The accolades are starting to pile up for Willhorse after they were named the winner of Kelowna radio station K96-3’s Emerging Artist Program.
The top five artists in the competition were given $1,000 each to record a new song, which was part of the overall assessment of the artist. Willhorse recorded ‘Sure Shot’, a track that bassist Todd Menzies believes represents an evolution in the band’s music.
“It’s like any band, you mature in that time,” said Menzies. “It’s a little bit of a new direction…but it’s still got that old southern country rock feel to it as well…it’s still a Willhorse song.”
The win comes on the back of the group’s fifth place finish in last year’s Peak Performance project and comes with $4,000 to be used within the industry.
“It can cover flight costs, rental vehicle, rental gear, so it’s a nice relief for us to know that most of our expenses are covered for (the upcoming tour).”
That tour is scheduled for early September and includes performances at Rifflandia in Victoria and the Jasper Folk Festival, along with a Sept. 5 date at home in Golden at the Rockwater.
“It’ll be our last show in Golden for a little bit,” Menzies said.
“We wanted to do a hometown show…We have a few new tunes that maybe some people have heard but that we’ve been recently playing more.”
After that, the band is hoping to begin breaking into the U.S. market and is applying for entry into South by Southwest, a big music festival in Austin, Texas in March. If they are accepted, they’ll look to plan a tour along the west coast of the U.S. on their way down.
“I feel like our sound and our music would really go over well in the States, but we’ll see,” said Menzies.
As for a new album, Menzies says there isn’t a timeline yet on a follow up to their 2012 debut, but says fans can look forward to another single in the near future.
“(A new album) would be released no earlier than spring or summer 2015, we’re going to try and get back into the studio in the fall and keep plugging away,” said Menzies.