“A lot of people don’t even know we are from San Luis Obispo (SLO), and I think that people in SLO don’t even know we exist,” said Nate Henry, singer and bassist of the indie-pop rock band Sherwood.
Downtown Brew will be hosting the first stop of Sherwood’s national co-headlining tour with friends Waking Ashland today.
In May 2005, Sherwood released a 12-song LP entitled “Sing, but Keep Going,” on SideCho Records. Recently, the Mustang Daily sat down with Henry and talked about Sherwood’s music, the current tour and playing in SLO.
Mustang Daily (MD): What is the band looking forward to on the upcoming tour?
Nate Henry (NH): I think what we’re looking forward to on this tour is seeing what our fan base is because we are co-headlining this tour. We’re the last band of the night that the kids are coming to see, so it is a lot of pressure. It’s also cool though in a lot of ways because we get to see how many kids out there like Sherwood. It’s something we have never done before; a full-on headlining tour with decent-sized venues.
MD: How have sales been since the release of the album in May?
NH: Record sales have been good. We’re on a small label but kids seem to be excited about “Sing, but Keep Going,” they like it.
MD: How do you guys feel about the music you are currently playing?
NH: I feel that with every band that every album changes or should change. You should challenge yourself as a band. On this tour now we are playing all songs off “Sing, but Keep Going.” The songs (on this record) are more of the direction that we feel we are best at. It takes a few albums to figure out what your niche is as a band and then from there how to grow on what you have already laid as a foundation for your sound. We always try to challenge ourselves and write better songs, to give our fans what they really want to hear. I think for us it is really strong melodies and interesting arrangements. That is what we like to do. We love pop rock, but you don’t want to be boring pop rock.
MD: How do you feel about playing back in SLO, as you guys are from here, but only play here once in a while?
NH: We love playing San Luis Obispo. It’s weird that we came from SLO, but now we don’t live there. When you are band of our size you really can’t stay in your hometown very long, you need to get on tour and make a fan base. We never really felt like we were a local band. We played a few shows here and there, but we were always trying to tour and get out of our hometown. If our future records have a lot more success, that is when people will care about what hometown we’re from.
MD: How has press been concerning Sherwood and “Sing, but Keep Going?”
NH: We had a little write-up in Spin right after our album came out. Press has been pretty much on the upside. People like what we do, and I think we’re a refreshing sound for our genre. We definitely work really hard and we really try not to be cliche. We try to be different and we try to be new, and we’re not that typical band.
One of the opening bands for the Sherwood show at Downtown Brew is the Minneapolis pop rock quintet Quietdrive, a band that has never performed in San Luis Obispo.
“We can’t wait (to play in SLO). We want people to give us an honest listen,” said Matt Kirby, rhythm guitar and backing vocals of Quietdrive. “College crowds are always cool and open to new music.”
Sherwood and Waking Ashland will be playing with Quietdrive and Discover America today at 8 p.m. at Downtown Brew. Tickets are available through Boo Boo Records or www.ticketweb.com.