© Scott Anderson
League of Wolves, Aspen Beveridge (vocals, guitar), Greig Beveridge (drums, vocals), Dillon Currie (vocals, guitar) and Ethan Stork (bass), performed at the Long Day's Night Music Festival and will be appearing twice during Frontier Days in Swift Current this Saturday.
The hard rocking Maple Creek quartet League of Wolves are evolving from their small, unknown band status into a maturing band with big aspirations.
Formerly known as The Shoeless Joes, League of Wolves continue to build a dedicated following of fans, with their music already ringing through the home arena of the Ottawa Senators as they continue to refine their sound. The group features Ethan Stork (bass), Aspen Beveridge (vocals, guitar), Dillon Currie (vocals, guitar) and Greig Beveridge (drums, vocals).
"Definitely as we've been going through the learning kinks for the last two years. At first we sort of carried over our main influences, purely straight rock and roll with a little touch of blues in there. Now we're sort of getting into a western/southern/soul feel on some of our songs," Greig Beveridge said following the band's sound check at the Long Day's Night Music Festival this past week.
They released the five song The Motions EP in August of last year, and they have had a busy 2014 by filming their first music video in May and now completing work on their first full length recording.
"It's definitely progressed from our EP to recording this album now. The songs have gotten way better, and more diverse. It's not like we stick to a specific genre. We're kind of all over the map. We kind of write whatever we feel like. If we're listening to maybe Cage The Elephant a lot, it highly reflects," Stork explained.
They are also starting to take bigger steps on the music scene, travelling to Canadian Music Week in Toronto and playing a festival in Quebec. While the trip was more of a networking opportunity with industry representatives, it also reflects a wider audience for their music.
"It's more about meeting contacts than the actual exposure, at least for a very small, unknown band. But we made some really good contacts," Stork admitted.
They are also in the midst of getting people used to their new band name, after they inadvertently chose the name of an Ontario based restaurant chain. Ironically, the name was a spur of the moment name when two of the band members were performing during Open Mic at the Lyric Theatre a few years back.
"I don't think (the old name) represented the music we're making now," Currie said. "It's almost like a novelly thing. The people that know us have really come to love it. We get taken a lot more serious with a name like League of Wolves than Shoeless Joes."
"I think it embodies the music, especially the newer songs. They are a little more wild. They do have an edge to them."
After opening for The Stanfields at the Long Day's Night Music Festival, League of Wolves will be making a series of concert appearances across the Southwest this summer in advance of launching their first full length recording. They are on stage twice during Frontier Days, including a Cabaret on Saturday night on the SIGA Centennial Pavillion stage. They also have summer shows in Shaunavon (July 25), Cabri (July 26), Kyle (Aug. 8), and they headline the Swift Current Kinsmen and Kinettes Street Dance on Aug. 9.
"It's nice. I guess our name is getting out around here and people are just contacting us. We didn't have to search for any shows," Stork said. "We're just thrilled that our name's kind of getting out around here and people are taking notice."
The biggest thrill of their young career as a band has been hearing their song Straight Shot played during the warm-ups for the Ottawa Senators. Fellow Maple Creek resident Zack Smith had been playing their EP in the dressing room, and the music was picked up by other people who liked their sound.
"It's pretty cool to hear a song that was recorded in your basement being played in an arena," Currie admitted.
They are also appearing before a wider audience of music lovers thanks to opportunities like the Long Day's Night Music Festival.
"It means a lot to us to see our names on the bill, above or below, bands that we really appreciate and look up to. That means a lot," Aspen Beveridge said.