KEN mode (an acronym for Kill Everyone Now[2]) is a Canadian noise rock band from Winnipeg, Manitoba, that was formed in September 1999.

KEN mode
KEN mode performs live circa 2002
KEN mode performs live circa 2002
Background information
OriginWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Years active1999–present
LabelsSeason of Mist, Escape Artist, Arctodus, No List, Profound Lore, Init Records, Throatruiner Records
MembersJesse Matthewson
Shane Matthewson
Scott Hamilton
Kathryn Kerr
Past membersDarryl Laxdal
Drew Johnston
Jahmeel Russell
Chad Tremblay
Thérèse Lanz
Andrew LaCour


Formed by brothers Jesse (guitar/vocals) and Shane Matthewson (drums) and long-time friend Darryl Laxdal (bass), the group released several demos from 1999 to 2003, leading to the release of their debut full length Mongrel on Escape Artist Records.[3][4]

Several tours followed with the likes of Relapse Records' The End ,[5] Sulaco and American Heritage[6] in addition to regional dates with Mastodon, Burnt By The Sun, Anodyne, Pelican, Harkonen, Breather Resist, The Dream is Dead, Psyopus, Daughters, and Buried Inside across the Midwestern and East Coast United States, and throughout Canada. In 2004 Laxdal left the band,[7] only to rejoin in 2005 to finish the band's follow-up record Reprisal, released in 2006 on CD by Escape Artist Records, and on double-LP by No List Records. After the recording of Reprisal Laxdal and the band parted ways again.[8] Picking up bass duties after Laxdal's departure was Drew Johnston (guitarist in Electro Quarterstaff)[9][10] who also played with Jesse, Shane and Darryl in Hide Your Daughters.

In October 2006, the band took part in the "Exclaim! Magazine Aggressive Tendencies Tour" with Pelican and Daughters across Canada.[11] Bass duties were handled by former Kittens and Projektor member Jahmeel Russell who played with Jesse, Shane and Drew in Hide Your Daughters.[12]

KEN mode went on to work with Jahmeel for the band's third full-length, Mennonite, which was released in July 2008[13] on CD by Jesse Matthewson's own label, Arctodus Records, and on 3x7" vinyl by No List Records.

Prior to releasing Mennonite, Chad Tremblay joined the band as their fourth bassist in two years. The band embarked on a European tour with Welsh rockers Taint.[14] Tremblay went go on to direct the band's debut music video for the song "Extending Common Courtesy Throughout The Evening" from their Mennonite album.[citation needed]

In 2010, the band announced that Profound Lore Records will release its fourth full-length album, titled Venerable, to be recorded August 2010 with Kurt Ballou of Converge. They also announced several North American tours with Gaza, Engineer, Rosetta, Buried Inside, Wolvhammer, Clinging To The Trees Of A Forest Fire, and others.[15] Venerable was released March 15, 2011 surrounded by an 8-week North American tour, joining forces with the likes of Black Breath, Fuck the Facts and Khann.[16] An unrelenting tour schedule followed for the bulk of 2011 and beginning of 2012: June 2011 in the US with Deafheaven;[17] June 19, 2011 the band played the Hellfest Open Air festival in Clisson France; July/August 2011 in the Midwestern US and Eastern Canada with the Great Sabatini;[18] Sept/Oct 2011 in the US with the Atlas Moth[19] and an extensive European run with Kylesa and Circle Takes The Square in January and February 2012.[20]

On March 31, 2012, Venerable won the inaugural Heavy Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year Juno Award in Canada.[21] Venerable was also nominated for Rock Album of the Year by the Western Canadian Music Awards.[22]

In addition to the non-stop touring cycle for Venerable, KEN mode went through three bassists before finally enlisting former Khann guitarist and songwriter Andrew LaCour, who toured with the band from July 2011 onward, and contribute to the writing of their fifth album, Entrench.[23]

November 2012 saw the band sign a worldwide deal with Season of Mist Records to release its fifth album, who they spent September and October recording and mixing with Matt Bayles.[24] Entrench was released in March 2013.[25] In June 2013, the album was longlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize and was nominated for the Heavy Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year Juno Award, their second album nominated since the award's inception in 2012.


Current membersEdit

  • Jesse Matthewson − vocals, guitar, piano (1999−present)
  • Shane Matthewson − drums (1999−present)
  • Scott Hamilton − bass, backing vocals (2014−present)
  • Kathryn Kerr − saxophone, synth, piano, percussion, backing vocals (2021−present)[26]

Former membersEdit

  • Darryl Laxdal − bass, backing vocals (1999−2004, 2005)
  • Drew Johnston − bass (2006)
  • Jahmeel Russell − bass (2006−2007)
  • Chad Tremblay − bass, backing vocals (2007−2010)
  • Thérèse Lanz − bass (2010−2011)
  • Andrew LaCour − bass, backing vocals (2011−2014)



  • Mongrel (2003)
  • Reprisal (2006)
  • Mennonite (2008)
  • Venerable (2011)
  • Entrench (2013)
  • Success (2015)[27]
  • Loved (2018)
  • NULL (2022)

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominee/Work Result Ref
2019 Juno Award Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year Loved [28][circular reference]
2016 Juno Award Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year Success [28][circular reference]
2014 Juno Award Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year Entrench [28][circular reference]
2012 Juno Award Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year Venerable Won [28][circular reference]


  1. ^ Heaney, Gregory. "KEN mode | Biography & History". Allmusic. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  2. ^ Freeman, Phil. "Venerable – Overview". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  3. ^ Uptown Magazine, March 27, 2003
  4. ^ Stylus Magazine, April 2003
  5. ^ "The End kicks off Canadian tour | News". 2002-08-25. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
  6. ^ "KEN Mode and American Heritage tour | News". 2004-07-08. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
  7. ^ Winnipeg Sun, October 14, 2004
  8. ^ "Decibel Magazine". 14 November 2006. Archived from the original on 14 November 2006. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  9. ^ Uptown Magazine, July 13, 2006
  10. ^ Winnipeg Free Press, July 13, 2006
  11. ^ "Pitchfork: Pelican Plan Assorted Releases, Launch Tour". 7 May 2007. Archived from the original on 7 May 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  12. ^ Uptown Magazine: December 28, 2006
  13. ^ "Arctodus Records - Store". 19 August 2010. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Taint, KEN Mode tour dates (Europe)". 19 September 2016. Archived from the original on 19 September 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Profound Lore Records". Profound Lore Records. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
  16. ^ "KEN mode announce sprawling Canada/US tour". Exclaim!. 2011-02-10.
  17. ^ "KEN Mode, Deafheaven tour". LambGoat. April 4, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  18. ^ "KEN mode Canadian tour dates". Profound Lore Records. July 7, 2011.
  19. ^ "the Atlas Moth, KEN mode tour". Lambgoat. August 31, 2011.
  20. ^ "Kylesa, Circle Takes The Square & KEN mode Early 2012 European/UK Tour Announced". The PRP. December 5, 2011.
  21. ^ "2012 Junos: All the winners". CBC. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  22. ^ Adams, Gregory (June 5, 2012). "Dan Mangan, Said the Whale, KEN Mode, Adaline Rack Up Western Canadian Music Award Nominations". Exclaim!. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  23. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (January 15, 2013). "KEN mode: "Counter Culture Complex"". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  24. ^ "KEN MODE Signs With SEASON OF MIST". Babblermouth. January 8, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  25. ^ Heaney, Gregory (2013-03-19). "Entrench - KEN mode : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
  26. ^ "Hear KEN mode Bring Sax and Violence on Savage New Song "A Love Letter"". Revolver. June 10, 2022.
  27. ^ Hudson, Alex (September 29, 2014). "KEN Mode to Record 'Success' LP with Steve Albini". Exclaim!. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  28. ^ a b c d Printer-Friendly Nominees & Winners

External linksEdit