Qualicum Beach, Regional District of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
1.) Wil is a Canadian rock/americana/electropop artist.
Wil was born to parents who were both musically proficient. On Friday nights he would sit and listen while his parents played and sung along to the old crooners and guitar legends such as Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins and Hank Williams.
By the age of 13 he was seriously refining and defining his playing style unknowingly blending his love of "old school country" with new diverse punk and alternative rock influences. He subsequently landed his first paying gig in 1992 and spent a number of years honing his musicianship while finding his true voice.
In 2001, Wil wrote his first album "Both Hands" selling over 6000 copies off stage subsequently allowing him to tour with artists such as Colin James, Matthew Good, Joel Plaskett Emergency and Xavier Rudd among others as well earning him 4 nominations at the 2005 WCMA’s including producer and “entertainer of the Year”. The CD has since gone on to sell over 16,000 copies.
For Wil’s sophomore release titled By December he collaborated melodically with some of Canada's most respected musicians; producer and multi-instrumentalist Dave MacKinnon (FemBots), " 54-40's Neil Osborne and Broken Social Scene's Jason Collett among others. In October 2008, Big Life a beautiful track from Wil’s last studio album, By December was featured in a pivotal hospital scene in the ABC TV series, Eli Stone (Johnny Lee Miller).
Wil was recently featured in a White Iron Films, Rosie Award-winning documentary entitled, Music Is The Message: Wil, which detailed Wils ongoing journey within music. The doc was aired on MuchMoreMusic in September 2010 and scooped three awards at the recent ‘Rosies’, including best Best Music or Variety Show.
Wil spent the winter of 2009 at home on Vancouver Island acreage writing the songs for the 2010 release, “In This Together”. These songs made the journey from Wil’s home in the woods to his management’s studio space in Calgary before hopping the border to be fully realized in the recording studio. Wil says, “The recording process…has given me the opportunity to work with a wonderful collective of people; open, honest and loving people who are involved for the sheer love of music and art.
Wil spent the fall and winter of 2010 writing songs for a new album as well as honing his talent for creating music for television and film. Wils song “Ride” was selected as the official theme song for TV of the 100th Anniversary Calgary Stampede as well as landing the songs “Roam”, “Here We Go” and “Look Around in Travel Albertas’ 2011/12 “Remember to Breathe” commercial campaign.
When asked about the writing process for these songs, Wil says, “While watching the incredibly shot footage for these commercials, the words and music just spilled from my head onto the page. I suppose living so near the Rockies kind of rubbed off on me.
Although I now live on Vancouver Island, I still consider myself a “Calgary boy” at heart. On my new record there is a song called “Gold” which is really about my Dad packing up and moving us from Quebec to Calgary where he had been offered a job working as a mechanic for Ingersoll Rand. My Mom, my sister and I cried the whole way to Alberta. In retrospect, I don’t know how he made the trip with us!!
It all worked out for us mind you; my Dad ended with a great job, my Mom’s been working at the same nursing home for 25 years and my wife and I seem to visit her more than when we lived in the same city.
The album, "Heart of Mine" contains 9 tracks written entirely by Wil, then recorded/produced in a small Victoria studio with the help of his drummer, producer/engineer, Jason Cook. Those who have heard it feel it is his best work to date, honest and raw; if one were to label it, roots/rock or indie roots; this is a studio album yet it manages to defiantly capture the energy of Wils’ famous live performances.
Wil is and will remain, the consummate touring musician, developing his expansive roots-rock sound and world-weary lyricism while building a dedicated following for his famously intense live shows. Wil has always preferred to play live either solo or with “just a drummer”. He says that freedom allows him to immerse himself onstage utterly and completely. One such performance was written up by the Calgary Sun as having so much "power and soul it could stop your heart."
2. ) Wil is a stoner / doom metal band based in Chicago, IL.
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