Maria Petersen photo
Hey Ocean!’s drummer has a few things to learn about touring.
But the local funk-pop outfit is more than happy to show their newest member, 19-year-old Dan Klenner, how to weather the next few weeks in their brand new, mint-green van.
“It’s like showing a really good movie to a friend who hasn’t seen it yet,” said bassist David Vertesi. “He’s never gone touring, aside from gigging around the Lower Mainland … (and since) this is our third or fourth time touring out East, (we know it’s) fun, but a lot of work too.”
Vertesi explained touring is filled with challenges, including long drives, rough weather, and over-zealous groupies.
But to help Klenner make the transition, the band outfitted themselves with the necessary equipment: walkie-talkies and a Nerf gun.
“Having that sense of energy is so much fun,” said Vertesi. “As for advice, there’s so much…We’ve had a lot happen to us on tour — a car accident, instruments stolen. You name it, it’s happened.”
Along with offering tips to Dan, whose walkie-talkie nickname is “Jerry Jay Johnson,” the band’s songs give listeners a glimpse into the touring life. Vertesi explained the band writes much of its material on the road. Approximately half the 20 songs they hope to record for their upcoming album were written in the van or a hotel. Vertesi said along with composing music, images of driving — from Rocky Mountain blizzards to fighting across car seats — find their way into the group’s lyrics.
“We used to be in complete denial about it, but we write a lot on the road,” said Vertesi. “(At home) we’re all students or have other jobs, so really the only time we have to specifically write is on the road. We’ll sit in the back of a car with a guitar, and instead of listening to tapes, play music.”