The Story Behind When Pigs Fly

When Pigs Fly - ISA 2012

We often get asked how six musicians  became When Pigs Fly. Well, it’s a story that spans two countries, involves a garage in Chestermere, several drinks, and above all else an awkwardly serious love for making music.

Having all played in “serious” bands when they were younger, the guys from WPF know what music means as an art form, especially live music. They also came to the realization in later years that performing live music has an indescribable fun factor to it that really brings people together. After years away from the Rock n’ Roll game, they got together back in 2010 and have been going strong ever since.  Here’s the story of how they got started.

Originally they were five members. Five because that’s how many showed up at drummer, Chris Martin’s, house to jam one night before this whole WPF thing got started. It’s probably worth mentioning that four of the five original members all work at the same company. Have you ever sat around old musicians and listened to them say things like “we should get together and jam sometime” but it never really happens? Well that’s kind of how this whole thing went down but finally someone (nobody really remembers who), finally broke the chain and put a jam session together.  Five guys who’d never really played together before came together that first night and something really special happened. There was a click. One jam led to another and somewhere along the way they began referring to themselves as a band going to rehearsal rather than a bunch of guys going to a jam.

Many people have asked the guys over the years how the name for the band was chosen. It was in those very early days of transitioning from “guys jamming” to “band” that somebody they knew dropped the inevitable question, “Are you guys going to start playing gigs?”  Gigs? Really?  They’d all played in bands when they were younger and they’d all eventually had to drop if for various reasons; family, real jobs, relationships… whatever.  They’d all been through playing the bar scenes where people in the crowd might not even care you’re playing, let alone dance. However, they also knew how much fun it could be to perform and really connect with an audience, and make them feel like they’re part of the whole show.

So the answer to the question”Are you going to play gigs?”  Well as some band members remember it, the answer was an emphatic “We’ll play gigs when pigs fly”!  Someone else was overheard to say “we just want to have fun, why make this thing a job?”.   Sounds pretty convincing and steadfast doesn’t it? Well three months after they got together, they actually played their first gig and nobody could come up with a better name than When Pigs Fly. That’s it. That’s where the name came from. Perhaps not the most original band name ever but at least it has meaning.

Early shows were played at small community centres, Legion halls, and even a tent or two.  Crowds were smaller back then and the guys used these shows to really regain and build on the work they’d accomplished years before as much younger musicians. As word of mouth got around and the band’s repertoire grew, they began to take on bigger and bigger shows.  Always interspersed, however, with smaller more intimate gatherings.

Some folks have asked the band how they got from five members to six. ”Didn’t you guys used to have less people?” they would say.

Well, one of the original members, Dewey Kuchle, spent some time living and working in Austin, TX back in the early 2000’s.  While he was there, he put a four-piece cover band together with some guys from work (sound familiar?).  One of the guys in that Austin band was a relocated Canuck by the name of Andre Dicaire.  No sooner had that band been established , Dewey moved back to Canada which effectively ended that project.  Dewey knew, however, that given the right opportunity Andre might make the move back to Canada. After many conversations, and perhaps a little begging, Andre moved to Calgary and in addition to working a day job with the Pigs started sitting in at a couple rehearsals.

Within a very short time, it became apparent to the band that Andre fit in well.  The band agreed to add him on a trial basis which, depending who you ask, is still going on today. So far, so good.  Chris still refers to him as the “Piglet” since he’s the newest member of the band.  Andre has an expansive musical background and adds some really impressive vocals to the Pigs and they’re happy to have him.

All in all, most would say these guys have a really good thing going.  They get to help their customers host awesome events and they get to have a ton of fun doing it.  Some band members would go so far as to say, “We actually play for free, it’s setup and teardown that we charge for”.

That pretty much sums it up. Great guys, fantastic music, and a sure fire way to make your event a huge success.  Drop them a line to talk about booking them for your next party.

 

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