Tuesday, November 11, 2014 9:48am ET by  
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Sheppard tell Pressparty about 'Geronimo' success: 'It's way out of our expectations'

With a recent performance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and their platinum hit single ‘Geronimo’ currently lording over Spotify, things are certainly going well for Australia’s Sheppard.

Pressparty caught up with singer and pianist George Sheppard to find out more about the six-piece’s recent success.

Did you ever expect ‘Geronimo’ to become so big?

We had a good feeling about it. When we started playing it live, it had a good reaction. We had the good feeling, but you can't expect what happens. It’s way out of our expectations.

What's the secret behind its success?

If I knew what the formula was, I’d bottle it up and sell it. I think it’s just a fun, catchy, energetic and engaging song that people can listen to for the first time and get it.

It’s quite refreshing to see a big song these days written by just the band and not outside writers?

Definitely. We’re certainly proud of the fact that we write out own music. It’s crazy that more bands don’t do that, but I guess it is what it is.

You performed on the Ellen Show recently in States - was that quite a big milestone for you?

Of course. It’s the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Its watched by millions of people worldwide. It’s definitely one of - if not the - biggest things we’ve done to date. The biggest television show we’ve played in Australia was probably The Voice, which gets an average of 1.8 million viewers, so it was a bit of a jump up. It was a great experience. Ellen was a lovely lady and very down to earth.

Have you noticed an increase in your profile already after the show?

Yeah, definitely. The single started to chart and Spotify especially has taken a leap. We’re up to 800,000 streams per day for ‘Geronimo’ and we’re on over 30 million plays worldwide now.

How far do you think the band can go in terms of success?

Well, this is a lifelong dream for us. We’re all very passionate about what we do and we take it very seriously. We’re all down to earth people as well - we’re not going to blow all our money on expensive cars or that kind of thing. I’d like to hope that this is a long-term thing.

So is fame something that won’t go to your heads?

I don’t think so. I’m 27 now and I’ve lived quite a bit. I’ve got my immaturity out of me and I’m ready to start a career.




You’ve got the ARIA Awards coming up - are you hopefully of winning a few prizes?

Well, we’re up for six awards on the night. But we’re not really into awards - we’re just going to enjoy the evening and enjoy spending the night with Australian music royalty. We’re just pinching ourselves that we get to attend the ceremony let alone be nominated for six awards. If we win that’s great and it will be a bonus. We’re performing ‘Geronimo’ at it too, that’ll be really cool.

Are you friends with fellow Australians 5 Seconds of Summer?

We don’t know them personally, but we really respect what they’re doing. They’re doing such a great job worldwide and flying the flag for Australian music. So yeah, we could be friends…We might meet them at the ARIAs.

It seems like Australian music is doing pretty well globally at the moment?

At the moment it’s doing very well. Iggy Azalea, Vance Joy, 5 Seconds of Summer. There’s plenty of homegrown Australian artists making it overseas, which is quite cool. 

Do you think there’s any reason for that or is it just luck?

I think there’s always been great Australian music out there, but as of late people are actually starting to take notice. Maybe Gotye was the first artist in recent times to crack the overseas market in the way that he has. So maybe that encouraged people to turn their eyes towards Australia. And because of that a lot of Australian artists will get discovered.

You’ve previously said that older acts like Cat Stevens and Fleetwood Mac have influenced you a lot - so what do you make of the current pop scene?

There are definitely great pop artists out there. But like all the reality shows and stuff…things have lost some of the heart. The genuineness of it has been lost from the days of Cat Stevens and Eric Clapton, when they wrote their own songs - and they were very well written songs that actually meant something. I guess that’s what we’re trying to do again.

So do you think the market is saturated with money-grabbing suits and the like?

Yeah, it feels a bit corporate and calculated at the moment. What we do is write our own songs and although we have a record label behind us, they have given us quite a lot of freedom in terms of creative control. The album artwork, tracklisting, the songs that we write -  they are all our decisions. We’re a homemade band I guess, which is rare for a pop act.

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Watch Sheppard perform on the Ellen Show below: