SASKATOON – With a gold album, sold-out shows across the country, an appearance on the hit TV show “Project Runway,” a recent tour with Kings of Leon and a Rolling Stone cover under their belts, the Sheepdogs continue to see their popularity rise.
After winning a Rolling Stone cover shot and accompanying feature article published during the summer, the four shaggy rockers have been able to play music on a full-time basis, said bass player Ryan Gullen. Previously when the band members toured, they would have to return home to work at their jobs, he said.
That all changed when Rolling Stone introduced the foursome – Gullen, Ewan Currie, Leot Hanson and Sam Corbett – to the world. Today, making music is their career – something Gullen calls “a dream come true.”
“It’s really great. Now that we can do what we really want to be doing, that’s really cool,” he said.
Gullen said the band has been doing a lot of travelling, as the Sheepdogs have been on tour since February. The reaction to the band from fans in the U.S. has been “overwhelmingly good,” he said.
Story continues below
“Basically we’ve just been touring non-stop and kind of striking while the iron’s hot, especially in the States,” Gullen said in a recent telephone interview, while the band members were driving just outside Columbus, Ohio.
“It’s a little bit different than touring Canada – shorter drives,” he added.
For Canadian bands, it can be “very hard to get things going in the States,” so the Sheepdogs are continuing to promote themselves after the Rolling Stone cover contest win put them in the spotlight, said Gullen.
“It’s been very busy. We’ve basically had no time off. We’ve had the occasional day off at home in Saskatoon, but it’s usually like you fly in for one day – or we were there, recently, playing with Kings of Leon.”
Earlier this month, The Sheepdogs were seen on Canada’s Slice network, which re-aired an episode of the reality television fashion program “Project Runway.” During the show, which is hosted by supermodel Heidi Klum and style icon Tim Gunn, aspiring designers were tasked with creating clothing for the band members.
Another recent highlight for the band occurred on Nov. 9, when the Sheepdogs announced their album “Learn & Burn” went gold in Canada.
On Nov. 24, The Sheepdogs will kick off their Canadian tour in St. Catharines, Ont., with sold-out shows to follow in many other cities across the country, including Guelph, Ont., Fredericton, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary. Gullen said it’s exciting to see the shows selling out weeks in advance.
The band’s Canadian tour will also include two stops in Saskatchewan – a sold-out show at The Distrikt in Regina on Dec. 15 and a show at The Odeon in Saskatoon on Dec. 16.
The Sheepdogs are so popular in their home country that in many cities a second show has been added. Gullen said the demand has proven to be particularly strong in Ontario, where an upcoming show in Hamilton was relocated from a smaller venue to Copps Coliseum after it sold out in five minutes.
“It’s really overwhelming. It’s cool for us to see that response, that people are excited to come see us.”
Gullen said the band members are looking forward to coming back to Saskatoon and playing for the hometown crowd.
“Obviously, Saskatoon’s always been our favourite place to play in Canada. It’s our home.”
-Distributed by The Canadian Press