Q&A with Amy Sheppard of Brisbane Band, SHEPPARD Talks – Smash Single, “GERONIMO”, Growing Up in Papua New Guinea and More!
Posted On 29 Jan 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Amy Sheppard, ARIA, Australia, band interview, Baruka Tau, Brisbane, Chugg Entertainment, Dean Gordon, Emma Sheppard, George Sheppard, Geronimo, Hold My Tongue, Interview, Jason Mraz, Jay Bovino, Keith Urban, Let Me Down Easy, Los Angeles, Michael Butler, Michael Chugg Entertainment, music interview, Owl City, Papau New Guinea, Pitbull, Port Moresby, Sheppard, Smile, The Best Is Yet To Come, Viper Room, Worldwide Radio Summit
After a whirlwind tour to four different continents throughout the globe, Sheppard just returned to Australia at the end of 2014 to cap off a tremendous year thanks to their breakthrough smash hit “Let Me Down Easy” and their latest standout hit single “Geronimo.” Sheppard is now on a tour around the USA with Meghan Trainor before they head over to Europe.
The band features siblings George (vocals/piano), Amy (vocals) and Emma Sheppard (bass), along with band mates Jay Bovino (guitar), Michael Butler (guitar), and Dean Gordon (drums).
The indie sextet has rapidly risen to fame, developing from Brisbane-based unknowns just twelve months ago to one of the biggest Australian acts on commercial radio, scoring multiple TV appearances and becoming one of the most-watched Aussie acts by the international music industry. Since touring to sold-out crowds in the US late last year – including a 1500 capacity show at Portland’s famed Crystal Ballroom – Sheppard have played to audiences in the UK, USA, The Philippines, Europe, Thailand (alongside Jason Mraz, Pitbull and Owl City), South Africa (Oppikoppi Festival) and even India, where they played the NH7 Weekend festival. Sheppard recently joined country singer, Keith Urban on his latest tour.
All Access Music Group writer, Nicole DeRosa had a chance to catch up with Amy Sheppard during her time in Paris to chat about music, hidden talents, safaris, growing up in Papua New Guinea, tour life and more!
How would you describe your music? Why is that Sheppard style?
It’s always hard to put our music into one genre. We call it alternative pop. It’s left of centre pop. All our music is heavily focused on melodies and we use harmonies as much as we can.
What is your favorite song on your album? Why?
It’s very hard to choose a favourite as they are all so different. There is a song called “The Best Is Yet To come” which is one of the slower songs- it has a beautiful storyline and a lot of emotion. If I’m needing a mood lifter I would say “Smile” would be my favourite.
What were the others names you were going to call your band?
Hmm this is hard to remember now but I remember us considering “Third Culture Kids”. We were using Sheppard as a working title and it just stuck.
What do you think is the best new band out there right now? (or) favorite bands and influences?
We are big fans of Ball Park Music, fellow Brisbane kids. Boy do they put on a show! I recently saw a band in the US called Go Go Berlin they blew me away!
Do you have any hidden talents we don’t know about?
“I once fit 6 spoons on my face. True story!”
Where did you grow up? How did your location influence your style?
We grew up in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. I was born there and we lived there until our mid teens. Growing up in such a multi-cultural environment most certainly influenced our music. Music and harmonies were involved in every thing we did, people now say we have “Pacific Harmonies”. We also had the greatest music teacher – Baruka Tau – who is a musical genius and legend.
You recently played the infamous Viper Room and All Access & A&R Worldwide’s Radio Summit. How have you enjoyed playing in Los Angeles?
It has been a dream come true. You grow up hearing about the history of these venues and they have such a cool vibe. We just feel very lucky to have these opportunities.
How many live performances have you done? Best memory? Worst?
Haha I’ve lost track of how many shows we have under our belts. We’ve been fortunate to do numerous international tours now. Best memory would be performing for Michael Chugg for the first time in his office. Worst memory would have to be… Every time the airport loses our gear. What a nightmare!
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are the 3 things you would want to have with you?
“An acoustic guitar, a tooth brush and a magic fresh water bottle which could never be emptied.”
When you guys are not busy performing, touring or writing what do you all do for fun?
Although these things take up most of our time, for fun we like to sleep. Haha nah, we are really into being around the water- boating, fishing, jet skiing (if we’re really lucky).
You have gotten to travel around the world to such places as, The Phillippines, South Africa, even India. What was the experience like traveling to such places? Any highlights / memorable moments you can share?
Each country has been so different. We can’t believe how lucky we are to travel to these exotic countries. There have been many memorable moments such as going on a quick safari and running into wild rhinos before sound check or holding a little girls’ hand in India, then realizing you have poo on your hand.
How did touring with Keith Urban come about?
We can’t believe Keith Urban is having us on his tour we are so excited he chose us to support him. I think when Geronimo hit #1 on the ARIA chart he contacted our managers.
What is on tap next for Sheppard?
We are excited about embarking on a tour around the USA with Meghan Trainor before we head over to Europe!
To keep up with SHEPPARD, visit the band’s website here .