New Zealand psychedelic / power-pop group Sherpa are scooting over to Sydney for a show at World Bar this Friday 10th May as they take a break from recording the follow up to their 2012 album ‘Lesser Flamingo‘. This week in The Hotseat, we catch up with Ben from the band to answer our questions. Expand this post to check out his answers.
Name : Ben
Band : Sherpa
Job In Band : Guitar / Backing Vox
Website Address : www.sherpaband.com
Hometown : Auckland, NZ
Hometown is best known for : I’m not sure..
Best venue in your hometown : The Auckland Town Hall
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : Grizzly Bear at the end of last year
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : Laneway Festival, 2012
How did the band first come to exist? Half of us got together in high school, I think around 05/06
How long has the band been going? Since 05/06
Any particular story behind the name? Sherpa was the nickname of our original bass player – he was named after an ice-cream truck or some kind of van thing. I think it was some drunken in joke… I wasn’t around in those days so I don’t know the details.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… Last year we released our debut album ‘Lesser Flamingo’ It’s been out for ages so it doesn’t feel very recent. We just finished recording our next album though so that’s on the way and we’re really psyched.
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? Probably hanging out with Yuck and The Horrors at Laneway in 2012. That was a special day.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? One of my primary school teachers used to get us to sing ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ by The Beatles. That turned me onto music early I guess.
Any particular band / album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? I don’t know if we sound much like them but The Strokes’ first two albums were adored by everyone in the band. That certainly made me want to play more guitar when I was a teenager.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? Ms Manikin – Pop Rock ish
Most prized music related item you own? Probably my first guitar – a beat up nylon string that doesn’t have a bridge anymore.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? Recording young kids sing and play music. That’s my job, haha.
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… The male-bonding. Because we have day jobs we don’t get to hang out all day so when we go on tour it’s really fun kidding around.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… The realization that I’m going to smell really bad for days on end
ON THE STAGE
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? Beer Beer Beer
Favourite place you’ve toured… and why? South Island of NZ –cause the air was fresh and cold.
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why? My first show with the band. It was heaps of fun but I made fuck-loads of mistakes. I’ll never forget looking like an idiot when the whole band stopped in a section and I was still playing. In my defence – we didn’t have many rehearsals before that show
Got a favourite song to play live? There’s a new song called Blind Buzz that is really fun to play live. It has a riff in it that allows for some serious rawking out.
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? One night I got put on the spot and told a really, really bad joke. I’m not going to repeat it but it involved the word ‘stiffy’
Any pre-show rituals? Na. Sometimes one of this sports team huddles.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? Eating well. I always end up eating bad food and feeling yuck.
Last song you listened to? Deerhunter – ‘Blue Agent’
Last album you acquired? Deerhunter – Monomania
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? Foxygen
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? Trust Punks. They’re a new band in Auckland with 3 guitars. Check em out.
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? Finalize out album, play some shows and make some music videos
You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? Beach Boys – ‘Pet Sounds.’ I have no idea how we’d pull it off but IF ONLY! It’s one of my favourite albums
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? Flying Lotus – I just wonder how crazy he’d make the songs sound.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? The Beatles
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? The O2 arena lol
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? Pond because jamming those songs seems like heaps of fun.
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support your band. A band from Auckland called Hang Loose. Cool people and cool music. Also Spring Break, another Auckland group who know how to get the party started.
Got any final words? We’re playing in Sydney at The World Bar on the 10th of May. We might have a new single out by then – if not it’ll be out soon after. Keep an eye on sherpaband.com