On March 20th, David and comic book geek Tom from the bilingual Montreal punk/pop-rock band Hopeland took the time to sit down with me to talk about their “epic” music, their future, and their favourite parts of Montreal. They then headed on stage at Petit Campus to open up for Starstruck Avenue.
How long have you been playing together?
Tom: Not too long, actually…like, a year and a half. Hopeland began three years ago, but we met each other and now we just play together and have been for a year and a half.
How did you meet each other?
Tom: Facebook, I think.
David: Yeah, he was looking for a band member.
Tom: Yeah, that’s funny. I was looking for a band member and someone told me that he’s not a good guy, that he’s shitty and not good. I was like, “Okay…” I asked him anyway, “Do you want to play a gig with us?” and he said, “Oh yeah!” but he was in LA at that point.
David: Yeah, we were supposed to play a show together, but I wasn’t in town, so he had to take someone else and when I came back we met, and since then we’ve been in a band together.
Tom: It was love. Tough love.
How would you describe your music?
Tom: It’s pretty pop. It’s pop-rock. We like to incorporate some epic styles, some epic sounds. We want to sound different. I have a high voice so I just want to sing different and give some chills to the people.
David: Yeah, the actual sound is really pop-rock, but we’re looking for something different for the next album. So, we’re now working in studio for some different sounds, epic sounds, and a different melody.
Tom: We like to blend some styles and create something, not really new, but different.
When are you looking to release the album?
David: It may not going to be an album release, but maybe single after single. We’ve got one single coming out in April and it’s going to be a really epic song.
Tom: We want an album, but now in the industry, it’s better to just release some really good songs one by one, and then after that, you can blend some of those songs and make it an album. Now we’re actually trying to find some label, paying for all the studio time is really expensive. But for now, we’re just going to release singles.
Out of all your songs that you’ve either recorded or performed so far, which is your favourite?
David: My favourite song we’re playing right now is not released yet, and it’s called “I Get That Feeling”. You can’t listen to it on the internet now, but on April 1st or 2nd, it’s going to go up.
Tom: I think mine is “Time of Our Lives”, our single now. We have a video for that song, and I love it because I can use my high voice for the full capacity so it’s really exciting for me to sing like that. I love it.
Who are your musical inspirations?
Tom: For me, it’s probably 30 Seconds to Mars. Jared Leto is a kind of role model for me.
David: For me, Fall Out Boy. I love Linkin Park and 30 Seconds to Mars too.
Tom: Some old stuff too, like The Beatles and Led Zep. I think it’s all part of us.
What inspires you to write music?
Tom: For me, it’s probably moments I lived through, or girls, relationships, society, the world.
David: Life, in general.
What’s your favourite part about Montreal?
David: Chinatown. I love Chinatown, because I love Chinese food. It’s one of my favourite places about Montreal.
Tom: I have a favourite place – I love smoking hookah or shisha, and the hookah lounge on St. Denis Street is my favourite place. It’s so quiet, it’s such good shit, and you feel so relaxed.
What are you looking forward to most in the coming year?
Tom: Probably writing some other songs, and doing some shows. We’re also doing a tour, and releasing our next video single across Canada. We have to do shows now.
On your upcoming tour, is there one place in particular at which you’re excited about playing?
Tom: I love to play Montreal, because it’s all our families, our friends. I love to play in Toronto too because it’s a big city and we’re French people so when we’re going to Toronto and I sing people say, “Oh yeah, you have a beautiful accent. I love it, it’s cute.” I love it.
David: I love Quebec City a lot.
Tom: Quebec City is like a big village.
What would be your ultimate dream, musically?
Tom: Making a living off of music. If I can just wake up in the morning and say, “Oh, what do I have to do today? Play music”. That’s what I want. I don’t want to be rich, I don’t want to be famous, I just want to play music like that, all the time, and play shows.
David: Same – to do this for a living. Wake up, play music, party, sleep.
Tom: Party? I’m too old for that.
Written and Compiled by Franca G. Mignacca
Header photo by Jeremie Tremblay