The Willkills Bio:
Beginning in a Salt Lake City basement in 2001 as The Problems, a year later The Willkills’ birth followed the typical progression of starting and stopping that often plagues bands. The collision of life and music would inevitably cause the band to go through a slue of line up changes. After 6 different drummers, 5 different guitarists, and all the strife that comes with that kind of rotation, the one constant in Willkills remained the quality of the product. The band’s first release, a 4 track EP of basement recordings, had sold out in just two months time. Despite having fill in members, The Willkills’ potent blend of ska, reggae, hardcore, and straight away punk was the real factor in the band’s continued persistence. Becoming one of Salt Lake City’s most sought after bands, The Willkills would finally enjoy a sense of permanence in 2005 with the addition of Las Vegas native, Sean Christensen on guitar. Working with Christensen would allow The Willkills to hone a true identity with their sound. Frontman Chris Proctor talked about the changes that happened, “When Sean started playing for us in 2005 we started messing around with everything from spaghetti western to old surf riffs mixed in with our ska and reggae. It blew us away with how much all these styles meshed together so perfectly. We could write an entire album mixed with 4 different styles and it all sounds and flows perfectly from one song to the next, even though we may of played a hardcore song right before a ska song.’ The band’s ability to pool together so many influences would ultimately thrust Willkills into the spotlight of an infamously discerning and historically proven Salt Lake City punk rock community. In 2006 the band would undergo another line up change and add Spencer Moses to the family on the drums. Continuing the momentum that began with Christensen, the Willkills would become the premiere supporting act for EVERY major punk band that appeared in Utah. Performing in front of sold out club shows, the band would experience the same praise as the threesome took to the road with their dynamic brand of all inclusive punk. Releasing the self produced Down But Not Out in 2007, Willkills experienced a huge boost in popularity as the band was asked to perform with punk rock heavyweights Pennywise, Blitz, Resilience, The Exploited, the Queers and Vice Squad to name a few, based on the strength of their frenzied live shows and the energy of their debut album. 2008 would find The Willkills with not only with a solidified line up as Nika Bennett cemented his spot on drums, but also would see the Willkills find a home with Old Shoe Records. Founder Josh Stolo talked about the addition to the Old Shoe family, “Willkills have been at this for a long time. They were able to gain some real recognition going at it alone. We are excited about the opportunity to support these guys and with their talent we know they will reach the next level.” Having hit every bump in the road The Willkills are the epitome of how music and sacrifice go hand in hand. After 7 years, tons of shows, several near devastating separations, an army of revolving musicians, and all the bruises along the way, The Willkills are stronger than ever. Currently recording their Old Shoe Records debut, Chris explains the motivation to continue, “I would love for our fans to have that lasting impression…an overwhelming sense of pride and purpose. Maybe that they didn’t get to dance enough or didn’t get their fists higher in the air and shout out more… old school punk rock is still alive and well.” Continuing the preservation of roots punk rock attitude and culture, The Willkills have arrived.