Two of the most rip-roaring Canadian indie rock bands have joined forces and are taking the country by storm.
Hollerado and PUP bring their energetic live shows to Saskatoon on Nov. 5 at Amigos Cantina.
Speaking with Metro from the tour van after playing the Halifax Pop Explosion, lead singer of Hollerado Menno Versteeg said the band’s best concerts blur the lines between the stage and the crowd.
“Last night we couldn’t even hear ourselves because everyone was singing out of key and really loud,” said Versteeg.
One of the ways the power-pop group from Ottawa achieve this is through their tunes that go straight for the heart.
“We all like a memorable hook,” he said.
Even on “So It Goes,” a track off their latest record White Paint set set during the Second World War, he manages to find the silver lining in a tragic period.
The lyrics are based on true events wherein Versteeg’s grandfather, a resistance fighter in the Netherlands, had his life spared by a German soldier.
“It’s one of the darkest times in history, but that is what I like about the story,” he said. “It is a moment of humanness and there’s something uplifting in that context.”
Versteeg also runs the Royal Mountain Records label, and recently signed PUP, a promising group of scrappy punks from Toronto who just released their self-titled debut album.
With Hollerado having opened for the likes of Jack White and Billy Talent, Versteeg said he sees similar career highs in PUP’s future.
“They’re a great band and good dudes with heads on their shoulders,” he said. “And they’re willing to work hard. If you’ve got those things, you don’t need luck.”
Emerging from the all-ages punk scene in Toronto left a lasting impression on the members of PUP.
“When we were kids it made us not want to just get drunk on Friday nights in our friend’s basement,” said principal songwriter Stefan Babcock. “Instead we wanted to go to our friend’s basement and play music.”
But they haven’t forgotten their roots and with more fans coming aboard everyday, Babcock said their shows are sloppier and sweatier than ever.
“There’s nothing that the four of us find more fun than playing in front of people,” he said.
Babcock added that the guys in Hollerado have been mentors for his band as they transition to this next level.
“They are really supportive of what we do and how we do it,” he said. “They’re taking us on their tour, and that’s a big thing to us.”