Toronto Ontario’s Pkew Pkew Pkew are a band predicated on good times. Open a beer, shake it and release. That’s both figuratively and literally what the band are all about.
Started with the silliest intentions in 2010, Pkew Pkew Pkew was born a two-piece out of the desire to wear sunglasses indoors and play synthesizers. Their intentions have since changed with the band’s line-up rounding out as a five-piece, but the energy is much the same. Replacing the synth with a louder, double-edged guitar attack, they’ve taken on a stronger punk energy since forming.
Mixing their love of bands like Rancid and the Bouncing Souls into an aesthetic that’s somewhere between Weezer and Titus Andronicus, each track comes with its own hooks and dynamic.
The party punks recently announced that their new album Glory Days will be released Nov. 12 via Art Drug. Ghettoblaster caught up with vocalist/guitarist Mike Warne to talk about the release. This is what he shared about it.
When did you begin writing the material for your most recent album?
I wrote pretty much the whole album at my old office job, while avoiding doing actual work, in 2010 sometime. One of the many reasons I was let go. Then we kinda started playing shows just for fun, and then eventually we decided to record them. We basically just took our first 15 songs and narrowed it down to 10 from from 2010 to 2011 when we recorded everything,
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
Everything for this album went pretty easily, we did it all live off the floor and we didn’t wanna do too many takes, just try to do a few with good energy and pick the best one. Probably the hardest song was the last song on the album, “Pkewx3 Anthem (Ryde or Die)” because we had to learn how to play harmonica and piano for it, and none of us know how to do those things well.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
“Stop Calling Us, Chief” was originally just a line from a David Letterman joke, where he would call someone chief until they said “stop calling me chief” and then they would be awarded a meat platter. It was the phrase that pays. That was one of our first songs and we added some other lyrics about that guy who tried to blackmail Letterman and how bad ass Dave is. That’s probably the one that needed the most studio magic to become a better song.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
No, this one was all for us. We’re definitely gonna recruit a dude choir for the next recordings we do though.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
It was recorded live with Dean Marino at chemical sound in Toronto. He’s worked on albums for Tokyo Police Club, Born Ruffians, and bunch of great Toronto bands. Jordan Orava (our guitar player) also recorded a lot of the vocals and mixed the album. Dean convinced us to do it all analog on tape. That was a good decision. It was a lot more fun to just listen to our tracks rather than stare at a computer screen too. And just the overall atmosphere working at chemical sound was really easy and made us very comfortable.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?
Not really, we do our best not to be artful, just have fun writing and playing the songs. If we all have fun playing them, then they pass the test for us. The general theme of our band is fun hangout songs, sometimes hinting at seriousness, but then ruining it with something dumb. Drinking beers with your friends and having sing-a-longs. That will probably be the theme of every album we ever do.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
Yeah, we play them all live. The strongest fan reaction is either from “asshole pandemic” because people seem to like the line “why’s this dick gotta be such a cock?” or from the title track “Glory Days” because of the subject matter and sing along “If those were your glory days, you must be real shitty now”. I think most of our songs go over really well because even if you don’t like them, you can visually see how much fun we are having and how genuinely happy we really are to be playing for people.
(Visit the band here: