While 2017 has seen them serve as main support for the Australian and New Zealand legs of Justin Beiber’s Purpose Tour as well as on a European run with Little Minx, it’s been two years since the United States has had the pleasure of having the Australian indie pop sextet Sheppard hustling from city to city in order to entertain the masses, but that changes today as Amy Sheppard, George Sheppard, Emma Sheppard, Jay Bovino, Michael Butler and Dean Gordon kick off the headlining North American leg of their Edge Of The Night Tour. When they released their debut album, Bombs Away, in 2015, things exploded thanks to a little song of theirs called “Geronimo” becoming a worldwide phenomenon of a hit. Big. Huge. Ginourmous, actually, considering that the song went platinum in 21 countries.
Earlier this year Sheppard released the two singles, “Edge of the Night” and “Keep Me Crazy” which show how their dynamic pop has progressed yet still captures the band’s bright energy and on November 10th (and just in time for the holidays) the feel-good anthem “Coming Home.” All of which will be on their sophomore album due out in 2018.
We always appreciate when bands that we love come to town, but life on the road is hard work. Amy gives us a little taste of how Sheppard rolls while on the road (and George kicks in with a pretty badass Spotify playlist of favorite songs to listen to while on the road) because tour happens…
High Voltage: Welcome back to the art of touring! How excited (terrified) are you to be getting back on the road?
“Ha! There is always some apprehension about going on tour. It’s not an easy gig, however, we haven’t been to the states in a couple of years, so we are PUMPED! Missed you guys.”
We’ve missed you guys, too. Now touring = long stretches of time on the road between shows: What do things get like in the van after – say – 12 hours?
“It only takes about one hour into the first van ride before we’ve run out of things to say to each other. I have downloaded about 20,000 podcasts and 17 new iPhone apps to keep me occupied. The exciting thing about this tour is that we will have a sleeper bus. Usually this means more antics including Playstation/Xbox wars.”
UPGRADE! A proper tour bus is never a bad thing. Now other than the obvious answer of your gear, what are some things that you simply CANNOT go on tour without?
1. Sleep mask. 2. Ear plugs. 3. Sequin outfit. 4. Asprin.
Very important question: What do you listen to on the road? Who plays DJ?
“Usually whoever is driver gets to be DJ (BYO earphones!!) haha! Sometimes we put on a podcast for the whole bus to tune into. Favourites are the Tony Robbins series and Stuff You Should Know.”
Love Tony Robbins. Okay, let’s talk those very important Tour Do’s and Don’ts.
“Do: Bring an outfit for every occasion and scenario, even if it isn’t planned in the schedule. Don’t: Snore. Do: catch up on sleep where possible. Don’t: Be the bus’ pee on the seat bandit.”
That last one…ha! Now be honest: what are your eating habits like while on the road? Any favorite gas station eats?
“Emma and I are usually quite strict with our diet seeing as we barely exercise on tour. I, basically, live off protein bars and beef jerky. The boys live a much more exhilarating lifestyle filled with Cheetos and Twix bars. DILL PICKLE IN A BAG IS BANNED!”
By now, surely something absolutely awful/ridiculous/hilarious has happened during a tour or at a show, right? Tell us about one of those somethings.
“We’ve clocked up some real doozys in our time on the road. One which we often reminisce on is the time we were the support act for Keith Urban on an arena tour. We got halfway through our first show when an audience member held up a napkin which read: “George! Your fly is down…” Needless to say, there were a few red faces that night.”
It’s probably safe to say that “Check fly before going on stage” is now one of George’s Tour Do’s! What lesson(s) has touring taught you?
“We have learnt so much about ourselves and each other (sometimes more than we’d like to know/share). We have learnt about other cultures and other performing artists. It has been the best adventure of our lives.”
For those who have not yet had the pleasure, but surely will, describe a Sheppard live show.
“Be prepared to have a smile on your face for most of the night. We love to interact with our fans as much as we can and try and make sure that no two shows are the same.”
Tour Happens With High Voltage
Nov. 13 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
Nov. 14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy
Nov. 18 – Mexico City, Mexico @ Curva 4 Hermanos Rodriguez
Nov. 20 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
Nov. 21 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Nov. 22 – Boston, MA @ Once Ballroom
Nov. 24 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry
Nov. 25 – Pittsburgh, PA @ The Rex
Nov. 26 – Columbus, OH@ The Basement
Nov. 27 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Featured photo: Peter Brew-Bevan