Toronto-based punk band Pkew Pkew Pkew are set to release a new full-length LP in September, featuring songs about dealing with the pandemic. Their recent single, “The Dumbest Thing I Ever Done” finds vocalist/guitarist Mike Thomas Warne having to sell his Playstation after a financially difficult tour – only to have lockdown hit soon after, with no Playstation to help pass the time. We caught up with the band to chat about the new single (and whether a new Playstation was ever procured), a memorable show in Germany, and the band’s non-musical hobbies.
From The Strait: Tell us about the new single, “The Dumbest Thing I Ever Done.”
Pkew Pkew Pkew: Every so often, when I’m feeling extra broke, I look around my apartment like it’s my store and everything is up for sale. About a week before the pandemic really kicked off; I decided I wasn’t playing my PS4 enough to justify the expense. Plus, I had already finished red dead 2, so it was ok to get rid of it, at least until Skate 4 comes out. It ended up being a pretty terrible decision, and if I’d known that I’d be spending the better part of the next year locked in my apartment, I would not have done that.
From The Strait: You’ve toured all over the place – what was one of your most memorable (or weirdest, because I like weird) shows that you can recall?
Pkew Pkew Pkew: On our first European tour, we played a boat in Hamburg at the Booze Cruise Festival. The boat looked like it could hold about 15 people, but I think there were more like 100 on it. Some guy was also biting my shoulder while we were playing. Not sure why. So, we played a set while sailing around the harbor. After we were whisked away into a van and driven somewhere that ended up being the backstage of our next show, which I don’t think any of us knew we were playing, I definitely didn’t. We walked through a door that we thought was leading to a green room or wherever we were staying, but it was taking us directly on stage, where our gear had been set up, and there was a packed house waiting for us to play a second show. I think we had our bags with us. I was carrying a box of wine, which I drank on stage straight from the spigot.
From The Strait: Who would you say are your biggest musical influences, and how have they helped to shape your sound?
Pkew Pkew Pkew: The Bouncing Souls. We literally got their guitar player Pete Steinkopf to shape our sound.
The Hold Steady. We always run our songs by Professor Craig Finn.
Matt and Kim. For their energy. We’re excited to tour with them in Rocktober and get them to rub off on us even more.
From The Strait: What are your favourite – and least favourite – things about being musicians?
Pkew Pkew Pkew: Favs. Making new friends around the world. Hanging out and practicing and recording with each other. Playing shows.
Least favs. There are so many little least favs, but those 3 favs make them worth it. Here are a few.
Buying a new-used shitty van every three years. Being poor. Wondering if we will ever live anywhere near “comfortably.” Driving. Flying. Eating garbage food and drinking American coffee. Buying American visas. America withholding 30% of our pay. The attention span of the average consumer. Contending with the fucking 90’s for your ears.
From The Strait: What are some of the band’s non-musical hobbies? (And on a semi-related topic, I hope you got a new Playstation).
Pkew Pkew Pkew: I didn’t.
We like sports, Go Birds. Kate loves baseball, especially Shohei Ohtani. We like drawing, photography, and video games. We love going to the beach. We always pull over for a beach. We’re about to become very healthy. Next tour, we’ve got some interesting new ideas for eating and cooking on the road. Clean Livin’, it’s called. Vodka and vegetables. And we’ll definitely be going skateboarding every morning on tour. Well, most mornings.
Check out “The Dumbest Thing I Ever Done”, the latest single from Pkew Pkew Pkew!