Cancer Bats dropped their first record in 2004 and release their newest album, Psychic Jailbreak, April 15. With 17 years under their belt, including six acclaimed studio albums, five JUNO award nominations and countless tours around the globe, Cancer Bats are legends, dropping their new album on their own label, Bat Skull records in partnership with New Damage. Ahead of the record release, the boys from Toronto dropped Lonely Bong, along with a custom pot merchandise, because drummer Mike Peters is such a stoner. KIND caught up with Peters and asked him about life behind the kit of one of Canada’s all-time favourite hardcore bands.
KIND: Great catching up with you again. As a weedhead, what did you make of legalization?
Mike Peters: It made it more acceptable for people to partake. Truth is, I’ve always kind of smoked, but I used to smoke back in the day to party, but during COVID, trying to take a break from drinking and with two little kids at home, it became something more.
KIND: Not to party but just too chill?
MP: Not ending up with a shitty hangover in the morning.
KIND: The same exact thing happened with me during lockdown.
MP: My youngest was one when the pandemic started, he was just getting teeth and waking up in the night and I had three whiskeys before bed and was a grumpy ass with him and, like, he’s literally getting teeth in his face and I’m grumpy? I did a year with no alcohol, and it was a good year—with weed.
KIND: It’s interesting the connection between pot and hardcore music.
MP: It’s not an aggressive drug and the music is aggressive but it’s always been there. I think punk is just something for outsiders and generally drugs and alcohol go hand in hand with rebellion. Now, as the medicinal side of cannabis comes out more and people’s minds are waking to that, I think that line of thinking is also prevalent in hardcore.
KIND: A cool thing about you guys is the humour. The Lonely Bong video is hilarious.
MP: I think Liam [singer Liam Cormier] came up with that to make me laugh. He sent me a drumbeat and titled it: Lonely Bong Searching For a Beat. I was going down to the basement to have a toot and play drums, and the song’s not really about smoking weed at all. But I was like: ‘lonely bong, missing his buds,’ that’s a cool line.
KIND: It’s perfect for the isolation we all felt in the pandemic.
MP: Oh, yeah. Two years away from these guys, and Liam and Jaye [bassist Jaye R. Schwarzer] are my two best friends. It was hard to make music without them being around.
KIND: I guess you’re already called Cancer Bats, so you wouldn’t worry about backlash.
MP: Well, we are going for government money, but what can you do? Lonely Bong was just such a funny name for a song.
KIND: Dude, I just love it and love you guys and am glad you’re back and I can’t wait to see you on tour.
MP: Thanks, man. We have Western Canada starting April 13 in Thunder Bay and out to Victoria and everywhere in between. After two years of not playing shows I just want to say yes to as much as we possibly can.
To find out more on Cancer Bats new record and tour dates, see cancerbats.com. To win this amazing Cancer Bats bong, plus a rolling tray, papers and a cassette of the new album, go to their Instagram page, @cancerbats, and tag two friends who you want to smoke with. Rock on.