The Mackinaws
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The Mackinaws

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Roots




"Holy Mackinaws!"

The Silhouette
McMaster University's Student Newspaper, EST 1930

Holy Mackinaws!

ANDY talks to the Hamilton rockers about their album release party


Childhood friends Michael Tokarchuk (lead guitar/vocals), Greg Cain (guitar/vocals), Bryce Green (drums) and Adam Tokarchuk (bass/vocals) started out as a group of local Hamilton teens that would get together and mess around with music. “There is nothing more fun than hanging out with your best friends,” said Cain.

The boys started playing together after high school and have been together ever since. Michael Tokarchuk said that the band “just came to be.” Making music started out as an excuse to hang out and have a beer. However, it soon turned into much more than that.

The Mackinaws released their first album on Feb. 9. The self-titled disc is made up of eight rock and blues filled tracks recorded at Porcelain Records in Hamilton, with Grammy-winning producer Steve Bigas. The boys also released their first music video for the album track “Spending Time.” “It was so much fun doing the video,” Cain said.

Being from Hamilton, The Mackinaws have played their fair share of stages around the city, including Lazy Flamingo, Honest Lawyer and Absinthe just to name a few. “We like to see where the song takes us live,” said Michael. “We never play them exactly the same.”

The boys will also be taking over the Casbah on Friday, Mar. 28 for their first CD release party. They’ll be joined by The Bandicoots, The Zilis and Fever City.

This lineup is fitting, considering that one of these other local bands encouraged the Mackinaws to take music more seriously. “We went to a Zilis concert and got inspired,” the Mackinaws said. Bob Dylan, The Band, Blink 182, The Doors and Led Zeppelin were a few of the other influences on the band’s music.

The Mackinaws also had some advice for other musicians seeking to break into the Steel City’s music scene. “Hamilton is really inviting,” Cain said. “Get your foot in the door and get to know other local bands,” the boys added. “Just have fun. Keep a smile on your face.” - McMaster University's Student Newspaper, EST 1930

"The Mackinaws"

Vol. 20 No. 13 • March 27 - April 2, 2014 In Our 17th Year Serving Greater Hamilton

Hamilton Music Notes

by Ric Taylor
March 27 - April 2, 2014

The Mackinaws

The Mackinaws are one of the newest names on the local stage but have a lifelong history of making music together. Greg Cain (guitar, vocals) and Bryce Green (drums) lived across the street from each other when they were only three years old. Cain met Michael Tokarchuk (lead guitar, vocals) in Grade 7 and began playing in middle school classic rock cover bands. Mike’s cousin, Adam Tokarchuk (bass, vocals), would join the crew during high school and by the end of high school, they’d jam out on songs by The Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, CCR, Blink 182 and more. As high school ended, they’d begin developing their own identity with their own songs and this weekend the Mackinaws offer their debut disc.

“Me and Mike have been playing guitar together since we were thirteen, and we’ve always been interested in the same type of music whether it’s rock, country, blues or folk,” offers Cain. “When all four of us started jamming together near the end of high school, we went under the name The Great Divide after the song by the band called Across the Great Divide. We started performing live in September 2012; our first show was opening up for The Zilis for their first album release. We’ve been performing live consistently ever since, slowly writing more and more original material. We changed our name because The Great Divide had already been taken by a bunch of bands. We needed something original, and we felt The Mackinaws would do the trick. It took us a while to think of something after we dropped The Great Divide name. We actually went into recording at Porcelain as The Great Divide and came out as The Mackinaws. It just sounded really unique and Canadian.”

Recorded at Porcelain Records with producer Steve Bigas and engineer Marcone, The Mackinaws debut is catchy and competent, fraught with energy immediately grab your attention with some catchy radio friendly rock numbers.

“We recorded live off the floor because we felt most comfortable that way,” reasons Cain. “I think we are all most comfortable behind our instruments. Having to sing without playing guitar at the same time is kind of awkward for us; it works best when we’re all playing together at once. Also, that’s the way that the majority of my favourite music was recorded in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and I think that being able to record that way shows a level of musicianship. It almost feels unnatural to record songs piece by piece.

“On the album there is a lot of musical diversity, just because we love so many different genres of music,” adds Cain. “We all write and sing, so whatever we write we usually want to sing ourselves but if somebody comes in with an idea they usually aren’t entirely complete and then we piece it together as a band. We also add background vocals and harmonies on each other’s songs to try and make the vocals more interesting. Our drummer Bryce also added harmonies on the recordings. We’ve always been impressed by bands like The Band, The Beatles and Kiss, who have more than one lead singer.”

With a mandate of keeping things fun, the Mackinaws are proud to officially release their debut CD this weekend with some old friends in tow.

“We’re really just four buddies who love playing music together and we’re going to keep doing that as long as it keeps being fun for us,” says Cain. “It’s difficult juggling school, work and the band, but we all love it and it keeps us busy. We’re really excited to formally release the album on Friday because it our first album as a band, and as individual musicians. We’re very proud of how it turned out, and hopefully it’s the first of many. Our CD release party should be a great night full of live rock and roll. If you like rock and roll, hopefully you’ll like us. Also, the other 3 bands are great so we want everyone to come out and support local music.”

The Mackinaws play this Friday March 28 at The Casbah with the Zilis, the Bandicoots and Fever City. Doors at 9pm. Tickets are $5 for 19 and over, $8 for all ages. Click on - View


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Mackinaws are four friends who love playing music together. At first, getting together to jam was nothing more than an excuse to drink beer and jam some of our favourite cover tunes, but after a while we began to feel the urge to write our own tunes. 

After playing live for a little over a year as The Great Divide, we decided to switch our name to The Mackinaws. 

Not long afterwards, we headed into the Porcelain Records studio and recorded 8 songs that we had written over the past year. With the help of Grammy-Award winning producer Steve Bigas, we were able to walk out of the studio with a debut album that not only combines our love of rock, blues, country and folk music but showcases the song writing, singing, and musicianship of four up-and-coming musicians.

What keeps each song unique and distinct from the rest is the interchanging of 3 different lead singers, who each bring their own personalities and vocals to their songs.

With plans to continue to play live shows in support of this album over the upcoming year, The Mackinaws will continue to grow as a band and as musicians. 

This is only the beginning.

Band Members