August 8, 2014 6:37 pm
Updated: August 9, 2014 9:46 am

The Sheepdogs return home while keeping eyes on international horizon

Watch above: what’s next for The Sheepdogs?

SASKATOON – The Sheepdogs return home, playing the Grandstand Friday night at the Saskatoon Exhibition.

The group catapulted to fame on Aug. 18, 2011. That’s when they landed the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, part of an international competition which jump-started their success. Three years later the group is trying to keep that momentum.

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“Sometimes we’ll play a great show and then you know, we’ll go two towns over there will be like 20 people there so we just want to keep it growing as long as we can,” said drummer Sam Corbett prior to the Friday afternoon sound check.

READ MORE: Guitarist Leot Hanson leaves The Sheepdogs

So far, the band’s biggest show topped out at about 50,000 people at a music festival in Quebec. The slow down is one the group was expecting as it has been nearly two years since their self-titled album was released. It is gold certified and debuted at number one in Canada, and now the band has its eyes set on the international market.

“Some cities in the States we’ll do okay,” said Corbett. “We actually had a really awesome show in New York and Chicago last time we played there. We had a great show in London, some really awesome shows in Spain and Germany.”

Bassist Ryan Gullen commends the Canadian reception and support for the Sheepdogs but said as a travelling artist, the goal is always bigger markets, with more people.

“I think it would be cool to break into somewhere like Japan,” Gullen said. “They have a very strong rock and roll scene there.”

Fans can expect a new album to be released in early 2015 – the first one without original guitarist Leot Hanson.

Hanson left the group and now owns Capitol Music Club on 1st Avenue in Saskatoon. The departure is something the group refuses to talk about, rather focusing the attention on the excitement of their new album which Gullen said will stay true to their sound.

READ MORE: Sheepdogs’ drummer opens up about mental health

“We’re very much rooted in the type of music we play. talking about growing as musicians, that’s going to happen and you’re going to evolve a certain way but in the end, we’re old school rock and roll guys at heart,” said Gullen.

The group has a cottage rented in Ontario for autumn. It’s there they hope the creative juices flow for their next album which will be entirely self produced. The goal for that album and the future is simplistic.

“It’s longevity and just being able to continue doing what we do,” said Gullen.

The show begins at 8:30 p.m. at Prairieland Park and is free with general admission to the Exhibition.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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