Colorado doom rock trio Shepherd have released their new EP, First Hand on November 20th via Destruent Records. We caught up with frontman/bassist Holden Sims to discuss the EP, albums that helped him get through 2020, and being optimistic for a better 2021.
How has the response been so far on the new EP, First Hand?
The response to the album has been outstanding and even better than we anticipated. It has been a year full of setbacks and doubts for everybody and we feel as though we really pulled off a win for ourselves. We’re grateful for everyone who has supported us and this release.
What has the experience been like for you to release an EP during a pandemic?
It was difficult for us. We had big plans for the rest of the year after the album came out. We originally intended the release date to be earlier in the year, our most ambitious goal was a tour toward the end of 2020 which we realized before too long wasn’t going to be possible. That was a tough pill to swallow but something that we all understood was for the best. Once we accepted that it was going to be a down year for live shows we tried our best to be creative and promote the album outside of playing to the public.
Can you talk more about the song “Wendigo?”
Wendigo is one of the more interesting songs on the album. It has a lot to offer in terms of what you hear in the music itself. It has three parts that vary wildly and blend a lot of our influences into one cohesive arrangement. The lyrics were inspired by sleep paralysis experiences which we thought provided something to put your mind to at the beginning and end of the song. The last section of the song really leaves an impression.
Now that the EP is out, what plans do you have for 2021?
We’re optimistic. With all of the setbacks we’ve encountered this year, we feel well prepared and are excited to see what comes next for us. We’re always trying to push our sound to new places and we’re in the process of writing new material with some added “features” we’ll call them for now. Once it’s safe to do so again we plan on making the most of playing live and will definitely strive to hit the road as soon as we can do so responsibly.
With concerts remaining uncertain in different parts of the globe, what do you think shows would look like post pandemic?
In an ideal world, with the vaccines that are starting to move out we could see touring acts and local bands returning to the stage before too long. However, it’s hard to say if that will happen everywhere all at once or at all in a relatively short period of time. Ultimately the hit that the music industry and that artists have suffered will be meaningless if we can’t get the whole situation under control and stop the spread of the disease across the country. It will be and has been the responsibility of the artists to find ways to entertain from afar, now more than ever as we’re on the home stretch.
What albums helped you get through this year?
All Them Witches “Nothing as the Ideal,” Cave In “Final Transmission,” Sturgill Simpson “Metamodern Sounds In Country Music,” ” Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats “Wasteland,” Father John Misty “God’s Favorite Customer,” Car Bomb “Meta,” Torche “Admission,” George Clanton “100% Electronica.” Anything Type O Negative was in our ears a lot this year too.
Is there anything else you want to say or add?
We feel fortunate for the opportunity to talk about our music and to share it with everybody who has a chance to listen to it. We’re eager to keep your attention moving forward and this is only the beginning for us. Giddy up!