From the opening salvo of “Feeling Good” to the epic crescendo of “Don’t Wanna Tell You” the new album from Smokekiller is, to say the least, all killer, no filler. John Antoniuk, aka, Smokekiller, has put together a collection of songs that is destined to be the soundtrack to summer 2020. The new album was written over the last five years while John was managing, and performing with his wife, Jen Lane. In between North American tours, John found time to hit the studio with engineer Barrett Ross at Ghetto Box Studios in Saskatoon, SK. The songs are some of the strongest John has ever written and the energy of the performances was as easy to capture as rain in your hand. The thunderous bass of Enver Hampton (Volcanoless in Canada) and cacophonic drumming of Billy Tataryn (Castle River, Acronyms) brought a spark to the project that sets each track on fire. You can hear John’s love of 90’s rock all throughout the album which at times sounds like Lou Reed singing KISS songs with the Foo Fighters. The accolades have already begun coming in with the International Songwriting Competition recently recognizing track one, “Feeling Good”, as a semi-finalist in the rock category. Smokekiller has also been selected to showcase at Junofest 2020 in Saskatoon, and they’ll be tearing up the stage at a handful of festivals this summer.
I’ve been working hard this year on the new album. “Chiba” will be released in Spring 2020. So thankful to have had my good friend Barrett Ross engineer and mix the album. Barrett was a big part of the writing process helping me channel my angst through the Chiba project. Also very thankful to Creative Saskatchewan, FACTOR, and the Saskatchewan Arts Board for helping me bring this project to light. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. We will be playing the new material at a few shows coming up in the next few months. Keep an eye on the the tour dates tab for info on upcoming shows.
that should catch us up for now. talk soon
ps. Our daughter Vera is 28 months old. And we are expecting another baby in March 2020! Going to be an amazing year.
It’s been a long time since I rock n rolled but better late than never. I have been writing and touring like crazy for the last few years. Mostly on the road with the Jen & John duo, or just Jen Lane. The songs kept coming out of me the whole time, sometimes a little Pettyish, sometimes a little Foo Fighting, and sometimes a little old school country. I know, I know, all over the place. I just let them all happen and make sure that I saved them so that I could share them with you.
First things first, let’s catch up. Jen Lane and I had a baby!!! Yup, ol’ smokey smoke is a proud papa now. Vera Lee Frances Antoniuk was born on June 25th, 2017. (Hopefully that helps explain my absence from talking about myself as of late.) We are having a lot of fun while working hard raising a little baby, and oh my god people, it is an incredible amount of work. I have to say that you moms out there are an amazing bunch. When I think that my mom had 4 kids, 2 years apart, I’m totally surprised that we all survived and that she made it too. And yes, there will be a kids album in the works. Already writing it. : )
Jen and I also have a new duets record that we recorded at the end of the Jen Lane “This Life of Mine” tour. We have decided to put it on hold at least until Vera can keep time with a shaker. We’ll be releasing it in stages over the next little while so keep your eyes and ears out for it.
Back to the business at hand. I have a new Smokekiller album written. It’ll be ready for release in Spring 2020. But first I’ll be sharing tracks off my 2008 release “13” with all the itunes and spotify links. I just feel like sharing it out there so that we can all get reacquainted before we drop the new tunes. I’ll be starting that in the next few weeks to coincide with some live shows that I have coming up. The first of those is on March 3rd at the Capitol Music Club. I am really excited to be playing with Billy Tataryn on drums (Castle River) and Malcolm Whyte (Gunner & Smith).
Gotta run for now, but I think that about catches us up.
I’m on my way to Toronto for Canadian Music Week 2017. It’s always such a great event and I’m very excited to be showcasing Saturday April 22nd at 10pm at the Paddock (179 Bathurst). I’ve also been able to pick up a couple Tuesdays from 8pm-10pm at my favorite place to play in the city, The Cameron House (408 Queen St. W). Check out the Tour Dates tab for more info.
Hope to see you around Toronto over the next 2 weeks!
March is almost here and I’ve got some new shows lined up. On Saturday Feb 25th we’ll be saying “so long” to February at the Saskatoon Event Centre opening for The Northern Pikes and the Grapes of Wrath! I’ve been a big fan and good friends with Jay Semko for many years and I’m looking forward to sharing a stage with him and the band.
Jen and I met Kevin Kane from Grapes a few years ago when he kindly played on the 2010 Jen Lane album “For The Night”. Kevin also added his guitar talents to my 2012 album “Always With You” and came to Saskatoon to play at my cd release at the Broadway Theatre! I’m very excited to see both these bands in action on Saturday, and feel blessed that I get to start the night off.
In March I’ll be heading back to Regina for a couple of great shows. On Thursday March 9th I’ll be at the Fat Badger slinging the hits and then some for your listening pleasure, but that’s just the teaser! On Friday March 10th I am very fortunate to get to open for Blake Berglund and the Vultures at O’Hanlon’s. Blake and I have been friends for sometime now and he is getting ready to release a new album this year. I know it’s going to be a gooder, and this will be a night you won’t want to miss for sure. Blake is pulling out all the stops with a full band and I can’t wait to take it all in myself.
This month I’ll also be back in the studio with Paul Kuzbik (Pistolwhips) finishing up a few tracks that I’m producing for him. I didn’t realize how much I really enjoy the process of helping another artist fulfill their vision and I hope I get to do it more often.
Life is getting pretty exciting right now and I’m lucky to have these people as friends in my life. I’ve been living the dream for so long now that I don’t remember what it was like before I dove in head first and made my dream a reality. There are going to be some big things coming this year and I’ve been working hard to get everything ready. Stay tuned and be good to each other.
Here we are and it’s already February! 2017 is relentlessly flying by. I’ve had a couple nice shows this year and I’m looking forward to a few more. So much fun to hit Regina and the Fat Badger! Check it out next time your in town, and hit a Thursday to catch some great live music! Thanks to Theresa Sokyrka for coming out and playing with me at the Underground Cafe in Saskatoon! It was really great to hear her singing! Jen Lane and I are taking things a little slower to start off the year, but you’ll be able to catch us at Grace Land Live in Winthorst, SK! We are excited to come for a visit.
Been working on the new Smokekiller album and I’m happy to say that you will all get to hear something this year! We will also have a new Jen & John duets album coming out this year. I’ve also been working with Paul Kuzbik (The Pistolwhips) on some solo acoustic material of his! I really enjoy producing, especially when the content is so good already!
I’ll be at Canadian Music Week this April 18-22, 2017! Thank you so much to the festival for having me back out! I’m ready to share some new songs with y0u and pumped to come take in all the CMW action! I’ll also be playing a couple Tuesdays 8-10 at the Cameron House (front room). Love every opportunity that I get to play on that stage!
Had a great summer tour with Jen Lane, who released her amazing new album on 180g vinyl just in time for festival season. Thanks to all the wonderful venues and fans who came out and supported live music. We couldn’t do this without you!
We are heading back out into the wild frontier of Ontario and Quebec this November and you can check out the tour dates tab for all the show info. Really excited to be back at the Cameron House for our residency. I’ll be on at 6pm sharp every Tuesday in November and then joining the Jen Lane band for 2 sets of sweet Americana roots!
This will be our last run of shows for the year and I will be testing some new smokekiller material in their pure, acoustic form. It’ll be a great opportunity to road test a few new tunes before we hit the studio in December to record a new album! Really pumped to share the new Smokekiller material with all of you. It’s been a little too long since we rock n rolled together and I can’t wait.