'I would put bagpipes through a Marshall Stack amp' 

Singer-songwriter WiL mixes and matches musical possibilities

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Breaks strings WiL brings his hard-playing Americana music and pop to the GLC.
  • Photo submitted
  • Breaks strings WiL brings his hard-playing Americana music and pop to the GLC.

Talking to singer-songwriter WiL, you get a sense of that he wants to draw the entire world into his studio.

His most recent album, Il Paseo, came out in 2014. He is preparing for his sixth album at the moment.

"I'm presently writing and recording it. There's nothing much to tell, but I'm recording it in my home studio right now. It's that repeat and stir thing," WiL says.

"I've been enjoying playing a lot more pop-synth interesting stuff as far as the instrumentation method; still doing singer-songwriter stuff the most. But I've always been a huge fan of pop music."

That said, nowadays he doesn't care whether they sound like a specific genre.

"We've found our own sound... We've toured with people like Serena Ryder and Jann Arden, Leslie Feist. So many wonderful names to throw out," he says. "More important than the name is how different they are. I love the challenge.

"It's like why the f*$# are we here right now? It's so strange. It's like the country music festival, we play and people are engaged because we're just playing music. I'm getting closer to making a record that has zero boundaries."

A Vancouver Island transplant via Calgary, where he spent most of his time growing up, WiL (a.k.a. Wil Mimnaugh) says he plays guitar and sings the music from his early career, Americana roots rock, with everything he's got.

Hearing that, it's kind of fun to find out that WiL's website is www.ibreakstrings.com.

He travels as a trio, at the moment.

"My hat's off to bands who tour 12 people, like holy crap. I still love playing alone... but I love playing with a drummer and keyboardist the most, I think," he says.

WiL says he enjoys spending 20 hours on a piece, figuring out the arrangements and adding the strings and trumpet.

"On the last record when it came down to choosing sounds, if bagpipes worked I'd use them," WiL says.

"I would put bagpipes through a Marshall Stack (amp). It would be really great, let's use that. It's very freeing to not be restricted."

Several years ago, he loaned his vocals and writing to a dubstep DJ friend and he found the outcome to be wonderful.

"We might release it. If I had a buddy send me a heavy metal track and he needed some kind of crazy cool vocals on it, I would go for it," he says.

"It takes years to figure that out. Not having our heads in our asses is really important. Not being hyperfocused on what we think is so great, you know."

There are many options and opinions out there, he agrees, and he says that can get out of hand. But he wants people to be happy with what they've got.

"Relating that to music, you are only as good as you are, so why not branch out to different areas in it and put your stamp on it?"

WiL's trio performs at the Garibaldi Lift Company on Saturday, March 19, at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, available at the GLC and online at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/wil.

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