Brisbane band Sheppard is back touring in the U.S. and headed for Philly on Black Friday
Though blood (family) is thicker than water (friends) - one Australian band combined each to have the best of both worlds. The result is the popular indie-pop outfit Sheppard.
The Brisbane-based band is back touring the United States and will bring their new party anthem “Edge of the Night” to The Foundry at The Fillmore in Philadelphia on Friday.
George Sheppard, frontman of the band, dished on his band's evolution on their upcoming sophomore album, trespassing over a castle wall, and the time he threw an epic tantrum that would’ve delighted North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un.
What was a telltale sign you were no longer in Brisbane the first time you toured in the U.S.?
I think the first thing that shocked us was that you guys drive on the opposite side of the road. Especially when I was the one who had to drive the van! That was one hairy first hour in America. Everyone in the van was on edge, but to my credit, we didn't die. We arrived safely at the hotel in one piece, albeit with a few extra gray hairs.
What are a few highlights you’ve experienced in your personal life, since last performing in America?
I think the fact that we performed on the “Ellen DeGeneres” show was definitely a huge boost for our street cred back home. All of a sudden, we were getting invited to all the “cool kid” parties, and all the bullies from high school started acting like our best friends. It was very strange. We literally got invited onto Australian television shows just to talk about our experience on “Ellen” [laughs]. Turned out it was a pretty big deal for the folks back home in Australia.
Most people usually name something they’re thankful for this time of year. But what’s something you once wanted to receive, yet are thankful it never happened?
When we were kids, we went on a holiday to America, specifically to go to Disneyland. It would've cost my parents the majority of their life savings, but they wanted their kids to experience "the happiest place on earth," while they were still young enough to enjoy it.
I remember as we were leaving, I saw some kid wearing these white Mickey Mouse gloves and immediately I wanted a pair. When my Dad said that I didn't need them, I threw a tantrum that would've made Kim Jong Un proud. But literally 20 minutes later, I didn't care about them, nor did I even want them anymore.
It was at that moment I learned the important lesson that you probably shouldn't always get what you want, especially a novelty item where the excitement is gone quicker than Donald Trump's toupee in a hurricane.
What’s one of the most memorable “Edge of the Night” moments you’ve had?
Oh we've had plenty of crazy nights. Being on tour is literally one crazy night blending into the next. But if I had to choose one memory, it would've been one of the nights on our most recent tour to the UK supporting Little Mix.
We were in Southampton and had just finished up a show, so the band and some crew members took a bottle of whiskey and vodka from the rider, then decided to go exploring. We ended up scaling the wall of this ancient castle, and sitting in one of the old archery towers drinking and chatting while listening to music.
Eventually the sun started to come up and we had the perfect view from up there, overlooking the whole town. You could even see the historic port where the Titanic set sail for New York. It was a glorious moment. We were almost certainly trespassing, but what's the point of being in a band if you can't break a few rules every now and then?
What was your favorite part of making that video?
Honestly, the entire day was so much fun. I just loved the fact that it was a one-take video. It was more like a comprehensive piece of moving theater rather than a film shoot. The dancers, the props, the choreography, the confetti, everyone had to play their roles perfectly, and they did. It all just melded together seamlessly like a work of art. It was the most amount of fun I'd ever had on a music video shoot. We'll definitely be doing more one-take videos in future.
In what ways will your sophomore album differ from "Bombs Away?" And when is it slated for release?
Our second album will be similar to “Bomb's Away” in all the areas that matter (harmonies, catchy hooks, colorful melodies), but different enough that it will feel like an evolution of our sound.
We learned so much from writing and recording “Bombs Away.” But something that really changed from recording the first album to recording our second is how much we were thinking ahead about the live show - something we didn't really have any idea about during the first album's recording process.
We spent most of the recording sessions for “Bombs Away” thinking purely about each individual song and getting them right, whereas we have built album two from the ground up to be a great, dynamic, energetic live show.
Instead of treating songs as individual tracks on an album, we've gone into this next phase thinking about the album/live show as trying to provide an exciting and memorable listening experience from start to finish. We're currently looking at an early 2018 release.