The Early Years: A Look at Arkells’ Formative Years

The Arkells are a Canadian rock band from Hamilton, Ontario, who have achieved international success since their formation in 2006. The band has released six studio albums, two EPs, and numerous singles, and have toured extensively throughout North America and Europe.

The Arkells’ story began in 2006, when lead singer and songwriter Max Kerman met guitarist Mike DeAngelis at McMaster University in Hamilton. The two quickly bonded over their shared love of music, and began writing and performing together. They soon recruited bassist Nick Dika, keyboardist Anthony Carone, and drummer Tim Oxford to complete the lineup.

The band initially called themselves Charlemagne, but had to change the name after another group of the same name threatened to sue them. Arkells, the name they eventually chose, is derived from the name of a street in the Westdale neighbourhood of Hamilton, Ontario, near McMaster University, where the five original members of the band lived and rehearsed their music during their university years

The band’s early years were spent honing their craft and playing shows around Hamilton. They released their debut EP, Deadlines, in 2007, and followed it up with their first full-length album, Jackson Square, in 2008. The album was a critical success, and the band began to gain a following in Canada and beyond. In April 2010, Arkells won the Juno Award for New Group of the Year,

The Arkells’ second album, Michigan Left, was released in 2011 and was met with even greater acclaim. The album spawned several hit singles, including “Kiss Cam” and “Whistleblower”

On 6 October 2011, it was announced that Dan Griffin was departing the band to pursue his educational goals. Anthony Carone was brought in to assume his role.

In  2012, Arkells were honored with the Juno Award for Group of the Year.

Since then, the Arkells have gone on to release four more albums, High Noon (2014), Morning Report (2016), Rally Cry (2018), and Blink Once(2021).  They have also toured extensively, playing shows in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia.

The Arkells’ formative years were marked by hard work, dedication, and a commitment to creating music that resonates with their fans. Their success is a testament to their talent and perseverance, and they continue to be one of Canada’s most beloved rock bands.