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Golden, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Golden, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Southern Rock




"Golden's Willhorse wins Emerging Artist Program"

K96-3, Kelowna’s Classic Rock and the Music BC Industry Association August 5 announced the winner of the 2014 K96-3 Emerging Artist Program – Willhorse!

The K96-3 Emerging Artist Program is an artist development program designed for B.C.’s interior region. Funded by the Canadian Content Development contribution of K96-3 FM, Music BC is proud to continue the development of a program to educate, inspire and support five emerging musical artists, with over $10,000 in cash and prizes.

The 2014 top five artists were awarded $1000 to complete a recording of a new, previously unreleased song, which was part of the overall assessment of the artist. The newly recorded songs will be released though K96-3FM as the K-COMP 2014 CD at Parks Alive later this August.

Along with the assessment of their recording the artists were also adjudicated on their live performance at Keloha Arts and Music Festival, as well as their final “gap report” which outlined the areas of their careers that need attention and what the artist would have done to fill the gap.

Willhorse will be awarded $4000 cash, $300 in gear courtesy of Wentworth Music as well as a headlining slot at the Music BC Showcase during Rifflandia Music Festival in Victoria. The second and third runners up – Raquel Cole and Immaculate will each receive $100 courtesy of Wentworth Music.

For more information on the program and Top five Artists please visit: http://www.musicbc.org/map/k96-emerging-artist-program/ - E-Know.ca

"Peak Performance Project Showcase #1"

The Peak Performance Project is a multi-year contest in which The Peak, along with Music BC, picks 20 BC musicians/bands each a year and makes them stars. Past winners are We Are The City, Kyprios, Current Swell, and Dear Rouge with a ton of great bands and artists included as well.

Part one of the project was a "rock & roll boot camp" where the musicians went on a week long retreat to get lectures and advice from industry pros, to help them refine their craft. Phase two is a series of shows at Fortune Sound Club; four artists a night for five weeks, each playing a 45 minute set. The bands are rated by a panel of judges, which will go toward their final score in the project. They've also been tasked to learn a "Classic Canadian Cover" to play during their set. I always love hearing bands play cover songs, and it's always interesting to see who each act chooses, if it's someone obvious to their style, or something way outside the box.

Starting off the night -- and the showcase series -- was Vancouver's Melissa Endean, who has the distinction of having the first all-female band in the Peak Performance Project history. Her strong voice and sultry passion on stage (and also maybe her backup dancers) immediate captured the crowd's attention, and her sound was fleshed out with the addition of a violin and keys in her band.
The highlight was a song called "Enemy" which more that showed off the raw power of her voice, and for her Canadian Cover, she chose an appropriate song for both her sound and attitude, "Lucky" by Bif Naked; a strong cover of an already gorgeous song.
Based on what I had heard -- the one song that The Peak was playing -- I was very pleasantly surprised by her set. Much better than I thought she would be.

Next up was Towers and Trees from Victoria. They brought a big, folksy, anthemic sound with lots of opportunities to sing or clap along, and were definitely having a blast on stage. Their energy was infectious as they got the crowd into it. Most of the set was filled with similar songs, though there was one gospel-inspired song part way through, with the highlight being "Montreal" (and not just because if may contain a subtle Doctor Who reference in the lyrics).
Despite teasing a little Hey Rosetta! early in the set, with "Red Heart" slipped into a song, their Canadian Cover ended up being"Crabbuckit" by k-os. I am always impressed when a band can take a song so far out of their wheelhouse and make it sound like their own; and Towers & Trees definitely did that, walking that find line between staying true to the original and making it their own. Probably my favourite cover of the night.

The night moved right along with Greg Drummond up next. The Port Moody singer/songwriter also had a big band with him, instruments like stand up bass and accordion rounded his sound out. His set wasn't by any means bad, but nothing really set him apart from the myriad of other singer/songwriters. Nothing really stood out, either good or bad. Drummond and his band are good musicians, and he had a strong energy, getting the crowd to clap along a couple times and even going into the crowd
He dedicated his Canadian cover song to Jay Smith, the guitarist from Matt Mays & El Torpedo who passed away earlier this year, and launched into "Tall Trees". It was a nearly spot-on cover, not straying much from the original.

And finally, wrapping up the night was Willhorse. The four piece rock band from Golden was joined by JP Maurice, who is no stranger to the Peak Performance Project, and from their first song they hit the proverbial gas and never looked back. Their dirty, swampy rock sound may not be anything revolutionary, but they do what they do very, very well.
Amid the high energy songs, they took a moment to bring it down when part way through the set, the band took a break for lead singer Jeremy Borschneck to start a song solo, only to kick in and join him at the end.
They had fellow PPP member Lydia Hol out to help them with their cover of "Poets" by The Tragically Hip -- which was a solid rendition -- and another past Peak Performance Project person joined them for their last song, Matt Rose of The Matinée shredding on the banjo.
They played right up until their time limit, even having to cut their last song -- either they weren't watching the clock close enough, or it was a shrewd move to get the crowd clamouring for more (which they certainly were).

The night was a strong start to the showcase series, and it'll keep right on going next week with Lydia Hol, The Lion The Bear The Fox, Rolla Olak, and Rykka.
- 3 am Revelations

"NXNE 2013: Willhorse Blends Blues & Rock at NXNE"

Willhorse is an all-male rock quartet that combines traditional southern musical influence with characteristic Canadian drive. Their songs effortlessly set toes tapping with catchy hooks and continue to intrigue audiences with hidden complexities. Hailing from the small town of Golden, British Columbia, Willhorse is composed of cousins Jeremy Borschneck (vocals and guitar) and Branden Winterholt (vocals and lead guitar), as well as Nick Petrowich (vocals and drums) and Todd Menzies (bass). This Canadian blues-rock band has performed with acts such as Said The Whale, The Breakmen, Shred Kelly, and Elliott Brood, and recently released their debut full-length album, Willhorse, which they will be promoting in venues all across Canada over the summer. Willhorse recently performed here in Toronto in the NXNE Festival at the famous country and blues venue The Dakota Tavern. - The Arts Scene


Winter tends to be the season when many bands pack it in and take some much-needed time off or focus on studio work—but not Willhorse. The bearded southern-rock-driven foursome from Golden, BC have teamed up with singer-songwriter Rolla Olak for the Winter Wolf Pack Tour, making its way across BC and Alberta.

The tour is a packed one, too—16 gigs in 19 days to be exact, and Edmonton’s the last stop.

“That’s kind of how we like to go out if we’re going to tour,” says Willhorse bassist Todd Menzies while on a ferry to Nanaimo for the tour kick-off show. “We did 41 shows in 62 days this summer across Canada. We love the road and we love to play, so why not, right?”

Willhorse met Olak during boot camp for this year’s Peak Performance Project (Willhorse took home $5000 for its fifth-place finish) and have since collaborated on an anthemic rock-stomper titled “Let It Roll.”

“They send you away to—it’s actually a beautiful resort—and you’re there for seven days. You can’t leave,” Menzies says of the boot camp, which required participants to be up at 7 am—an unheard of time in the musician world—to work on material and learn about the industry. “Rolla bunked with us in our cabin and we worked on the song together, which was two nights writing and two nights recording to get it done. We worked with Garth Richardson, who we’re big fans of—he did the Rage Against the Machine album and the Red Hot Chili Peppers album.”

Willhorse has released a self-titled album and a four-song disc titled The Farm Sessions so far, taking its time with its sophomore release, currently in pre-production. Although, The Farm Sessions is an interesting story unto itself, as it was recorded at The Farm Studios, the famed space in Vancouver formerly known as Little Mountain Studios where Bon Jovi worked on Slippery When Wet, Mötley Crüe laid down Dr Feel Good and Aerosmith completed Pumped, to name a few from its storied roster.

“I think we’re living in a day and age of studios like this not existing anymore, just with ProTools and Macs existing and people are just setting up their own little home studios—which is great, the quality of sound is still there but the energy is not,” Menzies says, adding the recording process was filmed by Green Couch Sessions to give fans insight into the making of the disc and a peek inside the studio, which houses the infamous “Steven Tyler bathroom” the singer requested be built in the ’70s. “There’s something about going into a big room and working with these people. It’s just, I don’t know, the couches in the lounge room kind of thing that so many conversations are had on and morning coffees and late-night whiskies have been drank on when they’re not doing their parts, whereas in a lot of these homemade studios just whoever’s working will come in and do their vocals; nobody else will be there. But in a studio like this you want to be there. Even myself, my bass parts will usually be done in the first couple days, drum and bass, but then I sit around for a few days taking it all in.” - Vue Weekly

"Rocky Mountain Outlook"

Many, many people cruise on through Golden, B.C. as just one fuel stop on the Trans-Canada en route to the B.C. Interior.

The members of rock band Willhorse, though, stopped in, not just for a good time, but for some time.

Now based in Golden, stubblejumpers Jeremy Borschneck, Branden Winterholt and Nick Petrowich originally struggled to find gigs in Saskatchewan prairie towns. After moving to Golden, though, the trio hooked up with Ontarian Todd Menzies and Willhorse was born a couple of years ago.

These days, the hard working band is playing as much as possible, on the road constantly and taking its southern rock sound to northern venues.

Willhorse will share a stage with Vancouver Island’s Rolla Olak at Banff’s Elk and Oarsman, Monday (Dec. 16).

Willhorse, said Menzies, is on the road again, playing gigs from Edmonton to the West Coast.

“We met Rolla at the Peak Performance Project. We’ve done a few shows together and he’ll open for us. He fits right in, right down to the long hair and beard.”

The Peak Performance Project, sponsored by 102.7 The Peak in Vancouver, has been a jumping off point for several bands that tour regularly through the Bow Valley, including Current Swell, the Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, The Matinee and others.

Both Willhorse and Olak made it to the top 20 stage and Willhorse the top five. They met in the songwriting stage of the event and took second place ($500) for their song “Let it Roll,” a hard-driving rock number featuring multi-part harmonies.

“That was great exposure for us,” said Menzies, “and we won $5,000, which is pretty good. It’s paid for gas and to get some merchandise.”

The exposure has meant Willhorse members are going at their music full time these days and are in the midst of playing 17 shows in December with Olak as part of the Winter Wolfpack Tour. They also hit the road to cross Canada on a 40 gigs in 62 days tour.

As well, they’re working on a new album which will follow The Farm Sessions (2013) EP and the full-length Willhorse (2012).

“Songwriting for us is a collaborative effort,” said Menzies. “We split the songwriting credits and everybody comes up with ideas. We love Golden and we have a good following in ski towns like Nelson and Fernie and Banff.”

The band has played B.C. festivals in Kelowna, Kitsilano and other areas, landed a Canada Day gig in Golden and played NXNE in June before touring eastern Canada.

“Right now, we’re trying to spread our wings and spread our name around,” said Menzies. “In March we’re going to tour the U.S. western states and head east for Canadian Music Week.

“For winter, we’ll do some shows at good ski towns, but mostly stay home. When you live in Golden, you always have to drive through a pass to go somewhere.”

Come summer time, when the driving is easy, Willhorse packs up its 1973 36-foot MCI bus to hit the road “and then we don’t have to spend money on hotels,” said Menzies.

“Touring is our bread and butter and being in Golden means it’s not a real long drive to Edmonton or to Vancouver for shows.”

Willhorse’s high energy live performances has earned them shared stages with Said the Whale, 54-40, The Breakmen, Leeroy Stagger, Elliot Brood and Shred Kelly.

Olak grew up on Vancouver Island and got his musical start early on, moving to Toronto to play guitar in a pop-rock group. A few radio hits and extensive touring throughout North America and Japan followed.

Returning to Canada, Olak began exploring the studio and songwriting with fellow bandmate-turned-producer, Stephen Kozmeniuk, which led to the recording of his first self-titled debut album.

On moving back to the West Coast, Olak transformed a shed in his backyard into a recording studio where he recorded Western Heart, his second solo album. In the quiet confines of the Tone Shed, the band played live as Rolla was inspired by great singer-songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Neil Young.

The completed album features eight pop-rock songs, including a duet “God Only Knows” with Canadian songstress Louise Burns, and “Magic Spell” currently being played on commercial radio. - Willhorse ride into valley

"Peak Performance Project 2013 announces its top 20"

The top 20 artists in this year’s Peak Performance Project were announced at the Fortune Sound Club this evening (June 11).

After being winnowed down by judges from over a whopping 320 entries, the following bands will go on to the famed PPP Boot Camp at Rockridge Canyon in Princeton in late August, where they’ll be wrangled, worked, and pushed like bitches through basic rock star training.

But before that, they’ll all be added to the line-up at the Khatsahlano! Arts + Music Festival, on July 13.

Congratulations, meanwhile, go out to Coldwater Road, Lydia Hol, Lions in the Street, the Lion the Bear the Fox, Rolla Olak, Hannah Epperson, Melissa Endead, Bodhi Jones, and Bestie—all from Vancouver.

Surrey’s Good for Grapes and Rykka also made the cut, as did Towers and Trees, Dougal Bain McLean, and Fallbrigade, all based in Victoria, along with Greg Drummond from Port Moody, and Luca Fogale from Burnaby.

Amble Greene (Ocean Park), Oh No Yoko (Abbotsford), Van Damsel (Kamloops), and Willhorse (Golden) round out the list.

Live showcases at the Fortune Sound Club follow in September, with the top five acts being announced November 5, and the final big show taking place at the Commodore Ballroom on November 21.

The winner walks away with a sweet $102,700 (that figure being a cute reference to Music BC partners 102.7 the Peak, in case it needs to be explained). All 20 finalists, meanwhile, will receive $5000 to put towards their careers.

Last year’s grand prize winner was Dear Rouge. This is the fifth year for the Project. - The Georgia Straight

"A Tale of Three Bass Players"

This tale of three bass players began about a month ago as a 1973 Detroit Diesel engine carried the frame of an old-school tour bus and a band called Willhorse down Maple-lined Queen Street in little Norwood, ON to park in front of my house.

Actually, the tale began many years ago under different trees across town, but I’m not sure there’s enough space here for the many stories that led to this particular adventure, which began in my backyard and ended in a suburb of Detroit with Art of Dying, Three Days Grace, a few thousand bikers and I on a sunny June Saturday.

Willhorse, Art of Dying, and Three Days Grace all have deep roots in Norwood. At Toronto’s Dakota Tavern in the midst of my bass player adventure during the Willhorse NXNE showcase on June 13, 2013, I saw Ralph James, the Founder and President of the Agency Group’s Toronto office. Ralph knows Norwood well, and he told me over a couple of pints that, per capita, this little village on the highway between Toronto and Ottawa must churn out more musicians than anywhere.

I had to agree.

Bassist Todd Menzies of Willhorse is one of them. He grew up with music in his heart and watched and learned as older friends played guitars around fires and in basements and garages. In a small town, there really are no age groups when you hit teenage years, and Menzies had no trouble holding his own with the older guys. Picking up the guitar was as natural as anything

He moved to British Columbia 11 years ago, eventually settling in Golden where he got lost in the love of powder snowboarding and music. He’s been part of several music projects and played with many talented musicians throughout the past decade, but when he connected with Jeremy Borschneck, Nick Petrowich, and Branden Winterholt last year, he says the chemistry was different. There was simplicity and honesty in the music they instantly began to write together and it wasn’t long before these three guys from North Battleford, SK, who grew up with music and friendships intertwined, would set up permanent roots in Golden, BC alongside Menzies. Their only goal was to write and record an album they could be proud of.

It’s a testament to the quality of their art and the good nature of their personalities that they were invited to record at Blaeberry Mountain Lodge under the guidance of producer JP Maurice. He also mixed the debut album with Nygel Asselin at The Farm Studios at Fader Mountain Sound, which is owned by the iconic Garth Richardson – Rage Against the Machine’s debut album? That was Richardson in the producer chair.

It seems everybody who comes into contact with the straight-ahead sound Willhorse found is caught up in it. There’s a raw, Southern-rock influence that captures the essence of classic ZZ Top or Lynyrd Skynyrd while being fresh and new. Kings of Leon took the music world by storm in the same way, and Saskatchewan’s Sheepdogs proved hard work can make lightning strike again. So many new artists today seem to have one sound or one tempo, but Willhorse managed to dial in 10 unique songs on this album that showcase a diverse range of harmony and lyrical beauty – at once soft and then hard hitting. The blend of voices led by Borschneck mixes with catchy guitar riffs and Winterholt’s leads, while the steady musicality of Menzies on bass and Petrowich’s prowess on drums rounds out the sound.

I’d never heard one song until the album landed in my mailbox just after it was pressed in December, and the result was far beyond my expectations. The tour they started when the album dropped carried them throughout Western Canada in the winter months and to Ontario this spring.

A stripped down acoustic set in my backyard was part of a fundraising campaign my family organizes on the May 24 weekend, and it was my first chance to see them play live. Barefoot and happy, I was, as the music carried on beside a bonfire well into the late night. I expected the police, but my neighbours know me well and I think they liked the music as much as the gathered crowd in my yard.

A note attached to the door of the bus read something like. “Thanks for the concert last night. We really enjoyed the music.” It was signed “61 Legion Street” – a house a little jaunt away from mine. No cops, just a nice friendly note; I took that as a good sign.

A couple weeks later, after Willhorse hit Toronto, Kingston, Perth, Ottawa, and Peterborough, they blew the doors off Norwood’s legion, joined by the raucous adventure in music called Shred Kelly. It was another night to remember, and again, it proved that in any situation, be it backyard, legion hall, or proper stage in a club, this band has all the working parts in order.

Their final show in Ontario was the NXNE showcase at the Dakota Tavern, where a few industry folks mingled with a packed house of music fans and, again, they played with the same passion and heart they carry with them everywhere.

They’re in Alberta now on the last leg of their - Canadian Musican Magazine

"Willhorse rocks on auspicious debut"

Golden based rock band Willhorse makes an impressive recording debut with their self titled debut Cd. While they have a mid ’90s sound reminiscent of Soul Asylum, The Gin Blossoms, the Refreshments and even a little Big Wreck (in the vocals), they wear their ’70s influences on their sleeves. It is chock full of catchy, ’70s style Rolling Stones style riffs, vocal harmonies and sing along melodies.
“Easy Girl” is the best example of all of these things, however the entire CD just begs for repeated listens.
They begin with a couple straight ahead Tom Petty tinged rockers, “Tempered Hearts,” and the outstanding “Easy Girl,” then show things down for a couple of numbers.
But they pick up the tempo for the strange, but addictive “Stoke It Up.”
Another one of my favourites “Little Things” has a ZZ Top boogie/ blues feel featuring more great harmonies and harp.
“Love Won’t Leave Me” carries on in the blues rock vein.
THey end on a long, melodic, just about perfect note on “Never Going to Leave You,” a mid tempo rocker which carries you home nicely. - L.A Beat Magazine

"CBC Radio West Spotlight: Willhorse"

This week, guest host Manusha Janakiram shines the Radio West spotlight on a band from Golden: Willhorse. - CBC Radio West

"Willhorse: or How I stopped worrying and learned to love Northern-Southern Rock"

If you live around the interior British Coulmbia, no doubt you may have heard some catchy tunes wafting past your ear holes. You may have also checked to see if your Dad left his old Skynrd albums on again. Then you may have realized you were nowhere near home, and the previous thought was just ridiculous. But whatever warped thoughts were going through your head, one thing is for sure, Willhorse sounds good.

Sporting a seemingly effortless southern-rock sound, the Golden, BC. quintet have been burning the midnight oil, playing as many shows as they can get their talented hands onto. If you’re around for any of their shows be prepared to crack a beer and tap your feet, because once the hooks from these good ol’ boys grab on, they won’t ever let go. - On Our Sleeves

"Willhorse lighting up Golden music scene"

If you have been spending much time at the Rockwater Grill and Bar, or the Taps Pub, then you've probably already seen these guys perform.

One of Golden's hottest bands has been lighting up the local music scene for the past couple months, and recently even hit the stage at the Golden Civic Centre for the Rick Hansen Relay concert.

"That was so great. When we get to play a venue like that (the Civic Centre), it really gives us hope that we're getting closer. Essentially those are the venues that we want to play, constantly. So when we get to experience that on a small scale, that pushes us to work harder," said Jeremy Borschneck, singer and guitar player with the band Willhorse.

The southern rock influenced indie band also features Branden Winterholt on guitar and vocals, Nick Petrowich playing the drums and singing backing vocals, as well as Todd Menzies on bass.

"(Winterholt) and I are cousins, and we toured together for about two and a half years acoustic, just the two of us," said Borschneck, reminiscing about the band came into being. "And then we met (Petrowich) at a gig. We were playing in Swiftcurrent."

"When I saw them play, it was just the two of them sitting on chairs on this big stage with two acoustic guitars. And people were up dancing to it. I thought these guys were so cool, I should go talk to them. I was a musician, playing with another band and thought I should branch out. And we just hit it off," said Petrowich.

Since then, the three have been playing together under different names and different bands. They took a bit of a hiatus, and Borschneck moved to Golden to start his business, the Crooked Antler.

"I had decided to move out here, and explore this part of the world, and I noticed that there was music happening here every night of the week pretty much. So I called these guys and convinced them to come down," he said.

" I was working in Edmonton, and I’d get calls from (Borschneck), and he’d be like ‘it’s so great, you’ve got to come down here.’ You don't expect it to be as good as it is until you get here,” said Petrowich.

“I've always lived in cities, nowhere as small as Golden. But it doesn't seem that small because there's always people coming through, and great culture and great shows."

"It's just such a great community," added Winterholt. "It's been so welcoming. The last couple weeks, we've been playing four nights a week."

In a town the size of Golden, Willhorse is working very hard to keep an audience full of regulars entertained night after night.

"It's a fine line with over-saturating our band, because in Golden a lot of the same people do come to the bars," said Borschneck.

The band has a repertoire of original music, as well as covers of a multitude of different bands. To keep it interesting, they have played both electric and acoustic shows. And when the band hosts jam or open mic nights, which they do at both the Rockwater and Taps on a regular basis, they will each get up and do solo performances.

"It's almost a good thing that it happened though, because it forces us to change and innovate and do something new so that people don't get sick of us," said Petrowich.

And although they do enjoy playing in bars and performing covers, which Winterholt says can range "from anybody like the Stones to lots of 90s stuff like the Tragically Hip," Willhorse hopes to start playing music venues where they can play a full set of their original music.

"Our main goal at this point, is we want to be able to play venues where people come out just to see live music. Where we can walk in with our gear, set up all of our backline, they have a sound guy and a PA system. We do an hour of original music, and then get off the stage," said Borschneck.

“I love playing in bars, it’s awesome. But it takes a lot of sacrifices sometimes to go on tours like that,” said Petrowich.

The band is planning a small tour for about a month in June and July, and then they hope - The Golden Star


Sure Shot (single) released August 5th, 2014

The Farm Sessions EP released October 1st, 2013

Self titled debut album released December 12th, 2012



Everyone drives through Golden, BC. Willhorse stayed.

Saskatchewan bred Jeremy Borschneck, Branden Winterholt and Nick Petrowich spent years of struggling in prairie dive bars with a story that reads just like the Sheepdogs except for the Rolling Stone cover. After moving to the quiet mountain town of Golden and meeting Ontario native Todd Menzies, Willhorse was conceived. Immediately they hit the highway with their Southern rock from the North. Their independently recorded debut album contains honest songs about love, loss and life on the road. Willhorse are no strangers to that road. With over 250 performances in just 2 1/2 years; including a 60 day 41 show cross Canada tour in 2013 which included a showcase at NXNE, its likely you'll see Willhorse roll through your town in their thirty-six foot 1973 MCI tour bus. Their high energy live performance has brought them to share the stage with Said the Whale, 54-40, Leeroy Stagger, Elliot Brood and Shred Kelly. Creating a buzz in the Canadian music scene, Willhorse placed 5th in Vancouvers Peak Performance Project 2013 and 1st in K96/Music BC's Emerging Artist Program, and continue to tour and write relentlessly. Willhorse showcased at CMW this past May and have recently released the first single Sure Shot off their highly anticipated sophomore album, which will be released in the spring of 2015.

Festival Performances include: Canadian Music Week, NXNE, Rifflandia, Keloha, Artswells, Golden Sound Festival, Khatsalano, & Jasper Folk Music Festival.

Band Members