Canadian country band Nice Horse are a group of four fantastic musicians based out of Alberta, and are quickly spreading their music across the Great White North.
This band of bold, brilliant, and badass women are turning the tables on the Canadian country music industry and showing the guys that they can rock—and party—just as hard. The band consists of Tara McLeod (electric guitar), Katie Rox (vocals, banjo, acoustic guitar), Krista Wodelet (vocals, drums), and Brandi Sidoryk (vocals, bass).
On top of their unique, but powerful sound, one of the reasons Nice Horse is so special, is that they are completely self-contained. They are each talented songwriters, and musicians in their own right. So it’s only natural that they are able to “Pony Up” and pump out some kickass music.
We recently had the chance to chat with Katie Rox from the band, and we chatted about everything! From women in music, their inspiration, to what music they’re into right now. Read all about it below.
Interview With Nice Horse
Q1. We have to say, the four of you are incredibly refreshing in Canadian country music. It’s great to have four badass women making some noise in the industry. How did the four of you meet, and get started?
Brandi & Katie go back the longest, about 10 years. They met in a way only Brandi & Katie could meet…Brandi saw Katie play at a show and then afterwards introduced herself, said “we should be friends”, and Katie said “Ok!”. The rest is history. As for Brandi & Krista…Brandi met Krista’s sister on an airplane, ended up telling her sister how she was looking for a bassoon player for her pop band (Krista is a bassoon player). Krista’s sister told Krista about it, so she got in touch with Brandi and they ended up playing in a band together for years. Katie met Krista through Brandi. Tara was recommended to us by several mutual friends. It was an instant friendship on first meeting with her!
Q2. Your song “Mansplainin’” has received some really great attention. It’s a great song, and has rightfully become a feminist anthem. Describe the feeling of having an impact and contributing to the overarching conversation of women’s rights in Canada, and country music.
It is a good feeling to be able to be part of the conversation because it’s (obviously) an important one. It especially speaks to us as we are the only self-contained all female country band in Canada. We feel like we really can speak to the subject! But we do like to take a light-hearted approach to it, even though it is a serious discussion. We like to think of it as the SNL of country music. We want to make it a conversation everyone feels like can be part of, and sometimes comedy is a good way to do that.
Q3. Recently, Karen Fairchild (of Little Bit Town) used her 2018 CMT Artists of the Year speech as a call for country radio to play more women. On the surface, it feels like we are moving forward in this movement, but there’s clearly more to be done to support female artists. What’s the solution, what would you all like to see happen?
We absolutely LOVE what Karen did!! You’re right, there is a lot that can be done. Things don’t change overnight. It takes time. But the conversation that’s happening, as well as women standing up for women, women showing everyone that women DO support each other…that’s a step in the right direction. We just have to keep it going.
Q4. What inspires you, or gets you in the mood/mindset to write?
Sometimes it can just be something someone says. We all tend to take notes whenever we hear something that someone says “ooh, that sounds like the title of a song”, or if we get going on a topic that sounds like a good song could come of it. I think as writers, your brain is just always kind of “in it”, always open to inspiration no matter how it appears.
Q5. What are some songs and artists that you are really into right now?
All of us are definitely playing a lot of Eric Church lately! Pistol Annies are also really high on our list so it’s great they are finally releasing some new songs.
Q6. The country music genre has really evolved in the past few years, and has become much more approachable to the average listener – blending the lines of pop and country, or country and rock. What do you think about that, and what do you say to the people who are critical about this trend?
I (Katie) feel like I’ve heard that over and over again. In the 90s country became more mainstream too with Garth Brooks, and Brooks & Dunn. Then along came Shania…
As for people who are critical, I don’t really have much to say. Music is music, you either dig it or you don’t! I personally have a strong preference for classic country, and I lean towards the country artists that stick to country in its more classic form. But all genres of music evolve, not just country. Whatever people relate to or speaks to them, great.
Q7. The four of you are set to go out on tour with GRAMMY Award winning band – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, as well as The Washboard Union. What are you most looking forward to, what can people expect to see when they come to a Nice Horse show?
Going out with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is LEGENDARY. We absolutely cannot wait. Brandi & Katie both grew up listening to Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, so did their parents! As for The Washboard Union, they are a great group of guys that we’ve been friends with for a very long time. We are so proud of them and their success. They are the nicest guys around and we can’t wait to be on the road with them.