Gig Seeker Pro


Band Rock Avant-garde


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Krupke @ Rancho Relaxo"

It's quite rare that I enthuse about a band after only hearing a few songs, but there's something about Krupke that intrigues me. When I was a child, I used to take all of my favourite drinks and throw them into a blender expecting to invent a drink that couldn't help but be a veritable taste explosion. However, I think most children have tried this experiment at one time or another and we all know what happens: vomiting and the occasional trip to the doctor. Usually these sort of blends simply do not work. However, Krupke's bizarre combo of art rock, progressive jazz, show tunes, post-punk, the avant-garde and good old fashioned whimsy may be a shock to the system, but once the brain has adjusted, it becomes a musical celebration. I declared them to be one of the bands to watch for 2010, and it was only a matter of time before I availed myself to the opportunity to watch them assault a live stage. Thankfully, the (relatively) early end time of The Cribs show at The Phoenix last Friday night gave me the chance to do just that.

I arrived at Rancho just as they were setting up onstage, and the crowd was actually quite large, which means that their reputation is already starting to circulate somewhat. I suppose that it could also be that people like cheap drinks on a Friday night, but I'd like to believe that it's a little bit of both. The band wasted no time getting things going as they immediately blasted out a ramshackle blend of intense jams that included some harsh sounding violin playing and some highly disjointed spazzy xylophoning that sounds like it shouldn't work, but it does. What is amazing about the sounds that emanate forth from Krupke is the fact that at times it may sound as if two separate bands are playing music at the same time with a wall inbetween them, but if you listen closely it becomes apparent that every single note, bweep and poot is actually carefully placed in such a way that a melody eventually forms in the brain, to the point that many people there (including the non-alcohol inspired patrons, like myself) were actually dancing to what would seem un-danceable under different circumstances. These are intensely complex arrangements indeed and one cannot help but be impressed. The fact that the lyrics, as well as Mike Walter's quirky delivery, remains relatively lighthearted, allows for humour to flow freely amidst the complexities. You also get a lot for your entertainment buck at a Krupke show. Some things worked well, such as a good old fashioned pinata smashing, ring-led by their new drummer Kate Pittman, while other things, not so much, such as a hyperactive microphone situation that accidentally clocked an audience member in the head. Still, overall the audience seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely (including the mic in the head guy) and I wouldn't be surprised if the band continues to draw new fans with each performance. The possible directions that the band can take from here are endless, and it'll be great to see what type of journey they will continue to take their followers on before releasing a full length album, hopefully sometime this year. - It's Not The Band I Hate, It's Their Fans

"T.O. Titans: Bands to Chase in 2010"

With only a handful of songs and a few shows under their belt, Krupke still have a ways to go before they’re firmly on anyone’s radar. But with an unclassifiable sound that has at times been described as “nouveau tech rock,” “post-genre-core,” and “avant-garde theatre pop,” they’re in a good position to, at the very least, turn a few heads. Xylophone, clarinet, violin and cobbled-together non-instruments aren’t the typical tools of indie rock, but according to Bob Battams of It’s Not The Band I Hate, It’s Their Fans “this is not a case of a bunch of amateurs banging on pots and pans and proclaiming it art. These are multi-talented instrumentalists indeed,” he continues, “and I think that, although a bit of an adjustment period may be in order for the average listener, their ambitious nature may be just enough to win people over.” The band is already slated to play Canadian Music Week, so it may come sooner rather than later.

To see the full list, visit: - Resonancity

"Krupke - Slap Bracelet Release Party"

Most of modern music these days can be lazily summed up into two basic categories: those that wholeheartedly pay homage to the past (which is what most bands do) and those that look forward to the future by creating something new. Now I realize that this statement is faulty in more ways than I care to articulate right now, but it seems to me that local band Krupke is at least putting forth a noble attempt at working towards the latter.

So far they've only put together a handful of songs (which can all be heard on their myspace page) but trying to lump these songs into a specific genre is not an easy task. The reason that I've chosen to promote them here so early on in their career is because their music is a perfect choice for those that like to be challenged when it comes to what is being fed to their musical palate. For example, their song Dirt and Culture starts out sounding like it's going to develop into a bit of a progressive jazz number, until the off-kilter vocal yelp kicks in, turning into a piece of music that is all over the place. The real surprise though is in the second half of the song where an actual melody starts to peek through and suddenly the very song that was initially impossible to follow is now actually stuck in my head. Weird. Waltz is a mellow number that is folksy yet slightly carnival-like in the sense that it tricks you into thinking that it's a relatively simple song until you really pay attention to its varied complexities. They also have a song called My Dearest Fergie, I'm So Sorry I Haven't Called But The Pony That You Always Wanted Died Today. Yah. With that song the band manages to cram an entire art rock tragi-comedy punk opera into a nifty little three and a half minute package which is exactly as daunting and delicious as you would imagine it to be.

Krupke is a band that demands a listener's full attention and admittedly, this may be a hard sell within the ADD driven world in which we live. Still, I think that if you're willing to put forth the effort, the payoff is worth it, and will continue to be even moreso as the band continues to solidify their sound. They don't yet have a CD to release, but they have released a limited edition personlized slap bracelet that they will be celebrating the release of on November 13th at Bread & Circus. Everyone who attends the show gets one. Opening for them are a few more of the city's finest, namely The Lovely Killbots, Ex~Po and B'mo Crazy. - It's Not The Band I Hate, It's Their Fans

"Krupke is a Snap"

“Zombies are overdone.”

Mike Walter has opinions.

“Knowing my parents, you’d think they would have named me Wheelbarrow. Or Turkey-Baster.”

Lots of opinions.

“We booked the venue for a release party… so we decided to release Snap Bracelets.”

Now they are set to showcase their talents at their Snap Bracelet Release Show (they weren’t happy enough with any recordings to release them, but felt obliged to release something), and took a few minutes off an all-night rehearsal to hang out with me.

“Any [real] rock band revolves around clarinet,” Walter, keyboardist and xylophonist, states around a swallow of chocolate milk as we sit at Tim Horton’s on Front St. “It’s the backbone,” concurs Verkuyl, resident guitarist. “Especially with no bass.” They, along with Ryan and Pat Sirianni, their new drummer, are attempting to explain how they initially found their musical cohesion. But keeping a conversation on-track with Krupke is extremely difficult.

“Krupke”? As in “Officer Krupke” from West Side Story?

“We figured it’d be great to be named after [a guy who knows] these juvenile delinquent, bad-ass gangsters who sing and dance.” Walter is probably only partially joking. “We’re not named after a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode.” Shortly thereafter, there is a discussion about “selfish [black] squirrels” and Boston accents.

What does a band named after an uptight killjoy actually sound like?

Actually, as Walter mentions, this may be his first band where the writing is more of a collective process, so sometimes songs turn out as eclectic experiments. Think of it as “warped pop”. With xylophone and clarinet in the standard roster, it only stands to reason that the Krupke members continue expanding on their songwriting methods to better showcase their unique sound potential.

“We’re kind of getting into a formula about writing songs,” admits Verkuyl, “[but we’d like to] break it a little bit... [Originally], Mike and I will start coming up with an idea, and pretty much just sit there and hammer it out, and write pretty much the whole song except two or three parts.”

“Is it fair to say that anything that any of us had written in the last week just got lumped into one song sometimes?” Mike proposes, glancing over at Fiona. She nods, and then expands on another technique: “[Someone] would come up with a basis but then everybody else would develop their own parts around [it]. Some of the more recent ones, I feel like there’s been more interaction regarding the structure…[starting from] short fragments of songs…Sometimes it’s making it transition into something else.”

“[It’s like] ‘We’ve written this part we like, we’ve written [another] part we like. How do we get them to go together?’” explains Mike. “It’s been more organic and less forced, I guess. It just happens,” notes Sirianni, who has been with Krupke a mere three months.

It has required some practice to figure out how three songwriters can work together without any feelings getting hurt. They have had to learn how to give and take when it comes to group decision-making.

“Fiona gets mad [sometimes]”, Walter cracks, glancing over at Ryan who is presently nothing but smiles. “There’s a lot of massaging away the tension,” agrees Verkuyl. “We’ve given plenty of group hugs.”

“There hasn’t been any of the storming out in a while,” notes Walter.

“Broken bottles,” quips Sirianni.

Walter nods seriously and grins at his companions. “Strangely, we actually like each other… we take solace in each other.”

The group leaves Tim Horton’s, Sirianni heading home for the night, and treks to their rented studio space at The Rehearsal Factory just off Lower Sherbourne Street. It’s a small room, approximately 10’ x 15’, and barely holds the following: Basic drumkit, keyboard, xylophone, clarinet, violin, two guitars, a PA stack, and an assortment of cobbled-together, homemade instruments. Walter lifts one and shows it to me.

“It’s a key-bourine,” he explains, displaying its construction of two halves of a computer keyboard strung together nunchuck-style via tied-up packing tape. “I don’t like how tambourines have that double-bounce [shake]… with this you can get one.” He demonstrates, flipping the strange looking panels back and forth in the air. Indeed, the falling of the keys creates a racket quite similar to that of a tambourine or maraca, but with a definite silence when his hands stop moving.

This is not to be the end of the innovation. The rubber paneling from beneath the keyboard is now wrapped around his xylophone mallet for “easy access” when he needs to lift it from a dropped position quickly. They play through “Poppies,” a Tom Waits-esque, distorted pop song that features the succinct and sarcastic line, “If fashion shows compassion/ it’s the quickest form of action”.

Even without a drummer tonight, Krupke is bizarrely mesmerizing. If their lyrics and creative instrumentation is any indication, they are certainly one of the more inventive pop bands Toronto has currently to offer.

Krupke plays their Snap Bracelet Release Show this Friday, November 13th at Bread & Circus in Toronto at 229 Augusta Ave. - Lucid Forge


A dynamic art-rock cabaret that weaves through Brian Wilson-tinted experimentalism and prog-passages fueled with quirky rock spurts, clarinet, and keyboards. Dabbling in a host of well-executed styles and inspired interplay, this is music that dazzles with its kaleidoscopic inventiveness. - Lonely Vagabond


The Pony You always wanted died today. I'm sorry your pony died (2009)



Currently at a loss for words...