Hometown: Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada
Web site: http://www.ibreakstrings.com
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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 new influences from Led Zepplin to Michael Hedges. 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 titled "Both Hands". The title track, “Both Hands” was written by friend and writing partner, Jeff Leitl. It sold over 6000 copies off stage and allowed 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.
The lyrical process comes to Wil quite naturally. Wil says that since he can remember he has made up “ entire movies in his head”. These screen plays become the paints used to color and craft his songs. 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.
The melodic collaborations of these artists as well as the musicians who played on the recording made it a very grand experience. Wil kids that "it was recorded in 27 different places with 356 people" and though he briefly feared its sheer enormity might get away from him during the two years it took to complete, the combination of diverse influences and widescreen sounds never even threatens to overpower Wil's gruff, soulful voice, virtuosic guitar and dark-hued storytelling.
"I like calling it a 'real' record," Wil offers. "I don't know what a not-real record is, but in my eyes a real record is people playing in a room together, feeding off each other, and capturing those moments.
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."
Music, Video, Image and Lyric Samples:
mynameiswil.doc - dedication of "Big Life"