Winter tends to be the season when many bands pack it in and take some much-needed time off or focus on studio work—but not Willhorse. The bearded southern-rock-driven foursome from Golden, BC have teamed up with singer-songwriter Rolla Olak for the Winter Wolf Pack Tour, making its way across BC and Alberta.
The tour is a packed one, too—16 gigs in 19 days to be exact, and Edmonton’s the last stop.
“That’s kind of how we like to go out if we’re going to tour,” says Willhorse bassist Todd Menzies while on a ferry to Nanaimo for the tour kick-off show. “We did 41 shows in 62 days this summer across Canada. We love the road and we love to play, so why not, right?”
Willhorse met Olak during boot camp for this year’s Peak Performance Project (Willhorse took home $5000 for its fifth-place finish) and have since collaborated on an anthemic rock-stomper titled “Let It Roll.”
“They send you away to—it’s actually a beautiful resort—and you’re there for seven days. You can’t leave,” Menzies says of the boot camp, which required participants to be up at 7 am—an unheard of time in the musician world—to work on material and learn about the industry. “Rolla bunked with us in our cabin and we worked on the song together, which was two nights writing and two nights recording to get it done. We worked with Garth Richardson, who we’re big fans of—he did the Rage Against the Machine album and the Red Hot Chili Peppers album.”
Willhorse has released a self-titled album and a four-song disc titled The Farm Sessions so far, taking its time with its sophomore release, currently in pre-production. Although, The Farm Sessions is an interesting story unto itself, as it was recorded at The Farm Studios, the famed space in Vancouver formerly known as Little Mountain Studios where Bon Jovi worked on Slippery When Wet, Mötley Crüe laid down Dr Feel Good and Aerosmith completed Pumped, to name a few from its storied roster.
“I think we’re living in a day and age of studios like this not existing anymore, just with ProTools and Macs existing and people are just setting up their own little home studios—which is great, the quality of sound is still there but the energy is not,” Menzies says, adding the recording process was filmed by Green Couch Sessions to give fans insight into the making of the disc and a peek inside the studio, which houses the infamous “Steven Tyler bathroom” the singer requested be built in the ’70s. “There’s something about going into a big room and working with these people. It’s just, I don’t know, the couches in the lounge room kind of thing that so many conversations are had on and morning coffees and late-night whiskies have been drank on when they’re not doing their parts, whereas in a lot of these homemade studios just whoever’s working will come in and do their vocals; nobody else will be there. But in a studio like this you want to be there. Even myself, my bass parts will usually be done in the first couple days, drum and bass, but then I sit around for a few days taking it all in.”
Sun, Dec 22
Winter Wolf Pack Tour
With Rolla Olak