Men Without Hats kick off Canadian tour in Victoria
Men Without Hats is picking up right where it left off — at the Strathcona Hotel.
“Our last show in 1991 was at the same club we’re starting our tour this time around,” says front man Ivan Doroschuk. “I don’t know what it was called back then, but I do remember staying at the Strathcona Hotel and I remember running into the manager at the bar and he said ‘You better put on a good show tonight’ and I said ‘why?’ and he said ‘you’ll have to put on a pretty good show to out do the show your roadies put on last night in my club.’ I haven’t been in there since, but we’ll be good this time,” he chuckles.
That club, which was called Legends then, is now Club 9one9.
After almost a 20-year hiatus, Doroschuk, who’s turning 54 this year, is ready to hit the road with the Dance If You Want Tour, making almost 10 stops across Canada before heading south to tour the United States with the B52s and Human League.
The new wave band was made famous by its hits “Safety Dance” and “Pop Goes the World” before breaking up in the ’90s. Expect to hear these hits among others on the set list.
“There’s no album to push. It’s just me going out there, playing the songs that people want to hear. It’s awesome to be able to do that,” he says. “There’s no pressure to promote anything, I’m not watching any charts, I’m not checking sales. I’m doing this purely for enjoyment. It’s a good feeling.”
Doroschuk made an appearance at this year’s Rifflandia Festival to adoring crowds. The band also played South by Southwest this past March in Austin, Texas. “It felt like riding a bicycle. It felt really great. I’ve been away too long,” he says.
Doroschuk credits the “Safety Dance” making appearances on shows like the Simpsons, Family Guy, Glee and Gossip Girl for picking up a younger audience.
“We’ve reached a whole new audience with shows like Glee. It’s really cool to see how we have our original fans and the younger generations,” he says.
Doroschuk has been living in Victoria for the last 10 years, living as a stay-at-home dad to his son. He’s ready to begin touring again now that his son has grown up.
“My son is old enough to understand and appreciate what I’m doing. He found out about ‘Safety Dance’ with the Crazy Frog. It never really clicked before then.
“When the kids at school found out, they were all over him. I’ve been keeping a low profile and it’s great — people expect me to be seven feet tall because they always saw me dancing next to a little person,” he laughs.
After the tour, the Hats will hit the studio to record some new material. M