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Their debut single ‘Geronimo’ has already 19.5 million plays on Youtube as well as the song being streamed almost 140 million times on Spotify. With appearances on Ellen, Jimmy Fallon and the Today show as well as performing on the Radio Disney awards, the band is sure to explode. The record has only been out for a few months here in the states so if their experience here is any indication of future success to come, we are sure to be seeing their name everywhere. Read on for our new interview with the guys!
I know this is your first headlining run in the states. Maybe the three things you must have with you? I know you’ve only done one show so far but you were recently here with Meghan Trainor on your first tour.
Amy: The three things you must take with you? A neck pillow for all the travel. I get so irate when I realize I left my neck pillow. I get very angry.
George: Headphones as well. You need music to accompany you on these long arduous journeys.
Amy: And you just, need coffee all the time.
Perfect, and then I know this is only the second date. It’s a pretty short run that you’re doing. I think it’s only about two weeks but you were here really recently. Maybe how did last night go? Maybe do you have any like goals or expectations for this little US run?
Amy: Yeah we’re really excited to see you know how many people actually come out. To see what songs people know besides ‘Geronimo’.
George: We just finished five weeks in Europe. It’s some of the best crowds we’ve ever played to. We did all these amazing festivals. Like Amy was just saying, it was really interesting to see the crowds singing along to every single song and not just waiting for the last two which is really cool. So hopefully the US audiences will be the same.
Amy: Yeah I feel like in previous times we’ve visited we only had ‘Geronimo’ out. ‘Bombs Away’ was out when Meghan was here but now I feel like people are going to know the album a bit better. Yeah we should get a good reaction out here.
Then I wanted to ask just from my research, I know ‘Bombs Away’ it came out here really recently but you have had that record out for a while internationally.
Amy: Yeah it first got released in Australia a year ago.
A year ago so maybe even though it’s so new here, are you even like thinking about writing new music or are you going to hold off a little bit? Kind of ride it out and see how it goes?
Amy: Yes, definitely. We’re going back in August, back home to head into the studio and start writing. We’ve been touring this album for a year now and we’ve been working on the album for like four years altogether. So we’re ready to yeah start conceptualizing the next album. At least feeling out which direction we want to go.
Then I know three of you are siblings. The two of you and your sister Emma. So maybe how long has this record been in the making? Was it something that you started writing once you decided to form Sheppard or was there songs that maybe you each had had collectively before you started the group?
George: It was more of the collective pooling of songs that we had from over the last sort of three or four years.
Amy: I mean ‘Geronimo’ was one of the ones that we wrote for the album, like all three of us together so that was really cool. What came out so I’m really excited for us all to sit down the three of us and yeah see what comes out next time.
George: But yeah, the first album, we didn’t start the band intending on making this album. It was sort of we just kind of wrote songs over the course of time as we kept on sort of climbing. We decided that it would be best to release an album and had all of these songs in the back catalog that we were kind of cherry picking. It will be interesting with this next release and actually going in with the objective of making an album. It will be a new experience for us. I can’t wait.
And you talked about how ‘Geronimo’ was one of the ones you all wrote together but you all kind of had your own ideas. Do you think for this album, maybe it’s going to be more collaborative? Obviously you do have a large band with you. Do you think it’s going to be like all of you in the studio. Still bringing in your own individual ideas. What do you think it’s maybe going to be like?
Amy: Yeah so there’s three songwriters. So we definitely want to discuss what direction we want to go in first because with ‘Bombs Away’, it was a bit of a stab in the dark. We had so many songs to choose from. We just kind of picked the best of the bunch. Where as for this one, we want to have a direction.
George: Bit more cohesion.
Amy: Yeah, that’s the right word. A bit more cohesion. Yeah we want to develop it a bit further. We want people to realize that we’ve grown as artists and songwriters.
George: We want to make it a bit more organic.
Amy: Yeah we don’t want to produce something very similar to ‘Bombs Away’. We still want to be able to have people recognize us as Sheppard still but we want to have a little bit of a change. Bit of growth.
George: Yeah we want to be a sort of band that grows with every release. Suprises the fans with every subsequent album. Reinvent yourself.
Then maybe for each of you for a softer one, the first CD or cassette you can remember getting as a kid? Then the first concert you ever went to?
George: The Lion King soundtrack. That was my first. I got it for Christmas. I had that on repeat for about a year. Hakuna Matata!
Amy: I think mine was Aqua. I set out to find that record in Australia and I found it and I listened to it for years.
George: My first ever concert was Tom Jones. I was at boarding school and mom and dad took me out to see Tom Jones. People were throwing their bras at him or whatever they do. Underpants! I thought it was bizarre. I was like thirteen.
Amy: Mine was the Black Eyed Peas when I was fourteen and I thought I was so cool. I still have the ticket.
Then maybe, I’ve been doing this for a few years and I’ve interviewed a lot of Australian bands that come here and I know it’s incredibly expensive to come tour the US with all the visas and everything. Maybe what’s been the best part of touring here and if there is one, the biggest challenge?
George: Well, I guess the best part is obviously connecting with people over here. We’ve been given the opportunity to be able to come and experience this amazing country. It’s a huge country. When you look at it on the map it’s pretty big but then when you actually come here and see the amount of people that are here and the amount of different cultures with in the US itself, it’s a very big place. So it’s exciting to be here where in Australia, there’s only twenty million people. The whole tour likes a week.
Amy: We’ve had some our biggest career highlights here in the states. Like Ellen, Jimmy Fallon and all of that has been very exciting for us. So that’s been a definite pro. Cons, yep! You said it, visas! That’s always hard. The flying is hard as well for us. Not as far as Europe.
Little bit easier!
George: Yeah the airports here are obviously insanely strict. So you’re going through security, check-ins and all that stuff is a bit more of a nightmare here than most other places but it’s a small price to pay.
Then maybe just to end it off, what is coming up?
George: Not too sure, this is the man to ask!
Manager: We’re doing Rock in Rio and we’re going to Mexico. Then we start in Texas for Austin City Limits. Early October. We’re doing some shows with Walk The Moon then back to Australia.
You know all the plans. The man in charge.
Amy: We’re just finding this all out too.
George: Yeah like what!!