Five Minutes With: Sandy MacKinnon of Rock Trio Royal Tusk

Royal Tusk, the Alberta, Canada trio—Daniel Carriere (vocals), Quinn Cyrankiewicz (guitar), and Sandy MacKinnon (bass)—carves its own path with a unique blend of hypnotic hooks, hard-hitting riffs, untethered rhythms, and honest lyrics. Their upcoming 2024 third full-length album, “Altruistic,” promises a distinctive sound. After gaining millions of streams and acclaim, Royal Tusk aims to stand out. They self-produced the album, overcoming challenges, including Daniel’s health struggles, during the pandemic. The lead track, “All My Life,” speaks of change and pursuing what you want. “Head Up” encourages resilience, and “Here On Out” urges people to live authentically. “Relegate” explores relationship challenges, while “Hated” tackles feelings of alienation. The album reflects the theme of change, challenging the belief that individuals can’t change. Royal Tusk aims to inspire a physical reaction, hoping listeners blast their music in the car and headbang.

Royal Tusk
Photo by: Kidpixel & Travis Nesbit


Sandy MacKinnon [bass] from Royal Tusk



# of Albums:


Latest Album:

Altruistic, released Feb 23, 2024

Latest Single:


Latest Video:

Favourite musician growing up:

When I was about 4 years old, my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday. Not even knowing what I was saying, I said “Iron Maiden”. My mom got me a double cassette of “Live after Death” Iron Maiden live record, which I listened to on repeat until the ribbon snapped.

Favourite musician now:

I’ve grown and now listen to so many different genres….but for obvious reasons, I’m gonna stick with Iron Maiden.

Guilty pleasure song:

I have a long list of songs I don’t like, however, those I do, I don’t feel guilty for liking….and being from Alberta that includes pop country….you bet yer bippy I got a soft spot for pop country.

Live show ritual:

Get a coffee, and stretch out my neck and back so I don’t succumb to bang over. This is because I don’t want to end up being so stiff and sore that I move life Micheal Keaton in that Batman suit.

Early bird or night owl?

Night Owl. Hoot hoot

Road or studio?

I love being in the studio creating music with my band, but I’m gonna have to say, being back on stage every night in a different city and seeing old pals……Road dawg fer life.

Where can we follow you?

Facebook | Instagram | Youtube | Spotify


Rapid Fire Local Questions:

What is your favourite Calgary local restaurant?

Diner Deluxe…usually the morning after a show in Calgary calls for good coffee and big eatin’.

What is your favourite street in your city and why?

As long as I’m close enough to a burger baron, then I don’t much care where I am.

What is your favourite park in your city and why?

I have 2 tiny little pooches so I love bringing them on down to Mill creek off-leash dog park.

What is your favourite music venue in your city?

Starlite Room…. I’ve played some of my most memorable shows there. It holds a very special place in my heart.

What is your favourite music store in your city?

Stang Guitars for all my guitar needs. The technician there is also a genius. As for records, Blackbyrd never disappoints. Very difficult spot to walk in and walk out with nothing.


About Emilea Semancik 84 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: