Second Shepherds are a rock n roll band from Burnley. With an emphasis on creating songs that make you want to dance and that have strong, catchy lyrics and impeccable musicianship to boot, Second Shepherds set the trend. A solid band in every way, their live sets prove to be intense yet exuberant, passionate and atmospheric.
I caught up with the band’s frontman, Christopher Lyttle, last week to discuss everything from when we can be expecting some new releases to come out and what’s next for Second Shepherds in terms of new live dates etc.
What’s the story behind your band name and how long did it take you to settle on it?
The band name just kind of came sporadically. It was later on when we realised, it could be focused on the second coming or a new kind of arrival. We’re all about that, instead of looking back, looking forward. It felt like it was quite a positive name.
You’ve been taking a break from playing live shows recently. Can we be expecting Second Shepherds to be back gigging very soon?
Yeah. The reason we were taking a break was because we were quite unorganised about what we were doing, we were just kind of playing here and there. We just wanted to take a step back and focus on writing, get our heads clear a little bit. The next gig I booked yesterday (the day of the interview being 22nd August) which is going to be at the Soup Kitchen, which will be our own night. So, that’s us putting on our own bands that we want to play with.
Any idea who’s supporting you for that gig?
Possibly. I met a band called The Yossarians. A Manchester band, they’re really cool. I’ve asked them if they’d like to support us, and they’re up for it. It just depends what they’re doing, they tour a lot around Europe. I just want a party, gigs are about parties. I just want everyone to have a good time.
Your last music video for Thirty Years Of A Gambler’s Wife, is simply stunning. Are you a fan of filming music videos? Is it a fun process?
Yeah, the process is fun. I do really enjoy the visual aspects of it. We’ve already done two more music videos which we haven’t released yet.
Can we be expecting some new music from Seconds Shepherds to be released soon?
Yeah, probably. We’ve got loads of music, but things haven’t been released. I don’t know yet if we’re going to be doing something like an EP, but it’s just timing it right. We just need to get something out there, so there will be an EP or something, maybe tied to the gig, but if we do it, we want to do it properly. We really want to get the sound right.
Which song of yours are you the most proud of writing?
[Long pause…deep in thought] I think you’re only as good as your last song, but I suppose that’s a stupid thing to say. I’m proud of a song called Bicycle Song, it’s a real slow number. We recorded it in one take. I remember playing it at the first gig we did after releasing it, we were in a pub in Burnley which was rammed out, and it’s the most chilled out song we play live, everyone was singing it back, word for word, that got to me.
Where does the inspiration come from when you’re writing songs?
I try and write a song about one thing and I can’t keep my concentration for that long in any way, shape or form. But mainly inspiration comes from simple things or things inside us that we don’t bear to talk about.
Who are your musical influences?
It’s very 60’s inspired. Obviously, The Beatles. Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Beach Boys. As a songwriter, I really like proper pop songs, things like Stand By Me (by Ben E. King) and all the real classics, songs that anyone can sing, anyone can play. They just sound amazing every time.
Speaking of musical influences. If you could create your dream line-up for a gig. Who would you choose to be on the bill?
I need to see (Bob) Dylan. I know he’s alive now, but Dylan in his day, 1966. Dylan live on stage playing Blonde on Blonde, that’s gotta be one. King Crimson, I’d love to see something as nuts as that, early on.
Do you have a favourite moment of your career so far? Anything that’s really stood out?
We’re from Burnley, a little town, not a lot of music, not a lot of art, generally. So we started off playing in a lot of pubs. I remember one time, when we didn’t really think anything was going to happen or that anybody really liked us. We turned up to one pub and we had to go in through the window to get in because it was that busy, that was nice. Still to this day, I remember that feeling.
At what point in your life, did you realise you wanted to pursue a career in music?
I’ve never had that moment, I don’t think. It’s just always been like that since I was a kid. My dad’s a guitar player, his mate used to come over on a Tuesday and we’d just jam, that’s from the age of about 10, and after that I gradually got myself in a band, so always.
Are there any new artists that have caught your attention recently that you’d like to share with us?
The Yossarians, a Manchester band, they are really good. I’ve only seen them once, I saw them at Kendal Calling recently. The PA wasn’t very good but they just had an electric kind of thing going on, it was just different, it was fresh. It was nice to see something like that coming from round here.
What’s next for Second Shepherds?
Keep playing, keep entertaining people, keep making people want to turn up and give them something to buy hopefully. Something to listen to, something worthwhile, something they’re going to enjoy, something we’re going to enjoy, sooner rather than later. No big aspirations really [laughs].
A special thanks to Second Shepherds for the interview and for more info on the band, check out the following links below.