Dear Grant Sheppard

Hello, all. We were recently contacted by a fan asking 4 simple questions for a school project to be done on us. They are as follows: Which instruments do you play and most enjoy? When you started music and how old you are now? How did you meet each other? What is your favorite song and why?Here is our response:

Dear Grant Sheppard, Thank you for taking the time to write us. We appreciate your interest in our band, it means a lot. What subject is this particular project for? As of late, such a wide array of school projects have been done on us that it’s hard to keep track. You should see the science project a grade 8 student in Botswana did on The Town Heroes – I didn’t know we had that much science in us! This reminds me. When I was in Jr. High, I did my grade 9 science project on “Making Ice At The Inverness Arena”. If I were to do it today I would have called it “Making Ice at the Inverness Arena”, withholding the capitals from both “At” and “The”. I built a model arena with popsicle sticks, straws, plastic figurines from my older brothers table hockey game, cardboard and properly painted red, blue and goal lines on it. It was, in essence, a microcosm of the Inverness Arena, minus the violence and incredibly tasty “Arena” fries (No fries like Arena Fries!). My dad was the rink manager at the time so I had all the inside information on the literal aspect of making ice at the Inverness arena. He told me information that, before then, was highly classified data that only an elite group of specially trained Zamboni Drivers and Skate Sharpeners had access to. I brought this information to the public forefront (Kind of like Watergate, but more important). When the town of Inverness saw this project at the local science fair, I opened up their eyes to something important, relevant and necessary. The people had the right to know. The general consensus was generally this: “I like hockey, I like arenas, I like ice... but, I never knew how the hockey arena got its ice. NOW I KNOW. THIS YOUNG BOY IS A GENIUS!”, and other positive statements as such. It felt pretty good, I’m not going to lie to you. I unearthed the answers to a dilemma that had plagued mankind since slightly before the invention of the Zamboni. I basked in the glory of my brilliance, living the life of luxury and the sensual delights that come with it. But, like everything in life, with the positive comes the negative. Soon, the Skate Sharpeners and Zamboni Drivers of the world united and were like, “what are you tryin’ to pull here, kid?” They compared me to the masked magician. Remember him? Probably not, I think I’m the only guy who does (It was a series on “Fox” where every week this guy in a mask would give away the secrets to a different popular magic trick. All the other magicians were beyond irate..... Great show). Anyways, I was just like, “Listen boyz, ya mess with me and ya mess with my old man... and he just happens to be ranked #1 on the coveted list of “Craziest and Crankiest Arena Managers in North America”... there's a growing list of people who simply vanished of the face of the earth who only innocently asked him to sharpen their skates... so I DARE ya to try somethin’!” That shut them up pretty quickly. So Grant, the moral of this story is pretty clear and simple: work hard in school, pass your projects in on time and listen to your teachers.

Now, let’s get down to business and tackle those questions. For me, I play Guitar, sing and a little piano. I wouldn’t call myself much of a piano player, but I did write "SOAP Sung In the Key of Love", which is probably one of the best songs of 2006 (See the video below). My favorite instrument is guitar because it was my first and the one that I play best. Bruce plays drums and a little guitar. He enjoys drums most because he's been playing them his whole life (he’s also very good at rabbit and partridge hunting, if you, like I, consider the .22 an instrument). I started playing guitar when I was 13 and the first band I was in was at 17. To answer how old I am is somewhat difficult to convey. At heart, I feel like a spry 16 year old, ready to take on anything the world throws at me, but, at the same time, my body feels like I’m a little bit over the hill, like a 42 year old not sure where my best days have gone. I suppose in this case, the best way to give my bona fide age would be through straight up math: Add my mind’s age with my body’s age and divide by two: 16+42=58/2=29. Wait now... that is my actual age! Did I just derive a new scientific formula for age? Does this make me a scientist, Grant? Does it?

Bruce started playing music in his early teens and is 28 now. We met when an old band I was playing in moved from Cape Breton to Halifax and needed a new drummer. As the history books tell it, Bruce tried out and got the part. That was 7 years ago and that band has since broken up. Where does the time go?

Picking a favorite song is like picking a favorite family member. There are so many good ones out there so I usually just pick the one that isn’t currently giving me life advice and telling me I’m wasting my time being a musician. With this method in mind, my favorite song would be "Off He Goes" by Pearl Jam. I think it’s a really well written and personal song (personal is good), evocative, and I used to listen to it when I was a young chap like yourself, learning all there is to know about the world. So, it stuck with me because it was with me through some big changes and events in my life. Bruce's favorite song is Nautical Disaster by The Tragically Hip because, in his words, “it's well written and about true events”. It’s hard to go wrong with anything by either The Hip or Pearl Jam.

Well Grant, it’s been a pleasure. Once again, thanks so much for the interest in our band, we really mean it. We hope that this information can lead you to an A+, or a 30/30 or a 100%, or full marks on whatever specific grading system your teacher has chosen and will use for this particular project. Let us know if you need any more information, Grant. I hope the project goes well. Take care, Mike