Brisbane band ‘Sheppard’ has had a whirlwind year, with triple platinum smash Geronimo spending three weeks at #1 on the ARIA charts (a record for a run at #1 held by an independent distributed Australian artist) and playing to over 70,000 people on Keith Urban’s tour. And the year doesn’t stop there, as they have now announced the drop of their new album and special album launch shows.
The album drops on the July 11 and features 11 tracks full of harmonies, catchy melodies and heartfelt lyrics. The awaited album release has already attracted the interest of Rolling Stone magazine, which have given ‘Bombs Away’ 4 out of 5 stars! The album, which has been crafted over three years is full of the indie-pop goodness you expect from Sheppard and then some. I have become particularly fond of new tracks A Grade Playa and Find Someone, as well as the pre-released Geronimo and Let Me Down Easy.
Sheppard features siblings George, Amy and Emma Sheppard, along with friends Jay Bovino, Michael Butler and Dean Gordon. The Sheppard siblings grew up in Papua New Guinea and say they feel as though they were submersed in music there. Amy Sheppard, the lead vocalist in the band, says they are all really good friends and the love of music has always been something they all shared. Over the last three years, Amy says they have travelled the world and met some exceptionally inspirational people, forming some pretty priceless adventures.
“It’s hard to choose the most exciting part. I think we are just thrilled to be able to do what we love as a ‘real job’ and we now have people who really love coming to our shows and hearing our music.
“Touring with Keith Urban was HUGE for us. He is such an Australian icon and for him to give us that opportunity was mind blowing. To play to stadiums and entertainment centres was a dream come true,” she says.
However, Amy Sheppard is quick to point out that where Sheppard may look like it gained overnight success, it was a result of consistent hard work and battling through struggles like any other band. “Our break was a mixture of hard work, good timing and a stroke of luck,” Amy explains.
Once the full band was together they began touring and as they were looking for management Michael Chugg was taking on new bands.
“As fate would have it, he liked our sound and threw us into the deep end by sending us on around the world tours,” she says.
Once Sheppard began having overseas success, Australia began to take notice. They first appeared on Channel 9’s Mornings and then the same day smash-hit ‘Geronimo’ was added across the board on Nova.
Over the past few weeks the band has also been signed by Justin Beiber's pal Scooter Braun for their international management in the states. They also have some big plans over the next few months with appearances in the UK and Europe, including performing at V Festival. After that, they'll then be jetting to LA to get the ball rolling on their international domination.
And all of this is happening while they're still an Australian independent band. Their advice for other independent artists is to work very hard, put your music first and write some strong songs and once you have the songs, tour and perform as much as you possibly can.
“The music industry is heavily based on loyal relationships, so it’s also important to treat people with respect and keep in touch,” Amy says.
George Sheppard, also the lead vocalist in the band, says the release of their first album is an important milestone for any band and they’re so happy they can celebrate it with the fans that have made it all happen for them.
Their new 11 track album Bombs Away builds on Sheppard’s unique “underdog” theme. “I’ve noticed most of the new tracks are about the restorative journey after being pushed down. Everyone has had their rough moments and we hope our music can help some people through those hard times,” Amy says.You can catch Sheppard live at their all ages Brisbane album launch on July 25 at The Eatons Hill Grand Ballroom.
Amy Sheppard dishes on who’s who in Sheppard:
Who’s the messiest?
Messiest has to be Emma! Shoes galore!
Who has the weirdest habit?
Jay has a habit of tapping. Constantly. I know it’s a muso thing but this tapping is next level. Chopsticks are forbidden haha!
Who’s the funniest?
Dean has us in tears on most days. You can see most of his antics from our snapchat @wearesheppard.
Who’s the biggest troublemaker or prankster?
Biggest prankster goes to George! He is forever trying to hide around corners and in cupboards for a good scare. We will get him back one day...
Sheppard’s debut album ‘Bombs Away’ hits the stores July 11.