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Tour Update: Germany

Today we’re heading to the UK after a great little weekend in Germany. Our time was filled with all our favorite German things: bicycles (props to Germans, who are tough enough to bike on 4 degree days in November), Milka bars, mustard in tubes, mulled wine and in Mike’s case, Club-Mate. Club-Mate is a carbonated ice tea that we don’t get back home. Try it. Given we had three different shows in three different parts of the country, we didn’t have enough time to get to a German Christmas market, but rest assured we are still very much getting into the holiday spirit.

This European tour marks the first of the band’s Rally Cry headline shows so we’ve been playing plenty of new songs every night; and getting to revisit some seldom played old songs too – we pulled out Cynical Bastards last night in Hamburg and Ballad of Hugo Chavez on Friday night in Cologne. If there’s an oldie but a goodie that you want to hear, get Max’s attention on social media. He’s an easy sell.

As much as we try to stay on the road, it had been two long years since we’d been to Deutschland and we were long overdue to get back. Thank you to everyone who came out to see us in Cologne, Berlin and Hamburg this weekend despite the lengthy layoff. It really is a treat to play in such wonderful cities in such a great country and we hope to be back sooner rather than later.

This week we’ve got shows all over the UK in Bristol, Manchester, London and Glasgow. See ya on the island.

Nick

Tour Update: DC

Photo Cred: Ashton Garner

Last night we kicked off the final week of the St. Lucia tour in Washington at the legendary 9:30 Club. On the eve of what feels like the most important mid-term elections in recent memory, we played had the opportunity to play at one of the capitol’s most beloved venues.

The 9:30 Club is constantly outdoing itself when it comes to hospitality and it’s treatment of touring bands and crews. Whether it’s the homemade cup cakes they leave in the dressing room or the onsite laundry (because we can only turn our boxers and socks inside out so many times – don’t judge), the 9:30 Club is one of the friendliest places to play in the country.

We’ve been road-testing songs from the new record on this tour and in honor of being in the American capitol, we decided to debut Company Man – one of the record’s politically inspired jams. Playing new songs can feel a bit like Bambi trying to walk on ice, but we made it through and despite the initial tepidness, it’s always a fun challenge to take on as a band. We’ve also been experimenting with a new cover or two to drop on ya. Keep your ears open for that at our upcoming headline shows.

This week we finish up our dates with St. Lucia in Philly, New Haven, Jersey and Boston and then it’s off to Europe for some headline shows in Germany and the UK with our dear friends Felix Hagan and the Family. Hope to see ya at a show soon!

Nick

Tour Kickoff

Photo Cred: Ryan Magnani

Rally Cry is officially out in the world. And the is band officially out in the world on tour supporting it.

Before we hit the road, we celebrated the record release at Union Station in Toronto. We had a great time meeting some new friends and printing some new shirts. We also wanted to give a special thanks to everyone who donated clothing to New Circles – your kindness and generosity is much appreciated.

We’ve managed to stave off Canadian winter for a few weeks while we’re on tour in the southern United States with St. Lucia. This past week we played shows in Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma and the great state of Texas. We plan to re-introduce vegetables to our diet as soon as we get outta barbeque country. We’ve had some fried okra here and there but that sure doesn’t count. 

St. Lucia have been the best hosts you could ever ask for and it’s been a real treat watching them play every night. And speaking of new records, their new record Hyperion is required fall listening. The live show is even better. 

This Friday we announced some Canadian shows for early 2019. We should be announcing some additional 2019 USA dates soon too. We’ve been road testing the new songs and watching our favorite artists’ shows all year long. We’ve been taking notes and we’re excited to integrate all of the fun into our own headline shows. You can grab tickets here. If we have sold out, and you’re frustrated with paying over face value to get into the show – we completely understand. We promise that we will be back again and we don’t want you paying inflated prices for our tickets – whether it’s on Stubhub or Ticketmaster. But for now, that is a problem for another day. There are still some tickets available (although not in all sections) for the Canadian tour. Grab em now so ya don’t have to deal with scalpers later.

Happy Halloween!!!

Nick

RALLY CRY DAY

Today we are releasing the band’s 5th studio album Rally Cry. The record began last September in the studio when we recorded People’s Champ and now we will release our five-person musical love child into the wild. We’ve spent the last month having some fun sharing a few of the songs with you in what are new ways for us. We hope you had as much fun as we did.

This afternoon we will celebrate the release in Toronto at Union Station where we will be setting up a pop up shop. We will have copies of the new record (obvi) and we are setting up a printing press to print some custom, limited edition Rally Cry t-shirts. In the “hand me downs” spirit, if you bring an old t-shirt, we will turn it into a custom Arkells shirt for ya. And more importantly in the hand me down spirit, please do bring any gently used winter clothing that isn’t needed, as we are collecting donations for New Circles Community Services. Winter is a tough time for lots of people so let’s help make it a little easier on them by keeping a bunch of our friends warm this year.

Despite the requisite excitement and nervousness when launching a new record, as someone in a band the biggest feeling that comes with releasing a record for me is gratitude. Getting a record across the finish line and out into the world takes a lot of work and we are very lucky to be surrounded by people that are passionate, caring and hard working to help make it happen – to everyone who works with us: thank you for doing the hard work so we can do the fun stuff. And to anyone who listens to our band or comes to our shows: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU – we only get to do what we do because we have your ears and eyes. This lil guy is just as much yours as it is ours and we are forever grateful.

After today we’re going to do what we always do. Hit the road and tour the dang thing. We’re in the US and Europe this fall and are announcing Canadian dates tomorrow.

See you soon and thank you always,
Nick

Rally Cry: Coming Soon!

Credit: Jess Baumung

 

Greetings Friends,

With the calendar turning to October, the release of our new record Rally Cry is just around the corner. 

In the weeks leading up to the release, we’ve been trying to have as much fun as we can sharing our new music with everyone. Last week we took over our favorite Toronto karaoke bar to scream  sing our hearts out and hangout with some of our Toronto friends and fans – in the spirit of our new song Only For a Moment. We captured some of the footage and will continue to share it with everyone who wasn’t there. It will be just like being there, except you have to listen to Britney Spears.

This week we opened up our American Screams hotline. Feel free to call in (1-888-426-8856) and listen to American Screams, another new song that will be a part of Rally Cry. You can also leave us a message if you have any questions/complaints or set requests. We’re also looking for some new moves in the kitchen – if anyone has any great fall recipes, please do call in and share them with us. We’ve got one more song to show ya before release day so keep your eyes and ears peeled for that in the coming weeks as well.

In addition to the song teases, we’ve been training hard to get these new songs road ready – lots of pushups, long-distance running and carb loading. We debuted Relentless at Bumbershoot in Seattle last month and will be debuting a few more songs from the new record when we hit the road with St. Lucia stateside in a couple weeks. 

We are going to be all over the USA, UK and Europe this fall. We will be announcing more dates in both Canada and the US for 2019 in the near future. And due to technological advances available to the band, all Rally Cry tour dates will be presented in 3D (no glasses necessary). 

Enjoy the beginning of fall and hope to see and hear from you all soon!

Nick

Rally Cry & Relentless

Cred: Jess Baumung
 
Friendos,
 
If you’re on this website you probably know that the band is getting ready to release its fifth studio album of music songs this October. If you didn’t, then there ya go: new album Rally Cry is out October 19 and new single Relentless is out now. 
 
Getting ready to release a record is a lot like getting ready for a holiday. There’s a lot of coordinating, scheduling, preparation and excitement. Except instead of making a turkey you have to shoot a music video and new press photos. They take the same amount of time as making a holiday meal, but instead of getting to eat gravy and stuffing, you try to make cool guy faces and lament eating too much gravy and stuffing the last time you actually got to eat gravy and stuffing.
 
Promotional materials aside, the band is very excited to release and perform the new songs. Making music and playing it live (along with consuming pizza) is at the heart of what we do as a band and why we love to do it. 
 
We made the record the only way we could in the past two years – in between tours. Whenever we had a break in our touring schedule we would pop into Toronto and record the ideas that would eventually become Rally Cry. Producer/crypto currency guru/speculator Eric Ratz and engineers Trevor Anderson and Andrew Leyenhorst helped refine our ideas, ensure we made the most of the time we had and help keep in-studio political diatribes (*cough* Tony *cough*) to a minimum. We were lucky to work with them.
 
From our perspective, we like to think that we’ve explored some new ground and taken some new directions on this record. We used a sample for the first time, a kids choir (let me tell you, they work cheap*) and a lot of bass octave pedal.
 
The songs are about being inspired by many of the people in our communities and being frustrated by others. 
 
But far be it from me to tell you what the new record is like. 
 
We will be playing songs off the new record all fall while we are on tour in the USA and Europe. A Canadian tour and more American dates are in the works too. We are coming to a town near you. And to all those people who choose to liberally define “town near you” for the purpose of coming to watch a show, thank you. We promise not get too full before the show or too hungry during it and to always try our best for ya.
 
See you soon,
 
Nick
 
 

About this Month…

Cred: Nathan Nash

To say that it’s been a memorable few weeks would be an understatement. Thank you to everyone who came to the Rally. June 23rd was a very special day for us, not just because of the show, but because of all the wonderful friends, artists and neighbors from the community that we got to share the day with. It will not soon be forgotten. Our full thank you is posted here.

And speaking of things that won’t soon be forgotten, June 22nd marked the arrival of the newest member of the Arkells family – Anthony’s son, Oscar, who was born the day before the Rally. He’s super adorable and to the surprise of most, despite being alive for less than three weeks, he still doesn’t scream as much as his father. But to be fair, most of the screaming Tony does it at the TV (when Fox news is on).

Since then, we’ve been back on the road at played some pretty memorable shows. Last week we were in Ottawa for Canada Day, where we played on Parliament Hill in what was officially our hottest outdoor performance ever. We have a no shorts on stage rule that was very rigorously contested that day. I won’t say by who, but I will say they looked slightly uncomfortable when meeting the foreign dignitaries after the performance.

This weekend we went up north to play in Sudbury and Thunder Bay. While neither was our first trip to each city, it was our first in sometime. Thunder Bay is truly beautiful in the summer. The evergreen trees and rock shield that line Lake Superior made for a beautiful backdrop for the Thunder Bay Blues Fest. And we were honored for the opportunity to play with Sheryl Crow and Sarah McLachlan. As picturesque as Thunder Bay was, Bell Park in Sudbury gave TBay a run for its money, and we had a great time helping to kick off the Northern Lights Festival. We will be back sooner rather than later.

We’re gonna spend the next couple weeks working on mixing and mastering the new record before we head to PEI (another place we haven’t been in a lil’ bit) and all over the damn place at the end of July and into early August.

See ya then,

Nick

Rally Market

Hey All,

As we get closer and closer to the Rally, our summer kickoff show in Hamilton, we’re going to be announcing different events and festivities around the city in conjunction with the concert.

This week, we announced the Rally Market we are hosting in conjunction with Hamilton Flea outside of the Cannon Street entrance to Tim Hortons Field. The market will be open from 1pm till 5pm on show day (June 23) and will showcase some of the city’s best artists, designers and food trucks. The market is free and open to the public, but we recommend that you stick around for the show too. If ya haven’t got your tickets already, you can get them here. If you’re saving money to pay for a new air conditioner (it’s summer, we feel you), we’ve released some $24 tickets in the bleachers that should be in your price range, too.

Our friends at Merit Brewery also announced a limited edition beer and sausage to commemorate the show. They both come highly recommended and the beer is being sold in a limited edition commemorative bottle starting this Saturday.

We have a few more fun events and plans to roll out surrounding the show so keep your eyes on our social accounts in the coming weeks. See ya at the showwwwwwww.

 

Nick

Tour Wrap

We back. After four weeks without playoff hockey and proper Mexican food, we are back in our home and native land. But when you give you get, and we were treated to a month’s worth of curries, cask ales, and most importantly, the chance to meet and play for some incredible music fans every night on the Be More Kind tour.

We are going to miss out gracious tour hosts Frank Turner and our tour mate Derek (aka the Homeless Gospel Choir). We actually loved Derek so much that we started a punk band with him. But we will be seeing them again real soon. And you should too. Derek and Frank both put on incredibly entertaining live shows and you absolutely need go to the show when they roll through your town.

For everyone back here in North America, we are getting ready for our festival shows this summer and putting the finishing touches on our new record. Stay tuned on more info on these happenings next month. More importantly, our wonderful manager Ashley was recognized with the Manager of the Year award at the Canadian Music Week LIMA Awards!

Needles to say we are thrilled for her. Ash is one of the smartest and hardest working people in music. She is also tirelessly positive and this couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person. Her hard work and amazing spirit makes everything better (and easier) for the five of us in the band. Congrats, MOTY, you deserve it.

Nick

UK Tour Week 4

Photo Cred: Shot by Simmons

Just when we were getting used to the cool, grey weather that is so common here on the islands of the North Atlantic, the sun has come out and we’ve been treated to some pretty beautiful spring weather in London and Southend-on-sea over the past few days.

As always, the shows this week past have been a treat. In addition to Southend, we played the hollowed university towns of Oxford and Cambridge. Both of which put the architecture of Canadian universities (and Canada in general) to shame. This really shouldn’t be a surprise given both institutions were founded five hundred years before Canada was. The Corn Exchange in Cambridge is a refurbished old venue with a pretty rich musical history. It’s equally impressive that the same venue that hosted David Bowie, Oasis, Queen and Iron Maiden was also used to trade cattle. Which has given us a good idea for our next headline tour…

Oxford is a particularly special place to us because dear friend of the band/McMaster University history professor Dr. Mat Savelli, worked on both his MA and his PhD at St. Antony’s College. He is the one responsible for introducing the band British chocolate, betting shops and football (we’ve been to White Heart Lane twice) and in this case, the best places to check out in Oxford. We love him for it (amongst many other more important qualities).

This week we finish up our time here in the UK with shows in Hull, Norwich and London before heading back to North America on Sunday.

But most importantly this week, we want to give a special shout out to our tour host, Frank Turner, whose new record, Be More Kind, was released this past Friday. Be More Kind has become a fast favorite and been in heavy rotation in both the van and my phone all week. Frank and the band have made another fantastic record well deserving of both your attention and your support. Congrats to them on releasing another gem.