Sheppard is a young and exciting indie-pop band out of Brisbane, comprised of siblings George (vocals/piano), Amy (vocals), and Emma Sheppard (bass), and their band mates Jay Bovino (guitar), Michael Butler (guitar), and Dean Gordon (drums).
Their hit single, ¡°Let Me Down Easy¡±, debuted in the Australian top 50, becoming one of the biggest independent hits on Australian radio this decade. Just recently, we caught up with Amy Sheppard to chat a bit more about the band.
What inspired you to form the band Sheppard and how did all the members come together? Was it a 6 piece band from the very start?
Since the age of 9, I wanted to be a musician. I taught myself to sing and write songs and by the time I had finished school I was looking to take it more seriously. I wrote a song which called for a male vocal and since then George and I have been writing songs. We added in a third song writer, Jay Bovino and band members Emma Sheppard (our little sister on bass) Michael Butler (lead guitar) and Dean Gordon (drums). It¡¯s been a long process but we are happy and confident in the lineup we have now.
Who musically influences and inspires each of you individually?
For me, it¡¯s harmony driven bands like Fleetwood Mac and America. George is a Massive Coldplay fan and Jay¡¯s biggest influence is Elliot Smith. It¡¯s really cool how all our influences mold together and form this Sheppard sound. Also growing up in PNG had a big influence on our ¡°beachy¡± sound.
Because there are 6 members in the bad or rather 6 different opinions, did you find that finding the right style or genre for the group was more complicated than most?
There are only 3 song writers so it isn¡¯t too hard however, it¡¯s all a bit of give and take. It¡¯s a collaborative effort and you have to respect each others opinions and look at the bigger picture. Most of the time, it¡¯s a natural process and you don¡¯t particularly choose your genre.
At the end of 2012, you guys toured India as part of the ¡°Ozfest India¡± tour. How did you find that?
India was an unique experience we are so grateful for! We got to play some incredible shows and festivals to an audience who may have not heard our music otherwise. We also got to tour with some fantastic Aussie bands including Karnivool and The Aston Shuffle.
In comparison did you notice any differences in the vibe in your American and Australian tours?
Music is a universal language so it has been really awesome to see both counties take to the songs!! I think Americans go a little bit more crazy when we talk on stage tho, because of the accent haha!!
Do you guys have any weird pre-show rituals?
Haha I wish we did! We normally just like to chill out to get into the zone. George and I normally eat/drink some honey and sometimes I like to listen to some pump up tunes. One of my regular pump tunes is ¡°Black Betty¡± ¨C Spiderbait.
Who would be your dream band to tour with?
Coldplay for sure!! What a dream that would be! Any legendary band would be incredible and it¡¯s something we aspire to.
Was signing with a huge presence like Chugg something you guys aspired to or did it come by surprise?
It was definitely something we strived for. To sign management with Chugg Entertainment is a dream come true. The moment we landed an audition with him we were beside ourselves with excitement/nerves. Our lives haven¡¯t been the same since.
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