Brisbane’s Sheppard are continuing to build on a stellar 2014 after managing to achieve such milestones as the highest-selling Australian single for 2014 with Geronimo, four amazing album launch shows, sold-out headline shows at London’s Barfly, New York’s Webster Hall and LA’s The Lyric Studio, and festival performances at V Fest and Electric Picnic in the UK.
According to founding member and the brother Sheppard (two of the other members are his sisters) the musical union has been an extraordinary accident of organic proportions.
‘Amy was studying music at TAFE and had to write a song. She thought it sounded bland and walked past the shower when I was singing and she had a lightbulb moment – I ended up singing harmonies on the song. It worked so well that we decided to do stuff together as a duo. More like Angus and Julia Stone type stuff. That was for two years as a bit of a hobby and we started getting more serious and we brought in more members and before long we had a band!’
The band’s international success follows the mammoth reception Sheppard have received at home in Australia under the guidance of Michael Chugg, who has now confirmed global partnerships with Scooter Braun, Steve Strange and Martin Tibbetts in the UK and US. Geronimo has recently achieved four-times platinum certification in Australia, while the band’s debut album Bombs Away has attained gold status while maintaining an ongoing position in the ARIA charts since release.
Sheppard’s output has been prolific.
‘To start with we wrote a bunch of pop songs over the first three years,’ says George. ‘We never really went in with the idea of a specific album. We’d write a song and go in and record it. By the end we had 30 tracks to choose from. Choosing was hard; we had to decide what kind of band we were and what we wanted to release – we hadn’t had that clear objective from the beginning. And the music itself is quite eclectic. we find that most of the songs don’t really sound alike but they do sound like Sheppard songs – kind of electro-pop folk!’
George admits to being influenced by musical magicians Coldplay, who seem to have a knack for pioneering their own unique sound.
‘If you look at someone like Coldplay you can see that they have grown with each subsequent album. I love seeing what they do next; they are my all-time favourite band – every album is different from the next but it all still sounds like Coldplay!’
Sheppard are fast creating a sound and an international audience that has music lovers, producers and promoters all playing very close attention.
Catch them at Bluesfest – tickets and program information at www.bluesfest.com.au.