The Real McKenzies

The Real McKenzies is a CanadianCeltic punk band founded in 1992 and based in Vancouver, British Columbia. They are one of the founders of the Celtic punk movement, albeit 10 years after The Pogues.[1]

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The Real McKenzies

The Real McKenzies playing at Hedon in Zwolle (Netherlands)
Background information
Origin Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Genres Celtic punk
Years active 1992–present
Labels Fat Wreck Chords, Sudden Death, Honest Don’s
  • Paul McKenzie
  • Aspy Luison
  • Jono Jak
Past members See below

In addition to writing and performing original music, Real McKenzies perform traditional Scottish songs, giving them a new punk-influenced sound. They have shared stages with many other bands including Rancid, Shane MacGowan,[2]DragStrip Riot, NOFX, Flogging Molly, Xcrosscheckx, The Misfits, Metallica, and Voodoo Glow Skulls.

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Founding member Paul McKenzie has been the only consistent member of the band since its inception. The band released its first album, Clash of the Tartans, in 1998.[3] McKenzie claims as many as 100 different musicians have performed as members of the band,[4] including piper Alan “Raven” MacLeod, of the pioneering Scottish folk band The Tannahill Weavers and “Bourne and MacLeod”.

McKenzie said in 2014 that he “fired all the Americans” in the band and returned to full Canadian lineup.[5] Despite that claim, Aspy Luison is from Cambre, Galicia, Spain.

In September 2014 the band announced they would be recording their next album for Fat Wreck Chords at Motor Studio in San Francisco.[6] Michael “Fat Mike” Burkett will be producing the album.

On April 7, 2015 Fat Wreck Chords released The Real McKenzies’ 11th album, Rats in the Burlap.

Their previous album, Westwinds, was released on March 27, 2012 with Fat Wreck Chords.

A biography of the band, written by Chris Walter and titled Under the Kilt: The Real McKenzies Exposed, was released in early 2015.[7]

In the 1990s, the Real McKenzies music was used by InBev to promote Kokanee beer.[8]

In 2021 The Real McKenzie’s song “Chip” was used by Ford in Australia to advertise their new Ford Ranger pickup truck.

Their song “Tae the Battle” appeared in the 2008BritishCanadian film Stone of Destiny.[9] Their song “Wild Cattieyote” appeared in the 2004 straight-to-video release of Vampires vs. Zombies (also called Carmilla the Lesbian Vampire).[10] Their cover of the Turbonegro song “Sailor Man” appeared in the 2003 video game Tony Hawk’s Underground[11] and the first volume of the Elementality skateboarding videos. Each year, The Real McKenzies version of “Auld Lang Syne” is used as the countdown music on the New Year’s Eve edition of Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman’s live podcast Hollywood Babble-On.[12] Their song “Chip” was used in the TV series Billions in 2018.

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