Multi-platinum Australian recording artist Sheppard first made American music listeners take notice with the 2014 album Bombs Away, as released in the United States in March of 2015. “Geronimo” was not only a Top 10 single in the States, but it was also a top-ranking song in dozens of countries; it was the highest selling single in Australia by an Australian artist in 2014. Four more singles were released from Bombs Away as Sheppard circled the world nonstop for a few years, playing a mix of stadiums, arenas, festivals, and theaters.
Two songs from Sheppard’s not-yet-named second album — which is due for an early 2018 unveiling via Republic Records imprint School Boy Records — have already been released. In advance of that, Sheppard is hitting the road for a headlining tour of intimate venues. The first U.S. headlining dates since the success of “Geronimo,” Sheppard’s run kicks off on November 13th at San Francisco’s Rickshaw Stop. Other cities to be visited include Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chicago.
On behalf of the Inquisitr, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sheppard vocalist/keyboardist Amy Sheppard. More on Sheppard — which also includes vocalist/keyboardist George Sheppard, guitarists Michael Butler and Jason Bovino, bassist Emma Sheppard and drummer Dean Gordon — can be found at www.wearesheppard.com.
Sheppard first made an impression on American radio listeners with the song “Geronimo.” After that was song was properly mixed, did you think it was going to be a hit?
Amy Sheppard: We knew we had something special from the moment we started writing “Geronimo.” That being said, you can never predict the success a song is going to have, especially when you’re a relatively-unknown act. The amount of success “Geronimo” had was a welcomed surprise.
Is it true that “Geronimo” was the first No. 1 hit to ever be recorded in Brisbane?
Amy Sheppard: This is true. “Geronimo” was a record-breaking song for Australia. We are still pinching ourselves.
Your upcoming U.S. dates are at intimate venues, smaller than what the band should be playing. Is that modesty? Or part of a plan to come back again soon and hopefully play larger rooms?
Amy Sheppard: We haven’t toured since 2015, and we are yet to release our second album. We understand that we have been off the radar, due to writing and recording. We chose intimate venues to test the waters a little bit. I think it’s safe to say that once our album is out, we will be back to the States, hopefully doing larger venues. We quite enjoy intimate venues, it will give us a chance to reconnect with our fans on a more personal basis.
On the opposite end of venue sizes, Sheppard supported Justin Bieber on some of his Purpose tour dates. Aside from being exposed to a new audience, do you ever enjoy being the opening act?
Amy Sheppard: We most definitely enjoy being the opening act. What artist can complain about opening arena tours for the likes of Justin Bieber and Little Mix? It’s a true honor. It gives us experience and confidence to move on a large stage to a huge audience. We hope we can be the headlining act someday soon.
USA we can’t wait! Tickets on sale this Friday! pic.twitter.com/BPiR1qC0Ze
— Sheppard (@wearesheppard) October 4, 2017
“Edge of the Night” and “Keep Me Crazy” and the band’s two latest releases. How far along are you with the next Sheppard album? Any idea when your full-length album with those will be coming out?
Amy Sheppard: We have completed our second album! It’s all down to our record label now. It is imperative that we release it at the right time. We are thinking early next year is going to be most impactful.
Do you have a favorite song from the album?
Amy Sheppard: There are two on the album which I can’t wait for the world to hear. One is called “I Was Lost” and the other is called “Live for You.” These are two very personal tracks and although they may not make it as singles, I urge our fans to give the full album a thorough listen. We put a lot of effort into our lyrics and I feel these two songs are quite relatable.
Will you be playing any new songs besides “Edge of the Night” and “Keep Me Crazy” on these upcoming U.S. dates?
Amy Sheppard: Basically all of the songs you will hear at our show will be new. Of course, we will throw in some Sheppard favorites, however, the aim of this tour is to showcase what we have been doing this whole time.
Is there something you wish more people knew about you or Sheppard?
Amy Sheppard: I wish people knew that we were more than just “Geronimo.” Our true fans already know this, but we would love for people to take a listen to more than just the singles. We have also grown a lot as songwriters since we were in the States last, I guess we will let you guys be the judge.
— Amy Sheppard (@amysheppardpie) August 14, 2017
When you’re not busy with music, how do you like to spend your free time?
Amy Sheppard: Personally, I love to keep fit and healthy. I love being outdoors and often head to the beach or find a cool waterfall to hike to. Australia has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty. I know the USA has a ton of epic hikes also, hopefully I will get the chance to explore some of them.
Do you have a favorite album of 2017?
Amy Sheppard: I would have to say I was very impressed by Lorde’s Melodrama. I admire and relate to the fact that she took her time crafting her second album. She has come out with an exquisite work of art. Something to be commended.
Finally, Amy, any last words for the kids?
Amy Sheppard: The countdown to our USA tour is on, kids! We couldn’t be more excited. We hope to meet you at a show soon.
[Featured Image by Peter Brew-Bevan]