Interview: Nixon Boyd (Hollerado)

Interviews / News / Special Features / April 19, 2017

Our neighbors to the North have given the world many gifts over the years. Justin Trudeau and his impressive yoga skills, Tim Horton’s (and the eponymous Timbits), as well as both beloved bands and those of which everyone in the States seems to enjoy snarking on.

Hollerado is definitely in that first category. We had a nice email exchange with Nixon Boyd, guitarist for the Toronto-based band, about why the band is so fan-oriented, touring with Sum-41, nachos and more.

Modern Vinyl: To start, you seem incredibly fan-oriented. Why do you feel it’s important to establish a great community with your fan base?

Nixon Boyd: I think connecting with our fans is more of an instinct rather than a deliberate attempt to build a community. If someone likes our song, then it feels like we have something in common with them; it feels natural to connect with them from stage, in conversation after the show, or online. Our 111 Songs album is a good example of this — our fans sent us facts about them and we wrote them songs in return. We couldn’t have done this if we hadn’t felt we had such a strong relationship with our fans, because if they hadn’t been excited about the idea in the first place, we wouldn’t have had anyone to write songs for.

MV: The “111 Songs” project sounded like a lot of fun! The idea that you created custom songs for your fans is such a rarity in the scene today. Would you ever consider opening up that project again, as your fan base grows?

NB: It was a blast to do, but I doubt we will do it again. We really wanted to express our gratitude to what was a relatively small fanbase at the time, and it might compromise the authenticity of that gratitude if we were to try it again.

MV: “Born Yesterday” talks about community, but also incorporates some heavy themes, such as the current political climate as well as cancer. How do you manage to incorporate those heavy themes into something that’s catchy and upbeat, without feeling down about it all?

NB: I guess we tend to look for the silver lining in most situations. Part of that is remembering that we are part of a community, whether we are going through a positive experience or a negative one. The song “I Got You” is kind of a mantra in a materialistic world to remind us that what’s really important in life is each other, and “Don’t Shake” is an appeal for the people around us to be strong in the face of uncertainty. It’s by tying ourselves to a greater whole that we can stay positive, I guess.

MV: Speaking of the cancer thing, how are things going with you? How has the aforementioned community come together to help support you, as well as the band as a whole?

NB: I am completely in the clear now. The band and our close friends acted as a very supportive community, which I’m grateful for. Now we are all relieved that everything is okay and we can continue with our lives.

MV: You’re Canadian, yet you created a lyric video for “Grief Money” that focuses more on America’s president. How do American politics tend to fuel your creative process?

NB: As Canadians it’s impossible to ignore American politics. But with a president like Trump, it’s impossible to ignore American politics no matter where you’re from. As far as our creative process goes, I wouldn’t say we are influenced by American politics specifically, but political events in general do play a factor in our ideas.

MV: To go off that, how do you find yourselves coping in a political climate such as this one in today’s day and age?

NB: By writing songs like “Grief Money,” which was a way of coping with the political and economical climate of the time. And by using our resources to put out material such as the video that went along with that song, to focus in on what we’d really like to say and stand behind.

MV: You’ve recently completed a tour of the U.K. with Sum-41. What was that like, and what did you enjoy most about that tour?

NB: Aside from watching Sum 41 kick 4,000 pairs of ass cheeks every night, my favourite part of a night would be going out into the crowd after the show and trying to hawk our wares on people. We would learn a lot from what people had to say. If some German person told us that one of our songs sucked and they did not like us, we’d try and give that song a little more juice next time around in an attempt to hear that kind of feedback less. It’s a real challenge to try and impress Germans.

MV: When you’re not on the road, I’m sure you’re at home enjoying your record collections. If you were to randomly select two records from your collection and describe them to us, what would they be, and what stands out most about those selections?

NB: 1.Huey Lewis and the News – Sports.  This record will make any spring cleaning/household chores day feel like you’re sitting on your favourite patio that’s also in a park. And furthermore, there is a picnic beach there too.

2. Disney’s Tron: The Soundtrack. This record was on sale.I rarely put it on and have never made it through all four sides. I don’t really like this record because if I wanted to listen to Daft Punk I would just put on a Daft Punk record. I thought this record would be a good thing to put on when I play video games, but I don’t play video games so I really regret selecting this album for this question.

MV: On your Facebook, you cleverly have “nachos” as an interest. What would be your dream nacho creation?

NB: We’re glad you think it’s clever, not many people do. Our dream nachos would be a huge plate full of 100 dollar bills laid out to look like a huge stack of money. These would be expensive nachos, but the trick is not to eat them. Instead we’d take our nachos to the bank and deposit the whole meal. Now THOSE are clever nachos.

MV: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

NB: Yes. 3 and 85.  It’s 88.

“Born Yesterday” is available now on Royal Mountain Records. You can purchase a copy on their webstore, as a CD or vinyl. There are also three bundles available. The first features a copy of their CD or record, a T-shirt, enamel pin, and a blacklight keychain/bottle opener combo. The second features a hoodie in place of a T-shirt. The third bundle features both the hoodie and T-shirt. Our Canadian friends can catch them on tour in May and June.

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Meghin Moore
Meghin Moore is a Penn State grad and Pennsylvania native who resides in Virginia, happily nestled between Washington, D.C. and Richmond. She's the site's Managing Feature Editor, as well as one of the two Missaligned Podcast co-hosts. When she's not eating her weight in burritos or attending various concerts, she can often be found reading a book or trying to keep tabs on the latest news happening around the world.

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