A bigger thrill than any pill. Saskatoon’s The Sheepdogs appear on the Aug. 18 (today) cover of Rolling Stone magazine, the first unsigned act ever to do so.
The rock ’n’ roll band — comprised of vocalist Ewan Currie, guitarist Leot Hanson, bassist Ryan Gullen and drummer Sam Corbett — won Rolling Stone’s recent Do You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star reader-voted contest.
“It feels awesome,” Hanson says. “The first show we did back in Canada was just crazy. We pulled up in our van and there were people waiting with the magazine to get it signed, just super pumped for us.”
The story of how The Sheepdogs got their bearded faces on the cover of the iconic magazine starts with their now-manager Joel Carriere. The president and owner of Dine Alone Records brought the band’s 2010 album Learn & Burn to the attention of Atlantic Records, co-presenters of the competition.
The American record label sent it and approximately 1,200 other selections to Rolling Stone who then whittled it down to 16 contestants. The readers did the rest, eventually cutting the choices down to two: The Sheepdogs and L.A. singer/songwriter Leila Broussard.
“We went down to New York to do a photo shoot and as far as we knew Leila was doing it as well,” Hanson says.
“We got in at 8 a.m. and went directly to the pier where they shot the cover. They started photographing us and said ‘Are you guys ready for your cover shoot?’ We’re like ‘Yeah, whatever’ because we were all tired ... and they said ‘No, are you ready for your actual cover shoot?’ We’re like ‘What? We won?’”
In addition to the cover, The Sheepdogs received a recording contract with Atlantic and the chance to perform on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Aug. 2.
The band’s new EP Five Easy Pieces recently hit No. 1 on iTunes and this fall, the band is scheduled to tour Canada with arena-rockers Kings of Leon.
The Sheepdogs are sure sitting pretty, but before I let the golden-fingered guitarist bask in blue-eyed groupies, I’ve got to know, did you buy five copies for your mother?
“I’ve got a couple,” Hanson says.
“I’ll make it to five for sure.”