Our triumphant return to live music – aka our first shows back onstage, after 16 months, will be August 13th, 14th and 15th for three back-to-back, once-in-a-return-from-pandemic history making nights at Toronto’s Iconic Budweiser Stage.
It’s been a long haul, but we kept telling ourselves to be patient – when shows come back, we’re going to do it big, and we’re going to do it right. And that time is now. These shows are billed as ARKELLS LONG WEEKEND because it’ll feel like a celebration that we’ve yearned to have together. There’s no better place for it.
Tickets go on-sale Friday July 16th at 10 AM.
These will operating as reduced capacity shows in accordance with provincial regulations – so hop to it!
More dates are coming. We will start practicing now – see you in 4 weeks!
Max, Tim, Mike, Anthony, Nick
BLINK ONCE IS COMING
July 8, 2021
Now more than ever, it seems our lives can change in the blink of an eye. We began working on this album before the world changed and this title felt right given where we’ve collectively landed. Everyday you wake up and you think you know a lot of stuff, then it turns out – you don’t.
Blink Once was started in LA and completed in Toronto. Who knew that when we started rolling it out with “Years In The Making” in 2020, we were literally kicking off a global multi-year come back to reality. These songs have LEGS. It’s truly exciting to officially launch the Blink Once era. The gang’s all here: “You Can Get It” is STILL your fave pump up jam of the summer (#ForzaBroughtMeHere), and we are so proud to lend “All Roads” to the #TogetherAgain campaign.
It wouldn’t feel right to announce Blink Once without a song that’s sure to put you in the mood for a proper Arkells live show. This is why “One Thing I Know” is here to get the party started. This song is about not being ashamed of who you are and where you come from. The best version of yourself lets your colours show – to feel free, weird and unburdened by all the things out of our control.
Get vaccinated. We’re real close. See you at a show. They are coming.
Max, Tim, Mike, Anthony, Nick
Arkells + K.Flay = “You Can Get It”
March 25, 2021
“You Can Get It” announces itself from the first note and asks a very simple question: “Tell me what you want?” The sentiment, much like its sound is both fearless and steadfast. We want you to think big after feeling this song for the first time.
We recorded YCGI with our friend K.Flay in LA prior to 2020’s lockdown. Since then, the song has taken on a new sense of relevance and urgency we couldn’t have predicted prior to being stuck inside for the last year. It feels like the sun is finally coming out, and the song is about being free to chase down every dream and desire.
When we started writing this song, the world felt dark. We were looking for answers. You look to people who give you energy. You look for little moments that can lead you on a new path. Collaborating with K.Flay gave us that jolt. She turned the song on its head and drove it home. Our band is always evolving and growing, and she’s now in the family.
While we were setting up the track, K.Flay shared a pointed quote about the tune: “This song is about finding your momentum, the potential energy that’s inside of you. The future doesn’t just feel unknowable – it feels impossible. We wanted this song to feel like possibility. Like the world is opening up. Like you are powerful.”
We hope this song gives you that jolt that you’re longing for these days.
Max, Anthony, Mike, Tim, Nick
Added “A Little More” to Campfire Chords
October 28, 2020
If this song was a movie, there’d be a disclaimer at the beginning that reads “The following is based on a true story.” Our latest release A Little Morecomes as a *new* edition to Campfire Chords. The tune was written with a nod to our piano man Tony – an undisputed wizard on the keys. He’s been playing since he was a small child and we promise we have adorable photos to prove it. When Tony was a young kid, his musician-dad sold a bunch of his own gear in order to buy an upright piano for Tony to learn to play. This story of love, dedication and sacrifice felt befitting of a song itself – we hope you feel it too.
Sonically, this stripped back project felt like a reflection of the year we’ve been living in. In the winter of 2020 we taught online music classes; coming together with fans all over the world. Come spring we took that intel into each of our home studios and recorded the Campfire Chords album while apart. In the summer we got to share the album with you and the band got to be together again to play these renditions for the first time. As we head back indoors for the winter, we come full circle on the project with a new BOOK so you have all the tools to play at home. The Campfire Chords project was a new journey for us, and we’re pleased to report that it’s still expanding, with the addition of theCampfire Chords guitar chord book as a companion piece to the album. We made sure to include even more of our catalogue, with 33 songs that we expect you all to learn IN FULL in the coming months. We’ve been known to bring a fan or two on stage to play along with us, now everyone has equal warning and time to prep. Can’t wait.
Max, Mike, Tim, Nick & Tony
Campfire Chords Is Here
August 19, 2020
We’re always trying to interact with the world in a way that feels true to us. When quarantine sent us home, the world got a little more quiet. In 2020, a lot of the music that brought us comfort was a little more tender, a little more sweet.
We’ve always had to make our luck. If there’s an ethos to our band it’s that if we’re putting in good and honest work, one thing will lead to another and we’ll have something to show for it. We’re always building on the last thing we did.
The path to Campfire Chords looked like this: Quarantine -> #FlattenTheCurveMusicClass, teaching Arkellians how to play our songs acoustically -> Fans demanding acoustic versions of these recordings -> Recording Years In The Making acoustically at home -> 3-4 months of recording from home = Campfire Chords. But none of these things happen without the thing before it. And to us, it’s a beautiful thing to know that everything is connected.
We’ve never had time to make an “acoustic record” because we were too busy playing shows and focusing on new music. But we also knew that they felt really good to play in a stripped back way. All of our big rocknroll songs start with an acoustic or piano, so heading back to that place isn’t too much of a stretch. Finding the right “rhythm” for the stripped back arrangements is usually the trick, and there were a few songs that proved to be harder to get comfortable with. We scrapped American Screams for that reason. We wanted a healthy mix of our bigger songs and deep cuts. Songs that would be fun to listen to around the campfire, or in your back yard, or at a park. We added some lost verses to I’m Not The Sun and Whistleblower that never made the original version.
We also wrote a new song for the record, Quitting You, and it’s been amazing to see all the covers pour in for the #ArkellsQuittingYou challenge. The beauty of all the songs is that at their core, they’re simple songs. So if you’re inspired, we’d love to see your cover!
All of this is to say, Campfire Chords was a joy to make and we can’t wait for you to hear it. Being a part of your lives is the best part of being in a band, so whether you’re covering one of these songs, or jamming to it around the campfire, let us know!
It’ll keep us connected with you until we see each other in real life again.
Max, Mike, Tony, Tim, Nick
Quitting You + Campfire Chords
July 29, 2020
While we were knee-deep working on our next album in Eagle Rock, the quarantine forced the band to take 4 months physically apart – the longest we’ve ever spent off the road and out of each others (sweet) faces. The world looks a lot different in 2020, and we had to adapt, but that was OK: we’re a band that’s always found a way to make it work. Beyond the biggest shows, we’ve played in tiny bars, house parties, backyards, so our time at home presented a new path.
Creatively we went back to our roots, reimagining versions of some of our most beloved songs for a new project. From our bedrooms – and occasionally waving at my neighbour Mike at his window – we began to reinterpret past material for a new project, thematically titled Campfire Chords. We shipped off the parts to Tony to arrange, manage, and make sense of, and after three months of his tinkering, we had something that felt new and fresh and exciting.
We began the recording with the goal to rediscover the singer songwriter spirit that has long informed our most trademark sing-a-longs. These remote sessions inspired our new single, Quitting You – an intimate song about finding comfort in the people closest to you.
“Does it pass the campfire test?” is a question the band often asks themselves while working on new music. If a song can be stripped to its core and be sung around a campfire, then we know we’re on our way. It’s been a treat to finally put together a full length presentation of this side of our music for the first time.
While we haven’t had concerts lately, we still have music in the kitchen, parks, backyards, docks, and campfires. With songs about the essentials in life – love, friendship, community, and optimism. Here’s to Campfire Chords feeling like an old friend here to keep you company. + a new banger cause you’re going to love Quitting You.
Xo Max, Mike, Tony, Tim, Nick
The Rally UPDATE – See you June 19 2021!
May 7, 2020
The Rally is our crown jewel, because we labour over every detail so we can make our hometown PROUD.
From the weekend it takes place, to the type of stage and production we want to use, the line-up – these are all decisions that we discuss for months before the show is even announced. The Rally is LITERALLY years in the making.
Now, we are lucky that we get to negotiate with everyone we’re working with. We’re lucky that all of our collaborators are incredible partners. They also want to make The Rally the best experience for you.
Unfortunately for us, COVID-19 does not negotiate. That guy is not reasonable. And frankly, has been very unhelpful lately.
This is why RALLY HQ is working overtime to postpone The Rally for next summer – on Saturday June 19 2021.
And we’re still planning to make it THE BEST ONE YET. What keeps us going is that feeling we’ll all get to share when we’re all together again.
The week the show went on sale, we sold more tickets than the inaugural Rally. And we hope that everyone who can, will hold on to their tickets for our new date.
All of the current tix for The Rally are valid for our new date. All ticket info can be found at your point of purchase and has been automatically emailed to ticketholders.
We are keeping BUSY. Lots is on the go. Can’t wait to rock with you. Be good!
To the Class of 2020!
May 1, 2020
Hope everyone is keeping well. We’re staying busy, and trying our best to keep spirits high from home.
Arkells heard that some 2020 grads have been using our song Years In The Making – which is a song about putting in the WORK – to commemorate their accomplishments at school. We’re feeling for all the new grads out there that are missing out on their end of year celebration with their family and friends. As part of Canada’s multi network “Stronger Together” broadcast – a massive fundraising effort in support of Food Banks Canada – Arkells wanted to honour grads through the story of shining star (and Arkells fan!), Ava Harrison, who’s finishing her degree this spring and just wrote her final exam. Following an elaborate rouse with her family, we wanted to surprise her with a serenade. Hear about her story and see the video here.
Huge love to all the grads out there. This song’s for you too.
As we’re at home practicing social distancing, we’ve found it helpful to think about how we can be useful to our community. If for no other reason than it feels good to help! Everyone has a different version of lending a hand, and we thought about our neighbourhood YMCA, and the good work they do.
I’m a proud member of the Y. I use their facilities when I’m at home and when we’re on tour. It’s a place where I can feel connected to every corner of the community. Everyone is an equal at the Y, and we’re proud to support a place that cares for our most vulnerable neighbours.
So we’ve launched an Arkells x YMCA throwback t-shirt (designed by our very own Mike D!) with all of the proceeds going to the Y’s newly launched virtual programming. You can learn all about it at YWeAreHere.ca. Their virtual programs and lessons are free to everyone – not just members. The Tee is available at YWeAreHere.ca and on our site here.
There are so many great organizations out there looking for support right now, so if you have something within you to give, I recommend it. The best part of my day is when I feel connected to my community.
Xo Max, Mike, Nick, Tony, Tim
Years In The Making: Together x Apart
April 9, 2020
Hey Gang, Hope you’re keeping well. We’re physically separated right now, but we’re always together in music.
Right now, we’re trying to be useful in our own small ways and find some comfort in things that make us feel good. Making and sharing music has always provided that comfort.
We recorded this acoustic version of Years In The Making at home in our own little makeshift studios, but the heart and feeling of connection is there more than ever. And that’s always been the most important part.
Enjoy it now. The chords and lyrics are here if you want to play along. We’re hanging every day at 1-2pm EST on our Instagram Live for our “Flatten The Curve Music Class.” The more the merrier, so come join.