We've covered Roadkill Ghost Choir's neat and rapid ascent in the alt-country world since theirQuiet Light EP first seeped into our ears in 2012, well after we'd first witnessed singer Andrew Shepard's grievous-angel vocal live. Fast-forward to the present, after their acclaimed 2014 debut, In Tongues, set them on a path that led them to popular platforms like official showcases at South By Southwest, an appearance on Late Show With David Letterman and major festival stints galore. That kind of immediate attention could've gone to the band of brothers' heads, but instead, they're humble and even a little self-abashed on the cusp of releasing their anticipated follow-up.
North Avenue Studios is literal family to Roadkill Ghost Choir (their father, Mark Shepard started the business), so it's no surprise to see that new music means coming home for the band, which has since relocated to Athens, Georgia. Laying down new tracks at North Ave., lead singer Andrew is vague and teasing about what to expect from the new spin, although he does let it leak that it will include "Beggar's Guild II," the sequel to the lead single from Quiet Light. It seems Roadkill - which also features bassist Zach Shepard, drummer Maxx Shepard, guitarist Stephen Garza and pedal steel/banjo player Kiffy Myers - has yet to forget its roots in multiple ways.
We last caught up with Roadkill Ghost Choir in April last year, when we talked about their debut, how it felt blacking out during their blissful Letterman set and how traveling to fests like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza had impacted the introverted bedroom lyrics Andrew penned in early songs. Below find out a little more about the band, and check out the video interview above to get a glimpse of Andrew's more playful side that rarely comes out onstage.
Orlando Weekly: When did you first form as a band? Andrew: We formed at the beginning of 2011 in Deland, Fl. I was asked to play a show by myself and figured it would be a complete bore, so I got some dudes together and we fleshed out the songs, and we just kept playing shows together.
How did you meet?
Three of us are brothers, so I guess when we were just babes. Garza, our guitarist, joined because we needed a keyboard player, but he was terrible at playing keys and proved to be much better with a guitar. Kiffy Myers, our pedal steel player, interned at my Dad's music studio North Avenue Studios. It's rare to find a dude that plays pedal steel thats not a 50-year-old Nashville cat and shares similar musical taste. I immediately knew I needed to get him in the band.
What’s going on with the band right now?
We are currently recording our next untitled album at North Avenue Studios here in Florida. It's definitely different from our previous releases. Really excited for everyone to hear it and for the Grammys to nominate us for any kind of award and to win at least one MTV video music award and to become friends with the upper echelon of this diarrhea industry, so I can retire comfortably from the biz and maybe invest in two to three Papa John's franchises, and just kind of coast off the profits of those.
What’s the first album you remember really treasuring? Kid A by Radiohead. I was on the computer while some TV network was playing Vanilla Sky (HAIL CRUISE/PRAISE XENU) and "Everything in its Right Place" was playing as Tom Cruise was shucking and devouring about 12 dozen oysters. I remember those opening notes and being hooked. I still think it's one of the coolest songs. That was the day I fell down the Radiohead rabbit hole.