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Arkells in early 2014
Arkells in early 2014
Background information
OriginHamilton, Ontario, Canada
GenresAlternative rock
Years active2006 (2006)–present
LabelsUniversal Music Canada, Dine Alone
MembersMax Kerman
Mike DeAngelis
Nick Dika
Tim Oxford
Anthony Carone
Past membersDan Griffin

Arkells are a Canadian rock band, formed in Hamilton, Ontario. In 2006, they signed with Dine Alone Records,[1] and have since signed with Universal Records Canada[2] and Last Gang Records. They are managed by Last Gang Management. They have released five albums, two EPs and a number of singles that have charted in Canada. The band has won multiple Juno Awards, including one for their album High Noon in 2015.[3]

Band history[edit]

During their first few live shows the band called themselves Charlemagne but changed their name when another band of the same name threatened to sue them. The band is named after Arkell Street in the Westdale neighbourhood of Hamilton,[4] near McMaster University, where they lived and would practice their music. All five original band members attended McMaster where lead singer Max Kerman graduated with an honours BA in Political Science. Kerman met guitarist Mike DeAngelis at a McMaster Welcome Week event where the two discovered they had an identical taste in music.[5]

Jackson Square (2008-2011)[edit]

Arkells' debut album Jackson Square was released 28 October 2008 on Dine Alone Records.[6] In late 2008, Arkells toured Canada as opening act for Matt Mays & El Torpedo.[7] Later that year, on November 22, they performed the halftime show at the Vanier Cup in their hometown.[8] In early 2009 they toured with Waking Eyes across Canada.[9] Arkells were featured on's Alt Sessions where they performed their full EP.[10]

Arkells performing at the Burlington Sound of Music Festival, June 2010

In October, 2009, Arkells won a favourite new artist CASBY Award (short for Canadian Artists Selected by You) from Toronto radio station 102.1 The Edge at a ceremony and concert at Toronto's Kool Haus.[11] The band also performed at the event.[11]

In April 2010, Arkells won the Juno Award for New Group of the Year,[12][13] and on May 15, 2010, were picked to open for Them Crooked Vultures at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.[14]

They made headlines while playing a set at Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto after the 2010 Much Music Video Awards, when rapper Shad and pop singer Kesha joined them onstage to freestyle and sing along during a cover of Ms. Jackson by Outkast.[15]

Michigan Left (2011-2014)[edit]

In 2011, the band wrote and recorded their second album Michigan Left, which was released on October 18 of that year. The first single, "Whistleblower", was released to iTunes on July 5, 2011. "Whistleblower" has also been used as the Intro Music to the 2011–2012 Calgary Hitmen hockey team and featured in EA Sports' NHL 13 video game.[16] The band also released a second song, "Kiss Cam", in July.

On 6 October 2011 it was announced that Dan Griffin would be leaving the band to go back to school.[17] He was replaced by Anthony Carone.[17]

In 2012, Arkells won the 2012 Juno Award for Group of the Year.[18]

Arkells performing live in Buffalo, New York, during the summer of 2013

The band has become known for performing spontaneous Motown cover sets, most recently at Canada House during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics, and while stranded in St. John's Newfoundland.[19] In September 2012, the band played Jian Ghomeshi's "1982" book launch in Toronto.[20] The band has also started a tradition of sending fans signed postcards and free downloads at Christmas.[21]

High Noon (2014–2016)[edit]

On April 7, 2014, Arkells released the first track, "Never Thought That This Would Happen", from their third album, which was produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, The Kooks, M83). One month later, on May 13, the band released the album's first single "Come to Light", and confirmed the title of the record would be High Noon. The record was released on Dine Alone/Universal Records, August 5, 2014.[22]

Arkells have toured extensively, including tours in the United States with Lights, Tokyo Police Club, The Postelles, X Ambassadors, and Lydia; European touring with Billy Talent, Augustines, British Sea Power, and Anti-Flag as well as Canadian touring with Metric, the Tragically Hip, Hollerado, and Sam Roberts.

At the Juno Awards of 2015, Arkells won the Juno Award for Group of the Year and the Juno Award for Rock Album of the Year. High Noon was also long listed for the Polaris prize in 2015.[23]

On October 23, 2015, the band released a new EP, "Study Music", which they self-produced and released on Universal Music Canada/Dine Alone Records.

Morning Report (2016–2018)[edit]

Arkells began teasing new material from their forthcoming album on tour in the spring of 2016. The fourth album, Morning Report, was released on August 5, 2016.[24] The first single, "Private School", debuted on May 6, 2016, and charted at number 1 that summer.[citation needed] The video features cameos from Lights, Dave Monks of Tokyo Police Club and Steve Jocz (formerly of Sum 41), who also directed the video.[25]

The Arkells song "Round and Round" was featured in the soundtrack of the EA Sports game NHL 17.[26]

At the Juno Awards of 2017, Arkells were nominated for Juno Award for Group of the Year and the Juno Award for Rock Album of the Year.[27] They performed their viral hit "Drake's Dad" live on the television broadcast.[28]

Arkells released a new single on April 7, 2017, entitled "Knocking at the Door".[29] The track shot to number 1 on the Canadian alt/rock charts, where it spent 14 weeks at #1.[30] It also became their first #1 Active Rock single. They performed the track live that summer on the 2017 NHL Awards in Las Vegas and the 2017 iHeartRadio MMVAs in Toronto. In the summer of 2017, the band toured the festival circuit, playing Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival,[31] Osheaga Festival,[32] and Sasquatch! Music Festival.[33] Later in the year, the track cracked the US ALT chart, peaking at #39.[citation needed]

In February 2018, the band was invited to South Korea to perform for the Canadian Olympic team during the 2018 Winter Olympics.[34] In June 2018, the band played at Tim Hortons Field in their hometown of Hamilton for a crowd of 24,000 people. It was the largest crowd for an outdoor show in Hamilton since Pink Floyd drew 50,000 to Ivor Wynne Stadium in 1975.[35][36]

On August 15, 2018, the band announced that their fifth studio album, Rally Cry, would be released on October 19, 2018.[37] On September 20, 2018, the band performed at WE Day in Toronto.[38]

Rally Cry (2018-Present)[edit]

The Arkells released their fifth studio album, Rally Cry, on October 19, 2018, accompanied by a Canadian tour featuring Lord Huron as the opening act. The tour featured the Arkells' largest arena show at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on February 16, 2019.

On February 25, 2020 the band released the new single and video "Years in the Making".[39]

On July 30, they released the single "Quitting You", and announced the release of Campfire Chords, a full-length album featuring acoustic versions of earlier songs, on August 20.[40] Each member recorded his part at home during the COVID-19 quarantine and sent it to Carone, who then edited, mixed and produced the pieces into complete songs.

On March 25, 2021 the band released the new single and video "You Can Get It", featuring guest vocals by K.Flay[41]

Song influences[edit]

Arkells prominently feature political motivations in their music. Examples include "Knocking at the Door," which was written about The Women's March on Washington;[42] "The Ballad of Hugo Chavez" about the Venezuelan President as a political prisoner, "People's Champ" in protest of US President Donald Trump; and "Whistleblower" about journalists blowing the whistle and exposing truth behind closed doors.[43]

The band has also spoken about their diverse musical influences from Top 40 to Motown.[44]

Band members[edit]

Past members[edit]




Release date Title Chart positions Certifications Label
2007 Deadlines EP Self-release
2008 Deadlines EP (digital re-issue) Dine Alone Records
October 28, 2008 Jackson Square
October 18, 2011 Michigan Left 5 Universal Music Canada[48]
August 5, 2014 High Noon 3 Universal Music Canada / Dine Alone Records
October 25, 2015 Study Music EP 55
August 5, 2016 Morning Report 3 Universal Music Canada / Last Gang Records
October 19, 2018 Rally Cry 12 Universal Music Canada / Last Gang Records
August 20, 2020 Campfire Chords 35 Universal Music Canada


Year Song Peak Chart Positions Certifications Album




2008 "Oh, the Boss Is Coming!" 4 8 Jackson Square
2009 "Ballad of Hugo Chávez" 12 12
"Pullin' Punches" 14 32
2010 "John Lennon" 42 48
2011 "Whistleblower" 5 4 Michigan Left
"Michigan Left" 7 12
2012 "On Paper" 15 25
"Ticats are Hummin'" Non-album single
2014 "Come to Light" 81 2 2 High Noon
"Never Thought That This Would Happen" 46
"Leather Jacket" 88 1 2
2015 "11:11" 12
2016 "Private School" 1 4 Morning Report
"Drake's Dad"
"My Heart's Always Yours" 3 4
2017 "Knocking at the Door" [A] 43 1 1 Morning Report (Deluxe)
2018 "People's Champ" 2 3 Rally Cry
"Relentless" [B] 38 1
"Only for a Moment"
2019 "Hand Me Downs" [C] 33 34 3
2020 "Years In The Making"[57] 4 Non-album single
"Quitting You" 8 Campfire Chords
2021 "You Can Get It" (featuring K.Flay) 7 TBA
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ "Knocking at the Door" did not enter the Billboard Canadian Hot 100, but peaked at number 38 on the Canadian Digital Song Sales chart.[55]
  2. ^ "Relentless" did not enter the Billboard Canadian Hot 100, but peaked at number 47 on the Canadian All-format Airplay chart.[56]
  3. ^ "Hand Me Downs" did not enter the Billboard Canadian Hot 100, but peaked at number 35 on the Canadian All-format Airplay chart.[56]


  1. ^ "Arkells biography". Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  2. ^ "Arkells Sign With Universal Music Canada". Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  3. ^ "Arkells win twice at 2015 Junos in Hamilton". Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  4. ^ Albrecht, Brent (July 31, 2014). "10 Things You Might Not Know About Arkells". Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  5. ^ "Arkells 'proud to be a Hamilton band' | McMaster Daily News". May 10, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  6. ^ "Arkells". Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  7. ^ Nema, Pete (November 12, 2008). "Concert Review: Matt Mays & El Torpedo, Arkells". Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  8. ^ Rollo, Heather (November 17, 2008). "2008 Desjardins Vanier Cup packed with entertainment". Archived from the original on November 24, 2008. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  9. ^ Harper, Kate. "Arkells and Waking Eyes Head West Archived January 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine", Chart Attack, 2009-01-19. Retrieved on 2009-01-31.
  10. ^ "Arkells' "Michigan Left" remixed by Bad Biz, featuring members of Tokyo Police Club". AUX.TV. 2011-10-21. Archived from the original on 2010-12-01. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  11. ^ a b [1] Archived November 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Juno Awards 2010 Press Release" (PDF). April 18, 2010. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  13. ^ "Punchin' in Punchin' out | The Arkells’ first American tour: the good, the bad and the sweaty" Archived 2017-10-24 at the Wayback Machine. Inside Brockville, Feb 09, 2017 by Andrew Baulcomb Hamilton Spectator
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-10-24. Retrieved 2017-10-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Chart Attack - Best Magazine 2020". Archived from the original on June 25, 2010.
  16. ^ "Arkells - Hockey fans and gamers, here is something for..." Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  17. ^ a b "A Band Update: Where's Dan?". Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  18. ^ Rockingham, Graham. "Hamilton's Arkells win big at Juno Awards gala". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  19. ^ Witmer, Phil (June 7, 2016). "We Got Max from Arkells to Confront the Criticisms of His Band's Biggest Fan". Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  20. ^ "Party photos of the week: Jian Ghomeshi's book launch". October 1, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  21. ^ "Arkells - Timeline Photos". December 10, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  22. ^ Hudson, Alex (May 13, 2014). "Arkells Unveil 'High Noon' LP, Premiere New Lyric Video". Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  23. ^ Brophy, Aaron (June 16, 2015). "2015 Polaris Music Prize Long List Is Here - Polaris Music Prize". Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  24. ^ Slingerland, Calum (August 3, 2016). "Arkells Morning Report". Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  25. ^ West, Jenny (29 May 2016). "How to Get Enrolled in The Arkells Private School". Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  26. ^ "NHL 17 Soundtrack". July 27, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  27. ^ Woods, Graeme. "Nominees". Juno Awards. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  28. ^ "Arkells Brought Out Drake's Dad At The 2017 JUNOs". Universal Music Canada. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  29. ^ Bowsher, Allison (7 April 2017). "Arkells Hit Hard With Soaring Single 'Knocking At The Door'". Much (TV channel). Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  30. ^ Carter, Adam (February 6, 2018). "Knocking at the Door: How Arkells wrote a bona fide sports anthem". Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  31. ^ "Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival". Archived from the original on 2017-03-20. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  32. ^ "Artists". Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  33. ^ "Sasquatch! reveals 2017 lineup: Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper to headline". January 23, 2017.
  34. ^ Previl, Sean (25 February 2018). "How the Arkells ended up performing at Canada House during the Olympics". Global News. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  35. ^ Clementson, Laura (June 22, 2018). "Arkells 'rally' set to take over Hamilton Saturday". Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  36. ^ Taekema, Dan (June 24, 2018). "Hamilton rallies around hometown rock band the Arkells". Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  37. ^ "Arkells release new videos featuring Hamilton 'Rally' footage". Global News. 15 August 2018. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  38. ^ Smith, Ainsley (13 September 2018). "Everyone confirmed to attend WE Day Toronto this month". Daily Hive. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  39. ^ Sarah Murphy, [ "Arkells Unveil New Single and Video 'Years in the Making'". Exclaim!, February 25, 2020.
  40. ^ Brock Thiessen, "Arkells Strip Down for New Album 'Campfire Chords'". Exclaim!, July 30, 2020.
  41. ^ [2]
  42. ^ "Can't walk on water / But I'm walking through an intersection". Retrieved 2020-04-01.
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  49. ^ "Canadian Hot 100 - Chart History: Arkells". Billboard. 2016-05-17. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
  50. ^ "Arkells Chart History Canada Hot AC". Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  51. ^ "AMERICA'S MUSIC CHARTS powered by MEDIABASE". Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  52. ^ Peaks in Alternative Rock:
  53. ^ "Arkells Chart History Canada CHR / Top 40". Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  54. ^ "Arkells Chart History Canada Rock". Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  55. ^ "Arkells: Hot Canadian Digital Songs". Billboard. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  56. ^ a b "Arkells Chart History: Canada All-format Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  57. ^ "Hamilton's Arkells release 'Years In The Making' — first new song". Retrieved March 4, 2020.

External links[edit]