Saskatchewan rock band The Sheepdogs has never shied away from wearing their influences on their sleeves.
But the band’s newest record Changing Colours is perhaps one the group’s most ambitious and diverse-sounding albums to date, incorporating a broader range of instrumentation than their previous efforts, pushing their songs in exciting new directions.
Sheepdogs bassist Ryan Gullen chalks up Changing Colours’ relatively adventurous sounds to one rather simple factor:
“What ultimately allowed us to broaden our sound with this album is the fact time was on our side,” he says, speaking in advance of the group’s performance at Casino New Brunswick in Moncton on Saturday night, one of six shows the band will be performing in Atlantic Canada through March 17.
“In the past, we’ve gone right from touring into the studio and then back out on the road. With the making of this record, though, we recorded over the course of several months, which allowed us the opportunity to shape the songs and ‘colour’ them accordingly.”
In another first for the band, Changing Colours also marks the recording debut of multi-instrumentalist Jim Bowskill, who joined the group shortly following the release of the group’s 2015 album Future Nostalgia.
“I think we felt a little bolder in terms of trying new things, especially with Jimmy in the band, but we were very cautious of not going too overboard with things either. We were ultimately pulling more influences out that helped shape these songs in a different way, something we just hadn’t had the time to do with previous records. The fact is, our music always comes from a place of coming from four dudes that not only play music, but are music fans as well. It’s always coming from an honest place.”
Not surprisingly to those outside of the group, Changing Colours has been well received thus far. The album’s first single, “I’ve Got A Hole Where My Heart Should Be” is currently enjoying its second week atop Canada’s rock singles chart.
Gullen says that while the band felt confident in terms of branching out its sound, there is always the unknown element of how the public will react. Thankfully, he notes, the group’s worry ended up being all for naught.
“We actually had the record done when we last played in Moncton this past June, but there’s always that time between when you finish a record and when it gets released that you wonder how it will go over. Thankfully, the new songs have been going over really well live, which is always gratifying and encouraging.”
Catch the Sheepdogs live:
March 10 — Moncton, NB — Casino New Brunswick
March 11 — Charlottetown, PEI — PEI Brewing Company
March 13 — Saint John, NB — Imperial Theatre
March 15 — St. John’s, NFLD — Club One
March 16 — Halifax, NS — The Marquee Club
March 17 — Halifax, NS — The Marquee Club