NEW YORK — Landing the cover of Rolling Stone is usually confirmation of superstar status.
The Sheepdogs — winners of the magazine’s first contest to be on the cover — aren’t there yet, but they may be on their way.
The Canadian rock band beat out 15 other competitors in “Do You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star?” to land on the cover. The winner was announced Monday.
The magazine hits newsstands Friday.
The previously unsigned act is also getting a deal with Atlantic Records, and today they’ll release a digital EP Five Easy Pieces and perform on NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
“The biggest thing is … just being able to tell everybody, and seeing what happens,” Ewan Currie, lead singer of the quartet from Saskatoon, said in an interview last week with The Associated Press.
The runner-up is singer-songwriter Leila Broussard.
Her soft, guitar-strumming tunes are a marked contrast to the hard-driving, rollicking rock offered by the Sheepdogs.
There was apparently no love lost between the two acts. Currie said of Broussard:
“She could be rather sullen and not particularly friendly.”
They battled it out at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., and in the end, readers showed their preference.
Currie said that while Rolling Stone has had its share of pop acts over the years, the Sheepdogs probably best embody the magazine’s spirit.
“In the end, rock ’n’ roll won,” he said.
While the Sheepdogs, all in their 20s, are being introduced to the masses, they’re hardly a new group. The band — which also includes drummer Sam Corbett, guitarist Leot Hanson and bassist Ryan Gullen — have been around since 2006. They have released their albums independently, are regular road performers and have a website.
“We were helped by the fact that we are experienced, and we have been running this operation,” Currie said. “We were fully formed … we were ready to seize it.”
The group is excited to be on Atlantic Records and to have access to the resources a major label can offer. But band members are hoping the label won’t try to change them too much.
“Ultimately we want to put out a record that represents us, and we don’t want to change … so if it changed, it would be a shame,” he said.
A massive billboard of the Rolling Stone cover was to be unveiled Monday evening in New York’s Times Square.
“It’s going to be pretty surreal,” Currie said.