Wil’s Excellent Adventure

BY Vish KhannaPublished May 22, 2007

Vancouver Island’s Wil is riding high after completing By December with a slew of heroes and new friends. In his 36 years, Wil has lived in Quebec, Alberta, and now BC but first performed publicly in Calgary. "I played solo for eight to ten years and did covers that I deemed wicked and awesome — stuff that I liked, not what bars told me to sing,” he says proudly. "There was a really cool alternative AM radio station and I got to hear a lot of interesting things like the Pogues and I’d try crazy covers like Urge Overkill doing Neil Diamond’s ‘Girl You’ll be a Woman Soon.’ I would butcher all these fucking cool songs and people would say, ‘I’ve never heard of this before.’” The experience stuck with Wil when writing his own songs, which were nurtured on this first proper record for EMI. Produced by the FemBots’ Dave MacKinnon, By December features collaborations with Jason Collett, Ron Sexsmith, and 54-40’s Neil Osbourne.

"Co-writing and working with other people — everything was totally new,” Wil explains. "It was an unbelievable experience because everybody was awesome. I don’t care about names at all; the person has to be genuinely decent. Everybody I worked with was amazing and that was the most important thing for me.” The end result moves confidently between roots-y rock’n’roll and indie pop. "My CD collection might have Benny Goodman beside Iron Maiden and I’ve always been that way,” Wil says. "I spend way too much money on iTunes every month and I’m fucking enamoured with music. When’s the last time you heard a full record, from front to back? It’s singles world now, it’s ‘Get a hit.’ I really wanted to make a whole record with disjointed ways about it. Still, it’s not quite Pornograffitti by Extreme; that fucking thing was crazy!”

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