The Hangout 2013 Featured Artist: The Sheepdogs

Photo by Matt Barnes

Photo by Matt Barnes – “The Mini Buddha” Artwork by Chad Arney

The first time I heard of The Sheepdogs, it was after a friend told me about some little known (at least in the States) band that had found their way to the cover of Rolling Stone. Hailing from Saskatoon, the group became a regular name in the blogosphere after their cover feature and a deal with Atlantic Records. But these guys are no overnight success story; Touring together since 2006, they finally caught the much deserved attention of label bigwigs and wound up releasing their Atlantic debut in 2012 under the watchful eye of head producer Patrick Carney (of The Black Keys).

I was finally able to see the band during our visit to Wakarusa last year and put simply, they rock! They’re embarking on another tour this Spring that has them making a very special stop at the Hangout Music Fest in Gulf Shores, Alabama on Friday, May 17th. Our own Everett Verner took the opportunity to get in a short interview with the band’s Ewan Currie. If you’re headed to the beach this May, these guys are one band you won’t want to miss.

The first time I heard The Sheepdogs I just assumed you were from the South Eastern U.S. and was shocked to find out you were from Saskatoon. So, I’m curious to find out what inspired your sound when it seems like you are a million miles from it was originally established?

The world we grew up in is shrinking. Thanks to the Internet we had access to whatever music we were interested in. For me it was about finding more music that sounded like the Beatles & Stones and not just similar sounds but the sounds that influenced those bands. Those bands were British but they were influenced by the American music of the south – blues & roots music. That’s where we take our cues from: soul, r & b, rock, blues and roots music.

Who would you guys love to share the stage with that you have not yet?

Tom Petty, Charles Bradley, Tame Impala.

You guys have a reputation for embracing the spirit of Rock N’Roll with your swagger and partying, is this something that you run towards, run from, or does it factor in?

We embrace it, but it doesn’t define us. A band like Faces always seemed like a great party band, but first and foremost they were a great band. We try to do the same.

I know you’re ramping up for the summer Festival circuit with appearances at Hangout, Bonnaroo, All Good and Glastonbury, but what are some of your favorite places you have already played, festival or venue, and what’s on the wish list?

First time at Bonnaroo stands out. Just a sweaty, loving mess of humanity. Anywhere people are open minded and ready to have a good time.

I know you guys have been touring pretty extensively over the past few years and I am wondering if there have been any tales from the road that have stood out over others?

We’ve played in front of zero people, we’ve played in front of 50,000 people. We’ve broke down probably a couple dozen times. Had a half dozen van windows smashed out. I had to fight a guy in one bar who was messing with our microphone stands one time. Plenty of great times have been had through all the sweat and hard times. Your usual touring band stories I guess.

Final question: Have you guys ever apologized for partying?

Never, because we always take care of business on stage first.

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