Saskatoon band wins Rolling Stone cover contest
Published Monday, August 1, 2011 8:00PM EDT
The Sheepdogs, an unsigned rock band hailing from Saskatoon, Sask., has struck it big thanks to a contest south of the border.
The band has won Rolling Stone's first-ever cover contest, meaning that an image of the shaggy quartet will grace Friday's issue of the iconic music magazine. A huge billboard of the Rolling Stone cover was due to be unveiled late Monday in New York's Times Square.
The band is also getting a deal with Atlantic Records. On Tuesday the company will release "Five Easy Pieces," a digital EP of The Sheepdogs' 70s-influenced rock music.
Later the same day they'll perform on NBC's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon."
Lead singer Ewan Currie said the band is excited about all the publicity the win brings with it.
"The biggest thing is ... just being able to tell everybody, and seeing what happens," Currie told the Associated Press in an interview last week.
The contest, which kicked off in February, put 16 unsigned bands through a series of elimination rounds that involved going into the studio with a major producer and playing for a massive crowd at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.
Most of the entrants hailed from California, while The Sheepdogs were the only Canadian band to qualify.
In the final round, The Sheepdogs emerged victorious over runner-up Lelia Broussard, a singer from Los Angeles.
Brossard and The Sheepdogs both appeared at Bonnaroo in June, and the difference between their two styles was stark. While The Sheepdogs' website describes their performances as "pure rock and roll jubilation… created by 3 part vocal harmonies and heavy hitting dual guitar leads," Brossard delivers soft, guitar-strumming ballads.
The contest ended at one minute to midnight on July 1st -- Canada Day, coincidentally. Readers of the magazine chose the winner and the results were made public Monday, based on 1.5 million votes cast.
"In the end, rock 'n' roll won," said Currie, who argued that his band better represented the spirit of Rolling Stone.
That was a theme the band had riffed on in an effort to drum up the votes necessary to carry them through the competition. They created a spoof video ad on their website celebrating the members' facial hair and poking fun at the 44-year-old music rag.