The Wills, a Corner Brook band, made their debut at Pasadena Days Strawberry Festival Sunday. — Submitted photo
Shrouded in mystery.
Jeremy Gillam, Jared Simmonds and Jake Quinton have known each other since they were children playing in the streets of Shamrock Crescent. There were no guitars or drums there as they played back then.
They would grab the bus together every morning to school, where they would hang out as they embarked on the educated journey through life. The return to the west end of Corner Brook on the long yellow transport meant a world of opportunity and adventure awaited.
For this threesome, music was often an outlet to explore the world around them.
It wasn’t always together. Not like it has been these days, as they teeter on the brink of being tossed out of the Simmonds household day after day. There is no sound-proof jam room, after all.
In fact, Gillam had a band with Kyle Howe — the fourth now largely inseparable friend — first. It was a trio, from which the third member is no longer in the picture. A folk group, far removed from the rock the band now blasts.
The new kids on the block — musically that is, they still live on the same street — plugged in. The chemistry was electric.
“Solidarity is a big part of being in a band,” Simmonds said. “Timing needs to be on, and everybody needs to be comfortable. Having people you are so close with, it makes it a lot easier, much more fluent and smoother.”
To be able to showcase a gift one has, such as music, is surreal for Simmonds. To do it alongside his buddies, is an amazing feeling, said the drummer.
In the search for a name, the band members wanted something reflective of their music genre.
“A lot of bands like The Strokes and The Smiths, things like that, in that alternative/Indie/rock kind of niche have these simple names,” Gillam said. “We went with The Wills because it can have a variety of meanings, that you can call it what you want I guess.”
Simmonds and Gillam just completed their first years of university, while Quinton and Howe just graduated high school. The majority of the bandmates have jobs, but it’s jamming with their buddies whenever their schedule allows.
They played a gig at the Backlot at the end of June, but the band considered Sunday’s set at Pasadena Days Strawberry Festival Sunday to be their debut.
Through that life’s education, Gillam said a teacher once told him that there’s good nerves and bad nerves. Debuting a new band, featuring seven original songs, is a bit nerve-racking for the young friends. These are good ones.
“It just means that it’s something you care about,” he said.
With a beautiful sunny day, Bennett Field was expected to be filled with people taking part in the various activities scheduled. The four guys were hoping to be able to entertain that large crowd for a portion of it.
Shrouded in mystery. No longer.