Legendary band returns to Peach Festival

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

Honeymoon Suite is returning to the Peach Festival next week.

Honeymoon Suite is returning to the Peach Festival next week.

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 band is continually playing shows, going strong since 1981, and Dee feels like the old days, playing 18 dates in a row sometimes, is bringing about dividends.

“It’s finally coming to fruition now, all that work. Now we can fly in, do two, three, four shows and come back home. Fly out again. None of this bus stuff, which is a real pain. But it’s all good. We’re really in a good spot right now. It feels good,” 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 fan base 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.

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