After accidentally buying a mandolin and thinking “you know what? Playing punk on folk instruments is a stroke of absolute genius”, the forces of Andy Dinan, Troy Donockley and Adrian Edmondson of The Young Ones combined to bring The Bad Shepherds to life. Combining a mix of the Clash, the Sex Pistols and David Bowie with a Celtic Influence, the band have toured their sound across the country in various tiny venues and huge festivals. Prior to the release of Mud, Blood and Beer – their latest release – we catch up with Edmondson himself to talk inspirations, weird antics and axe murderers…
What, or who, inspired you all to get into the music business in the first place?
David Bowie, definitely David Bowie.
And was it a big transition going from comedy and the television into the music business?
Not really; I’ve always sort of had bands – it’s always been there inside of me, it’s just been a case of finding something that works for you. It was different enough but I found its reason for being and made something of it.
Did you find that your past career influenced your music in any way?
I’m not so sure about my careers, but my past life does – you are a product of what you have experienced and what you see. It’s all of this that has influenced the music that we make.
What inspired your fusion of both folk and punk stylings?
I grew up in the seventies when the pop charts were full of folk music like Rod Stewart and that, and then punk came along which was really exciting. I used to live in Manchester when I was at university and go to all sorts of pubs and gigs where the bands would be playing in bin liners, and I knew I wanted to be part of the same thing, so it came naturally.
Your new album Mud, Blood & Beer comes out 19th August. What is the story behind the title and what can we expect from the tracks?
Mud, Blood and Beer is a song we have written and is about our experience of playing festivals and how we find them uplifting and the extraordinary things we have seen there Some of the best performances of our lives have been at festivals. Track-wise, some of the songs we have been playing for years and others we have literally just came up with. It’s been a long process but we feel we’ve come out with something really special and can’t wait to tour.
Speaking of tours, you’ve been touring all around the UK – where are some of your favourite places to play?
Ooh that’s tricky, we really like The Brook in Southampton; we really like venues that have that standing appeal where people can dance and go wild as well as a balcony so all the old grumpy farts like me can watch – that makes the best sort of gig for me. Places like Birmingham Town Hall have that.
What has been the strangest thing to happen at a show so far?
We’ve had old people and odd people, lots of old punks moshing. We’ve had people from old punk bands playing accordion with us and watching from the side stage complimenting our music which has been massive for us.
So what is next for The Bad Shepherds?
Well we have our new album coming out then we’re off on the road in November/December time, quite a lot actually!
Ultimately, what are your biggest goals for the band’s career?
A new album with some of our own stuff on it; that would be really, really exciting for us. I think the next album will have all of our own stuff on it – that seems to be the way forward for us, but quite a shift.
And lastly, Adrian, if you had to relate Troy and Andy to one of the Young Ones characters, who would it be and why?
Erm, Troy is like a hippy but he’s an exciting hippy so really he’s a mix between Vivienne and Neil. Andy is a psychopathic axe murderer, so, well that’s enough about him really isn’t it – we sometimes worry he’s going to kill us.
You’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for Andy then!
Indeed we will, cause he’s like Vivienne!
Well that’s it for now, thank you very much for your time, look forward to everything
coming from you in the upcoming months.
Thank you, all the best