Get Ready To Have Your Socks Rock Off As The Sheepdogs Are On Tour…

Get ready to have your socks rocked off as The Sheepdogs, one of Canada’s finest melodic rock outfits, return to Australia this April for their first shows in eleven years. Recently announced to perform at The Gum Ball in the Hunter Valley, the 2 x Multi-Platinum selling & award-winning five-piece from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan have now added an extra bunch of East Coast dates that include shows in Byron, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

With seven critically-acclaimed albums under their belts, including the band’s latest 70’s infused classic-rock banger Outta Sight, you can expect one helluva live set with plenty of honey-soaked harmonies and powerful rocky mountain riffage from this dynamic outfit. A hefty DIY work ethic, The Sheepdogs were the first unsigned band to front the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. They have performed at a number of large festivals including Coachella, Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, South By Southwest & Lollapalooza and rolled out numerous headline tours across Canada and the US, UK and Europe.

The last time The Sheepdogs toured Australia was in 2012, supporting the legendary John Fogerty, but there are closer ties to the country with frontman Ewan Currie & brother/ band mate Shamus born in Sydney, and raised in Adelaide until ten years of age before moving to Canada. Hi Fi Way spoke to lead singer Ewan Currie about the tour.

Eleven years between tours definitely feels like a long time in between drinks?
Yeah, I’m really excited. It has been something we’ve been wanting to do but for whatever reason it hasn’t hasn’t happened. Better late than never.

Can you believe how much the world has changed in that time?
Yeah, I’m still coming to grips with that. As crazy as the world is and how much it has changed it never feels more familiar and comfortable as it does now.

Is this Australian tour more about getting reacquainted with fans here again?
We’re not doing anything different to be honest, we’re going out to rock the same way as we always would in America, Germany or anywhere else. Rock ‘n roll is universal, Australia has put out some of the best rock ‘n roll bands of all time so there’s no need to be dumbing it down for you guys.

Are you focusing mostly on Outta Sight on this tour?
There will be a mix, we’ll do a bunch off the new record and the bangers from the previous records will be there. We’re about trying to make the most exciting set possible. People would know of us and the stuff that is on Spotify so we can go in to the back catalogue.

Have you been stoked with the reaction to Outta Sight?
Yeah, I am. When we made the thing we weren’t sure what we were allowed to do because we kept trying to put on shows that were getting cancelled. We couldn’t even record live performances so it was alright let’s make a record. We didn’t have anything planned, we just went in to the studio and banged it out making it happen. Things happen when you let it roll rather than worry about what you’re trying to do.

Was it a conscious thing, particularly at that time, to do a really positive and uplifting record as opposed to doing a Covid inspired album?
I’m pretty sure that as soon as this thing was over we were going to forget as best we could. I didn’t want to make an album that wallowed in it. We’ve always made this optimistic inspiring type of music so it wasn’t exactly a defining departure for us.

Was it a blessing or curse having all this extra time to work on a new record?
It was funny, we had extra time but we were doing everything separately and didn’t have much time together. So we had less time to work on it, we shortened the time frame and did eighteen days in the studio, maybe even less. It was made quite quickly.

Were the ideas for the album around well before Covid hit or did it happen in the studio?
Kind of a mix, I track all my ideas on my phone, I sing them in using Voice Memo on my iPhone. I just pick through them and find the best ideas. Some of them were brand new and came together on the week of the recording and some were around fro previous tours. Most of them were whatever fell out of the bag in the studio.

Was it hard getting inspired when you weren’t on the road touring out there seeing the world?
I don’t know, I don’t think so! It was frustrating not being able to live my life like I used to but being able to tap back in to that vibe when you’re like a teenager, where you don’t have the full freedom of being an adult but you want all those freedoms like getting in your car but there is nothing to do, it’s like that teenager angst vibe which was pretty strong in rock ‘n roll music like The Who, Big Star and all that kind of stuff helped me tap back in to that. Covid was like being a grounded teenager. In a way it made things kind of good. I did get inspired by my own record collection, being stuck at home I was able to get in to it more. I was listening to those a lot and getting inspired by them.

Did the album come together well?
I think it was the easiest album we ever made even with the fact it was made during Covid. We just got up in the room and stood in a circle showing here’s what I’m thinking, figuring it out in forty minutes and start cutting it. We set everything up that as soon as we were ready we told our engineer to start rolling. As soon as we had a take that was usable we’d stop doing it and check it out. Once that’s done we’d start overdubbing, no doubt the easiest record we ever made..

Will the next album follow up in quicker time?
Absolutely, the big thing about it is not to overthink it and just make it. It’s rock ‘n roll, it isn’t meant to be complicated. I think there is something to it working faster.

What do you look forward to most about touring Australia?
It sounds cliche, I grew up in Adelaide, was born in Sydney and lived in Canada since I was ten, obviously I love Australia and can’t wait to get back there. I love the beer, much better than the beer in Canada and can’t wait to consume some fine lagers!

Interview By Rob Lyon

Catch The Sheepdogs on the following tour dates, tickets from Troubadour Touring

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