Amy Sheppard Says “Geronimo” in Exclusive Interview at Billboard Hot 100 Fest
You’ve all heard the song “Geronimo” by Australia’s hit band, Sheppard. In fact, once you heard it, the catchy anthem with the stellar hook was probably stuck in your head all day…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The song is fun and danceable and dominated the charts for a reason when it was released in 2014.
Recently, I had a chance to sit down with Sheppard’s lead vocalist, Amy Sheppard, after Sheppard played a killer set at Billboard’s Hot 100 Fest, held at Northwell Health Jones Beach Theater on Long Island on August 18-19. We discussed everything from what it’s like to work with your siblings (three of the six members of Sheppard are brother and sister), how they define their musical sound as a band, and whether or not “Geronimo” gets stuck in Amy’s head, too.
Q: It’s a long flight to the US, so I know you guys don’t make it over here too often, but what is your favorite part about touring in the US and being in New York?
Sheppard: My favorite thing about touring in the US is just connecting with the fans that you have online, but you never get to come face to face with. Because in Australia, obviously, we’ve got our loyal fans that come to every show, and we’re still building that here, so it’s really nice to sort of connect the Instagram name to the fan.
Q: You guys have done a lot of really awesome international tours with some pretty big names. What are some of your best tour memories?
Sheppard: Some of my best memories touring with other artists have been –- I think Keith Urban has been one of my favorites. He was just so down to earth, he was so lovely, a true performer…we really learned a lot from him. And yeah the best ones are always so professional. That was probably my favorite tour.
Q: How does it compare playing these huge festivals as opposed to playing more local/regional shows?
Sheppard: Well it’s always interesting because you always have people in the crowd who don’t know who you are, and I love that because it gives you a chance to win new fans, people who might just stumble across you. I think it’s important as an artist to continue growing, and festivals are a perfect opportunity for that. But for our own shows you obviously have more control of everything that goes on, and you are there for your fans. That’s also really nice, because it’s not often that we get to the US, so fans can come and meet us and see us play. It can be really special.
Q: What is it like working with your siblings?
Sheppard: Honestly it’s really great. We get along as friends, and we work really well together. We can trust each other. Of course it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, we have our moments, but it’s good because you can be honest with each other, you can have fights and it’s gonna be fine in ten minutes.
Q: You guys just released “Watching the Sky” this year, and you’ve mentioned in other interviews that in this album you’ve finally found/defined your sound as a band. Can you elaborate a little bit on that? How would you describe your “sound” to someone who never heard you before?
Sheppard: I guess with the last album, we had a couple of songs that were nearly the sound, and we could tell because they always go off at the festivals and live performances, so we really try to hone in on that. But our sound is basically like big drums, anthemic choruses, we want people to be able to connect with the song instantly when they hear it. Not that every song is happy, but yeah, we just look for songs where people can instantly connect.
Q: You guys definitely did that with your hit song “Geronimo” – once you listen, it’s stuck in your head all day! Do your own songs ever get stuck in your head? Do you ever find yourself going around singing them?
A: Yeah, especially when they’re new [laughs]. But yes, they do…if they ever come up on iTunes sometimes I’m like quick to skip it [laughs]. It’s fun still, if you hear yourself on the radio it’s still a bit of a thrill.