Johnny McCuaig Rebranded as Arcana Kings. Set to Open Stars For Saskatchewan.
By Nick Murray
Arcana Kings (Johnny Mccuaig Band) at the Mae Wilson Theatre, Thursday September 26th. 7:30pm.
The Moose Jaw Cultural Centre has partnered with with the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils (OSAC), for the second consecutive year, to present the 2019/2020 Stars for Saskatchewan Concert Series in right here in the notorious city.
Stars for Sask will feature a string of eight really cool concerts, each to be played inside the beautiful and historic Mae Wilson Theatre.
The first of such Concerts will feature a Regina band who sharpened their teeth as the Johnny McCuaig band, playing ribfests, sporting events and party-rocking pubs all across this great country. If the band knows anything at all, it's rock music and how to party. I mean, they played shows with Andrew W.K. and he wrote the book (song) on partying.
Recently though, the band undertook a complete rebranding and will be performing as Arcana Kings from here on out.
"The reason why we ended up deciding to change the name was mainly because people were having a hard time finding us on social media and pronouncing it" said Johnny McCuaig. "I guess it is a hard name to spell and pronounce correctly. Trust me, I have seen and heard some very creative ways to spell "McCuaig"".
A few years back Duron Carter, the Saskatchewan Roughriders top dawg wide receiver at the time, expressed interest in updating the song by which the team enters the field to and an online conversation sprung up about possible replacements.
"CBC radio got a hold of the story and started to ask people what they thought" McCuaig said.
That's when Johnny first submitted their hit "Here We Go".
"I thought the story had gone cold. But in the background Taron Cochrane of Taron Cochrane media submitted a few songs from local artists and really started championing the local artists. We had no idea this was going on until the very first home pre-season game. I was sitting at home and my phone started to go crazy with texts and emails and people sending me video. It was intense" McCuaig admitted.
The song was used for every home game last season and opened the door for them to be able to play the Half-Time show at last year's semi finals, in front of a packed crowd at Mosaic Stadium.
"It was quite a ride for us" he said.
Not quite ready to exit the sporting life, Arcana Kings recently signed on with Bad Reputation Records out of France and are now shopping "Here We Go" around to other professional sports teams.
Check it out for yourself:
The band will be releasing their first album as Arcana Kings on October 15th; its called Ravens as Lions.
Lions As Ravens was produced by Ryan Andersen at Reddoor Recording. Anderson has worked with Nickelback, Theory of a Dead Man and Sarah McLaughlin in the past.
McCuaig says that the will be selling some pre-sale CDs at their Mae Wilson gig.
"Better come to the show and get a signed copy" he said.
Arcana Kings just returned from Mission, BC where they had been filming a music video, for their newest single "Unbreakable", with Dave Benedict from Default and an actor/director by the name of Barry Nerling.
"I don't want to say to much just yet but it will be out on Oct 15th as well" said McCuaig.
This isn't the first time McCuaig and the band played the Stars for Saskatchewan concert series.
"Honestly, what an honor" he admitted. "When we were asked to showcase last year we really did not know what to expect. We knew that there would be a lot of talented singer song-writers and performers there and we wondered how we would fit in. Our music has a little more of an edge and we did not want to come across as being something we are not. But after we had finished we knew we were different, and we were going to add something fresh and new in the scene. We are really looking forward to the concert series."
McCuaig is not at all unfamiliar with Moose Jaw. He used to live here and admits he looks forward to playing here.
"I still have some good friends in the area. My son was born in the old hospital and I'm sure there will be a lot of memories coming back. MJ is a special place for me. Some very good memories."
Aside from releasing the new album and video, Arcana Kings are at work on scheduling tours in the United States and Europe.
A complete Stars for Sask schedule.
The Johnny McCuaig Band (09/26/19)
Prairie Debut Presents Meagan & Amy (11/27/2019),
Chris Funk The Wonderist (02/04/2020),
Madison Violet (03/11/2020)
Christine Tassan et les Imposteures (03/21/2020),
Tenille Arts (04/09/2020),
Trevor Panczak (04/25/2020)
The Fitzgeralds (05/06/2020).
All showtimes are at 7:30 pm.