Interview: The Penske File

By Conor Mackie

Hey Travis, how are you man? 

I’m peachy Conor, thanks for asking.

Your Euro tour is just a few weeks away, you’re heading out there with Up For Nothing, too. Have you toured with those guys before? Will you be sharing a van or hitting up a convoy type situation?

We haven’t toured with them before, but we’ve heard very good things from mutual friends. I believe we’re all gonna be squished into an 8-seater van, so I’m sure we’ll get to know each other well very quickly haha. Very glad they’re joining us on the first leg of the tour.

It’s your first European tour, you must be super excited?! Have you spoken to any friends who’ve toured in Europe before? Have they given you any ideas about what to expect? Where are you most excited to hit up?

I’m personally very stoked. It’s been a dream of mine to tour Europe with the band, so it’s very validating in that respect. It’s definitely a milestone of sorts and, yeah, a lot of our buds who’ve toured Europe say it’s incredible. Most notably, everyone mentions the hospitality and how it blows North American hospitality out of the water.  So, I’m certainly interested to see how that works haha.

Mostly I’m stoked to meet new people, see new places and explore European culture in a way that only touring in a punk band can reveal.

You’ll be away for three weeks, do you enjoy tours that length? It’s pretty sweet, enough time to get away from home and feel like you’re away, but not quite long enough that you start burning out, right?

Totally, three weeks is a good amount of time. Although, we are tagging a little Irish vacation on the end, so it’s going to end up being more like a month. Longer tours can be great too, but it’s certainly nice to touch down at home every once and a while.

You’ll also play Pouzza Fest in Montreal in May. I’ve heard so many great things about that place and can’t wait to head over this year. Do you like playing festivals? How does Pouzza compare to Fest? Your set in Gainesville last year won you a lot of plaudits, especially with our assistant editor Maryam.

Yeah! This will be our fourth year in a row playing Pouzza. Playing festivals can be great, especially ones like Pouzza and The Fest where you get to see so many buds and great bands alike. Pouzza and The Fest are definitely very similar as far as the patrons and bands they bring out. The biggest difference is probably the setting – there aren’t any palm trees or pool parties at Pouzza, but there is a lot of Poutine.

Has growing up and playing in Toronto’s periphery changed the way you play music at all? Has being slightly outside the big city had any influence on you? Have you found it harder to get shows or is it just as easy? 

I’m sure it’s had a big part to play. Like anyone, where we grew up had a definite hand in shaping us as musicians and humans in general. There was a lot of great punk bands in Burlington when we were really young – we used to watch bands like Jersey, The Spicolis & Saint Alvia tear it up locally and that certainly helped inspire us to start a band at a young age.

Living within an hour from Toronto was a huge blessing as well, especially by Canadian standards. Nearly any active band I wanted to see growing up I saw at one time or another in Toronto. That’s not a luxury afforded to folks in other Canadian areas who rarely have bigger North American tours come anywhere near them – excluding maybe Montreal and Vancouver areas.

Do you have other tour plans for the rest of the year?

We do. We’ve got a really wicked tour shaping up around Pouzza Fest that I’m excited to be able to announce whenever we can. We’re also planning an east coast US run for the early summer and hoping to get something going out west shortly after that. We’ve been compiling tons of new material that we’ve had a chance to work on in the last few months at home which has been nice. We’re hoping to get back into the studio in the fall to work on a follow up to Burn Into The Earth, so that’ll be taking up most of our time outside of touring plans.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]