Interview / SheerKhan

How about some dynamic spaghetti-western-surf-psychedelia rock & roll? Meet SheerKhan, a four piece Aussie band whose frisky noise will set your dancing soul on fire. Their latest single, 25 Go-Go Dancers is a brilliant, energy driven anthem and a very special mention goes to the unique vocals which blend so perfectly with the entire sound. Let’s find out more about SheerKhan from the band’s guitarist Ben.

Eva: Go on, introduce the band and your sound to MGMB readers…

Ben: We are SheerKhan, a 4 piece rock’n’roll band from Wollongong, Australia. We are Timothy Scott (vocals/guitar), Sam Bailey (drums), Sebo Grego (bass/vocals) and Ben Camden (guitar/vocals). At the moment we’re describing our sound as beat-driven/spaghetti-western/surf/psych/blues. We are all into 60s and 70s bands like The Doors, Beatles, Led Zep, Cream etc, so I guess that’s where some of our sound comes from. 

What’s the story behind SheerKhan’s formation and the band name?

Sam had a band first, then Tim joined in early 2012 and it became ‘ShereKhan’. Tim then went on exchange to Sweden and while he was there, he wrote some new material and had an epiphany in the woods. When he graced our shores again, he and Sam started jamming again but the lead guitarist and bass player left in favour of solid jobs. So Sam brought in his mate Sebo on the bass. Sebo was a known figure on the underground funk circuit in Albury, NSW, so he brings a lot of groove to the band. Tim then asked me (Ben) if I was keen to join the band on lead guitar. Tim and I had known each other for a while and had a garage jam band a few years earlier, so it was pretty easy slotting in. The sound of the band also went a bit psychier, away from the straight rock sound of the first lineup. As for the name, Tim’s favourite movie as a kid was The Jungle Book, so ShereKhan (the tiger) seemed pretty cool, although we’ve found out a lot of people don’t know how to spell it, so we recently changed it to SheerKhan. We are also avoiding the wrath of Disney, who took out a trademark on all their character names last year, and won’t respond to any of our letters. We still like their work though.

Tell us about your latest track 25 Go-Go Dancers

25 Go-Go Dancers is our 2nd single and it’s just a fun and fairly upbeat rock song that’ll hopefully get people dancing around. We like to let loose on stage, especially Tim, so this is one that gets everyone going. It is a lot of fun to play live, and we feel like we did a good job transferring that energy onto the studio recorded track.

How about live shows? What are your main strengths on stage?

Our live shows are pretty wild… Our main goal is to get everyone going in the crowd so if they see us having a good time on stage, then I guess it eggs them on to do the same. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and we all really enjoy what we do, so I think that vibe comes across on stage. We just like to have fun and hope that everyone else who comes along has a good time too! Tim is a pretty energetic frontman, he is especially good at destroying microphones. Once he starts ‘lassoing’ the microphone, it’s a good idea to duck for cover…

Let’s say that someone from a big label comes to watch you play. How would you impress them?  

I guess we would just do what we do at every show, that is have a good time and make the most of each song. It would probably be better for us if we didn’t know that there was a big wig in the crowd, as I imagine it would put a bit of pressure on us… but if we knew, I think Sam would take his shirt off, he loves it.

Who normally writes the songs and how do you share the responsibilities amongst you?

At the moment the songwriting process is pretty easy. One of us will bring an idea to a jam session, and then we usually just structure it and put parts on it then and there. We all bring different styles/techniques to the table, so Sam might bring some chords in, or Tim a melody, and then we just work out our own bits as we jam it. Sometimes we will be just mucking around together, and all of sudden we have a song out of nowhere. I guess we all have a great respect for each others musical abilities, so we trust each others input. It’s pretty cool. We are racking up quite a lot of songs! Generally Tim will then take the idea home and put some lyrics on it, he is pretty good at that (or just wing it on the night), but he will still keep it open for different lines/input from us.

What’s your fondest musical memory up to date?

The whole experience has been pretty great so far! All our jam sessions and gigs are a lot of fun, recording was cool, but I guess the best memory so far would be playing at The Standard in Sydney. The space has had some big bands there in the past (INXS, City and Colour), we played a tight set and there was a great crowd.

Is there any UK band you’d like to join on the road over here?

Ah man!! There are so many UK bands that are awesome. There’s the big ones like the Kooks, Arctic Monkeys, Band of Skulls, Kasabian which would be cool, but there’s also a newer London band we’ve just started listening to called Gentlemen, who have a really sweet sound, so that would be a cool trip.

If your music was picked to be featured in a movie, what sort of movie would you want it to be?

Maybe a Western? But there aren’t that many Western’s these days. Any movie with Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford or Sean Connery… Dirty Indiana Bond?

What are your main targets for this year?

We want to keep playing as many shows as possible and hopefully have our debut album out by the end of the year, possibly another EP between now and then too. We’ve got a lot of songs ready to go, but lack studio time or recording know how. It would also be great to play in places we have never played before, we have our sights on London! We think our sound would fit in pretty well there, and a festival would be cool too.

Links – Facebook, Soundcloud

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