A Central Alberta band is set to take a Red Deer stage this coming weekend.
WheelHouse plays The Vat Feb. 20th at 10 p.m.
The Stettler-based band first got together in 2011 and includes Cindy Liebe (lead singer), Wayne Dickie (drummer), Charles Lacroix (bass) and Trent Shoemaker (guitar).
“We want to play those songs that everyone loves and everyone remembers,” said Dickie. “We are a classic rock band and one of the things that we really wanted to do when we started this was to absolutely make sure that every song is an anthem. We have three criteria – it has to be an anthem, you have to be able to dance and party to it and we have to be able to do it justice. You only have four hours to connect with your audience out there so we want every song to be that anthem so they can connect with that point back in the day.”
He added he has many favourites that WheelHouse performs, but some of his top bands to cover include Trooper, April Wine, Colin James and The Stampeders, among others. “Whenever we can get our hands on a good Canadian song, boy I tell you, we’re all over it.”
For Dickie, music has always been something of a hobby and he is thrilled to be able to continue to take the stage.
“When I was 13-years-old my brother took me across the street to a neighbour that had a set of drums. As soon as I saw that I was hooked, that was it for me. I switched from playing the saxophone in the jazz band to the drums. I’ve never looked back. For me, it started really early in life and I’ve been lucky enough to keep playing pretty much right through,” he said. “Terry Cave (one of the owners of The Vat) and I started playing when I was 15 or 16-years-old, so it’s really neat that I can go back and play for those guys.”
As for getting up on stage, Dickie said one of his favourite aspects is seeing the crowd enjoying what the band is doing.
“That is why we do this,” he said. “Honestly we want that – that’s the feeling that we go out there to get whether there’s 15 people in a crowd, or 150, as long as they are enjoying it – that is everything for us. It’s thrilling.
“For me, I get to play my favourite songs with my friends and that’s fun. It’s a lot of hard work too, but it’s fun when it pays off and you have the crowd there and they are in that same moment – it’s almost indescribable. I can’t imagine what those guys feel playing those coliseums.”
Looking ahead, Dickie said recording an album is something the band has their sights set on.
“We’ve had some really good positive feedback on what we’re doing. We put a little more modern twist to our cover songs, but we still honour the original. We are seriously considering releasing something that would be a compilation of our remakes of classic songs. I think it’s time to look at getting something together now that is going to be a great treasure for us to listen to in the future.”
For more information on WheelHouse, check out their facebook page.