New school album for old school Johnnie Dee

Honeymoon Suite's Johnnie Dee discussed the very contemporary way the band went about raising funds for their latest album.

New school album for old school Johnnie Dee

Johnnie Dee, lead singer for Honeymoon Suite, has no problem admitting he is an “old school” guy.

It was a bit of a fish-out-of-water experience for him to have the band’s upcoming album be funded by fans online.

Honeymoon Suite was shopping around seven new songs to different record producers, when the companies themselves suggested the band check out PledgeMusic.

“I was totally not into it. I’m so old school. What the hell is PledgeMusic? Then (guitarist) Derry (Grehan) said ‘let’s give it a shot,’” Dee said.

Eventually, Dee came around, and with 354 people pledging what they can the campaign has surpassed its goal.

“After two weeks, the success of it, after just a couple weeks, the people who were interested in seven new tracks, it was just amazing, so we kept it going and it was just, wow,” Dee said. “I’m not just talking Canada, I’m talking all over the world.”

It’s the first new music from Honeymoon Suite in eight years.

“It was the right decision, and it’s like you really know who your fans are. It’s kind of what keeps us going,” Dee said.

The truly Canadian band, their name a nod to the notorious honeymoon town from which Dee hails, Niagara Falls, where he still lives, has found a fanbase in the U.S. as well, with support coming for the new as-of-yet unnamed, crowdfunded EP.

While the method of getting the EP out to fans is new school, the basis of songs started in a very old fashioned way for Dee. He and Grehan would meet up in person to work out some songs on acoustic guitar.

“We basically started with acoustic guitars, we started there, and said, oh yeah, we got something. Don’t make a record if you’ve got nothing,” Dee said. “We were just going to put out four tracks, now we’ve got more than seven tracks, but it’s just the timing of it. It got to the point where it was, OK, let’s put this out, people are into it,” Dee said.

The seven new songs will be accompanied by two recordings from the Andy Kim Christmas show at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto

“People like us live for some reason, I don’t know,” Dee laughed.

Another newer method for music production, at least new to Dee, was composing the album by sending parts recorded in a Toronto studio to Dee, who would sing in Niagara Falls.

“It’s all this, the only word I can think of is friggin’, online stuff, which is really difficult. The days of what we had in the past, spending two months in a studio with the whole band which was great, which we’ve always done in the past, they’re gone,” Dee said, though he would like to launch back into the old ways off the success of the new EP. “It’s hard for me because it’s new school, and I’m so old school, but I’m getting used to it. If good things happen with these seven tracks and we can come out with another record sooner than later, I’m going to make sure we get together and stay in a studio and say this is where we’re going to be for the next month. But it worked, everybody is doing it nowadays, they’re making records in their houses and stuff, it’s hard to communicate via online, but the point is we started writing with acoustic guitars and that was the coolest thing.”

The album is going into the mastering stage, and Dee anticipates a release sometime in late August or September.

Catch Honeymoon Suite at the Penticton Peach Festival on the Peter Bros. Construction main stage on Aug. 5.