During his many sorties into Saskatoon, Dillon Currie and his musical pals often bumped into former Sheepdogs’ guitarist Leot Hanson. Whether it was hanging around Lydia’s Pub or later The Capitol Music Club (which Hanson co-owned), Currie’s band, soon to be known as League Of Wolves, made a connection with Hanson. Initially, it was just informal jam sessions where they’d knock off Kings Of Leon covers, Hanson then helped the band record an indie EP release before eventually throwing his lot in with the group.
A joint venture which has led to the recent release of the band’s first proper studio effort, a self-titled, six-track EP, produced by Gavin Brown (The Tragically Hip, Three Days Grace, Billy Talent) recorded at Toronto’s Noble Street Studios.
“It’s been a cool experience and one that I could never have imagined back in 2013 before we met Leot,” enthused lead vocalist Currie from his Swift Current residence. “To have him join the band (with Beveridge brothers; Aspen (guitar), Greig (drums) and Dave Wickstrom (bass) and to step into Noble Street studios with a producer like Gavin Brown is something none of us have experienced before.
“We’d hung around with Leot at a bunch of parties we always threw when we visited Saskatoon, we had so much fun playing covers with him so we both said ‘Why don’t we do a project together’ “, recalled Currie. That led to their 2015 indie EP and when Hanson gave the band credibility by agreeing to join forces, the Wolves had no problems attracting the attention of Toronto-based indie record label, Inside Pocket (distributed by Warner Music Canada)
“It’s been a pretty cool transition, Leot is a pretty cool character, he obviously has a lot of experience, his inclusion changed our entire dynamic in a positive way,” Currie enthused. “We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for his input.”
Songwriting help also came in the form of Maia Davies (songwriter for One Bad Son, Mother Mother) who helped sharpen up the songs and Monster Truck’s Jon Harvey who co-wrote two of the album’s six tracks and Brown was able to provide guidance and direction behind the studio console.
“It was a definite learning curve for us,” said Currie of their relationship with Brown. “I wouldn’t say we just stepped in and nailed it, we had to grow a bit but it’s been two years in the making and we are pretty comfortable in that atmosphere now.”
The end result is six guitar-heavy tracks in the realm of Kings Of Leon and Queens Of The Stone Age, but as defined by their debut single “Never Be The Same Again”, the Wolves reflect a defined melodic vocal sound “which comes from us singing Beatle songs around the campfire when we were kids” reveals Currie.
The band’s name comes from a story they had heard about someone who travelled to Ontario’s Manitoulin Island to study wolves and felt the animal’s pack mentality aptly described their internal relationship thus League Of Wolves was formulated.
Having travelled across the country about six times (and opened for the likes of The Trews, The Glorious Sons and The Beaches), the Wolves are fully aware of the demands required to promote themselves and are gearing up for a major fall tour after performing at a couple of Saskatchewan festivals later this summer.
“We have some great people working for us back east so it’s just a matter of getting out there an make sure our songs get heard,” enthused Currie. “We recognize that it’s harder than ever for a new band to get yourself established but we are up for the challenge.”
By Keith Sharp