tour showed me how much hard work is going into developing Chinese cities with construction and likewise, the way young Chinese bands are building a scene for music. We met a band called Toy Pony in [Changsha](http://www.chinatravel.net/china-destinations/changsha/cityintroduction-118.html) and they played some cover songs by bands like the Strokes! To me, half the battle is choosing your influences and it seems like bands like Toy Pony are on the right track by playing great songs. CW: I notice you guys have written and recorded a song in Chinese. What's up with that? How'd the song come about? NB: We don't speak Mandarin but the inspiration was there to record a Chinese song. For those songs, we tried to focus on singing about the best things we noticed about China and the way they are so different from the things we love about Canada. For example, there is a line about the importance of a journey to [the Great Wall](http://www.chinatravel.net/china-attractions/great-wall-of-china-at-badaling/introduction-4.html), which is a marvelous structure worth visiting, and also a line asking whether the Beatles, who we love, are popular in China. I guess making those songs was a way to express our love for the huge differences between our two cultures that can be appreciated by both. CW: Last time you were here you stayed and played some extra shows in [Wuhan](http://www.chinatravel.net/china-destinations/wuhan/cityintroduction-75.html) and Chengdu, and this time around you're getting in even deeper, doing 14 shows in 19 days in cities like [Kunming](http://www.chinatravel.net/china-destinations/kunming/cityintroduction-21.html), [Chongqing](http://www.chinatravel.net/china-destinations/chongqing/cityintroduction-100.html), [Tianjin](http://www.chinatravel.net/china-destinations/tianjin/cityintroduction-8.html), [Guilin](http://www.chinatravel.net/china-destinations/guilin/cityintroduction-65.html) and [Qingdao](http://www.chinatravel.net/china-destinations/qingdao/cityintroduction-78.html). Do you intend to keep coming back to China to hit up every city in the country? What are your thoughts on doing such an extensive tour at such a breakneck speed? MV: I personally wish we had more time to explore. That being said, touring is a great way to see a lot of a place in a short amount of time. We intend to keep touring China for the rest of our careers, hopefully that leaves lots of time to see the sights and meet everyone in China. CW: Speaking of touring, you guys are currently in the middle of your "Half World" tour. How'd the larger tour come about? Have you guys become more renown since your participation in transmitChina? How do you think transmitChina helped the growth of Hollerdao? DB: transmitChina really helped us cover some ground, by sending us to China in the first place. If it wasn't for Transmit we would not have thought of coming here (or been able to for that matter). We got to play at shows like Midi, exposing our music to a few thousand festival goers - that helped put Hollerado on the map for music lovers and club-going kids in China. It was also great playing shows in other cities like Chengdu, Wuhan and Changsha because I'm sure they haven't heard of us before and it's always exciting putting yourself out there for the first time. We saw a great initial reaction from the audience, so we're all really anxious to come back again! NB: It showed us that our music is fun for Chinese rockers, which is amazing! Watching people enjoy a Hollerado show at such a distance from our home is exciting and we are coming back to China with even more confidence and energy than before! Chinese fans quickly became acquainted with your exciting, party-esque live shows, what can they expect this time around from Hollerado? DB: We're going to bring that high energy atmosphere back to the crowds, and hopefully have lots of interaction between the audience and us. They can expect a fun, sweaty show and lots of smiles. Jake Boyd: It has to be high energy, that's the only type of show we know how to play. CW: For people that missed you the first time around, what would you say to get people out to any of your shows in December? DB: We love having fun, and making sure everyone else in the room is having fun, whatever that means. We usually try to see how far we can go with having fun on stage, and what we can get away with on stage, which seemed to be a lot when we were in China, like showing everyone our suction-cup massage bruises in Wuhan. Hopefully with some familiar faces in the audience we'll try to go a little further. NB: Our style of music will get you on your feet in a familiar way, but it might surprise you! Come see us with a group of friends and have a drink with us after. We'll all have a good time.

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