The legacy of the Northern Pikes continues in 2019 with their brand new ninth studio album slated for release by Universal Music in the early summer. It’s been 16 years since their last studio album It’s A Good Life & they are very excited to announce that Kevin Kane from The Grapes Of Wrath is now an official member of the band.
They are rocking as hard as they ever have & will be playing many concerts across Canada to promote their new album. In the fall of 2017 Universal Music put together a special 30th anniversary edition of The Pikes beloved debut album Big Blue Sky. Featuring the hits Teenland, Things I Do For Money and Dancing In A Danceclub, it helped the group explode out of Saskatchewan and become fixtures and stars on radio and MuchMusic. But now, it’s a whole new record.
The triple coloured vinyl anniversary edition has been expanded to include a second album of all-new music from the group’s archive, and a third album featuring a live recording from the legendary Horseshoe Tavern on their first national tour in 1986.
The new album, along with the 29 city Canadian tour in the fall of 2017 has fired the group with new energy. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, and I’m increasingly proud of the fact that we’re still eager,” says guitarist Bryan Potvin. “There’s a youthful earnestness about what we’re doing right now.”
As the crowds at their recent festival shows can attest, there’s a real fire on stage. “The band in many ways sounds better than it ever has,” says bass player Jay Semko. “I just feel there’s a solidity in the songs that we’re playing, I feel like there’s new life to some of the ones we have played forever. It’s the old-fashioned work ethic, dig in, work at it, rehearse, and when you play, come prepared.” Lately, all the members have agreed that not only can they do more, they want to do more. “I was getting a little tired of just going out, and I mean this in the sweetest, kindest way, but just aimlessly touring, just going and playing a show, not supporting anything,” says Bryan.
That was solved when Don, the self-appointed band archivist, mentioned he had saved all those demos the band had done in the ’80’s. “The fact that we can entice people with brand new songs is pretty amazing, photographs, demo recordings, video footage, everything, he’s got it all really well laid out and organized, I thank him dearly.”
“There’s a hard-core group of people that are big fans of Big Blue Sky, that grew up with the music” says Jay. “It’s amazing to me, I’ve just noticed this recently, how many people are huge fans of that particular album, as it wasn’t the biggest-selling of our records.” “It is exciting to be going out with a show on the BBS30th anniversary tour” says Bryan. “We haven’t done that in a long time, with a really prepared show, and we’ve never had video screens and a visual component to our show, so that’s all brand new. The fact that we’re doing all this stuff makes it really exciting. The Pikes, to me, feel like we have unfinished business, we had a rather abrupt ending in 1993, and we had this long, six-year period where we didn’t do anything, and the restart was good, but I don’t know, it just feels more focused now frankly.”
It looks like The Northern Pikes haven’t peaked yet.