Sheppard Emulates The Perfect Dream For Indie Bands
Australian indie pop band Shepparddid not rise to global success with-in a 24-hr period.
While so many who make it in this industry are quite often labelled an overnight success, it’s clear to those who really do know what it’s like to climb the success ladder and riding the rollercoaster of the music world.
Sheppard is based in Brisbane Australia and formed in 2009. What originally began as a duo grew over time to their current members consisting of siblings and friends; Amy Sheppard, George Sheppard, Jason Bovino, Emma Sheppard, Michael Butler and Dean Gordon.
Sheppard emulates the perfect dream for any indie band having their well-known songs such as ‘Geronimo’, ‘Let Me Down Easy’ to the most recent, ‘Coming Home’ gain international success; having supported the likes of Justin Bieber, Little Mix, The Glory Days, Keith Urban and has shared the stage with The Far East Movement and Jason Mraz to name a few.
The Award-winning band is now touring Australia with their ‘Watching The Sky’ Tour, which if you haven’t seen yet….GO!
Quite often it can be disappointing when you rock up to a gig or show by an artist or band you have admired for so long, only to be disappointed by lack of quality of sound, enthusiasm and just plain cheated.
This wasn’t the case with Sheppard who are killing it! (in a good way) 🙂
Their energy, vibe and of course the music seriously grabs you, feeling like you’re re-living the energy of your youth, eager to grace the dance floor with crazy moves, without anyone thinking you are mad.
But who cares, because that’s what it’s all about, and Sheppard know how to bring the fun back with the superb quality of sound and music; a plethora of songs refreshing the soul. You won’t be disappointed.
I was lucky enough to interview Amy Sheppard and here’s what she had to say;
Music Talks (Tracey): At what age did you begin playing music?
Amy: We all had piano lessons from a very early age but we had stopped playing piano by the time high school rolled around. I pursued guitar and continued lessons throughout my schooling years. George re-taught himself piano when he was going through acting school.
MT: When did you realize music was what you wanted to create and pursue as a career?
Amy: For me it was from about the age of 9 or 10. I still have assignments and diary entries which I wrote profession my desire to be a “singer like Kylie Minogue”.
MT: How important is it to have the support of family?
Amy: For us, it’s everything. We couldn’t have done it without each other.
MT: What/who was your favourite music and artists while growing up?
Amy: My favourite artists were pretty much what my parents were listening to which was lucky because they listened to brilliant songwriters like Cat Stevens, Dolly Parton and The Eagles.
MT: Many up coming artists play live and often play for nothing to build their fan base and audiences. When you first began, did you play gigs for minimal fees?
Amy: Everyone assumes that we just had overnight success but we worked really hard and are still working hard at building a solid fan base. We played MANY free gigs and still sometimes play free gigs.
MT: Do you think it’s important as an independent band/artist to get out there no matter what, even if they use it as practice to perform and perfect their skills?
Amy: 100% it’s important to take advantage of opportunities when you are needing the experience and exposure. It is also important to know when you’re being taken for a ride and to know how to say no when your gut tells you to.
MT: Mumma Sheppard is seen supporting you and is actively involved with your career. How much work does mumma Sheppard do behind the scenes in helping her chicks?
Amy: She doesn’t just help her chicks, she helps the whole operation. She is running around all day doing all sorts of tasks for everyone in the band and crew.
MT: You have an incredible vibe when you are performing, are there any rituals you do before heading on stage?
Amy: We aren’t really a superstitious band so we just make sure we take our time in warming up and making sure we are all in a good headspace.
MT: I would imagine your bond as a family would be extremely tight. When you write the lyrics to songs, you learn a lot about the other person writing with you. Are there times that those words and lyrics as you are writing them, given greater insight to each of you, knowing what’s going on in their lives at the time you otherwise may not have noticed?
Amy: The three songwriters are George Jason and myself. Jason isn’t a sibling but we all work very well together. We have songwriting chemistry. We are also very good friends and usually are aware of anything personal that might come up. I think that’s important especially if one of us decides to write a song about a particular topic.
MT: When you write your music, do you aim for writing an ‘anthem style’ song if you are focusing on writing for a single/hit?
Amy: We try not to focus on writing a particular type of song which is probably why all of our songs sound quite different from one another.
It just so happens that people seem to like that style from us.
MT: I saw smiles from each of you on stage during your performance while on your current tour recently. How does it make you feel when you see a crowd getting into your music, jumping around, and singing along with you?
Amy: It’s the best part of our jobs. Touring isn’t easy and it makes all the stress and long days worth it.
MT: From your first ever gig, how long has it taken you to get to this stage of being a global success?
Amy: Nearly 10 years! Time flies when you’re having fun.
MT: What advice would you give to up coming independent artists who are working so hard at trying to become noticed and recognized by the general music lover?
Amy: Be consistent with songwriting and online content.
MT: So many people don’t really understand what is involved in getting music together, writing, recording etc. From when you’re writing and recording to releasing new music, at what stage do you begin to plan and put in place your strategy after the recording process?
Amy: I suppose it’s different every time. It depends on labels and managers and what shows we have been booked for.
MT: How important is it for people to expand their choices from where they listen to find great music so they don’t miss out on potentially amazing independent music and artists?
Amy: Sheppard: I would highly recommend getting a solid dose of independent music. There are SO many incredible artists who never get commercial radio play. It’s inspiring to get a listen to something unusual and creative.
Links to Sheppard