Spirit Master

Named after a Playstation game, Sheep,Dog&Wolf is the dedicated project of Daniel McBride, known to many as the drumming talent behind the short-lived but legendary riotous punk trio Bandicoot. Fortunately all the members have continued to do creative things after the band’s split, and Daniel is no different. His project Sheep,Dog&Wolf has flown under the radar for the past six months since he started it, but with the gradual upload of songs onto his myspace he is slowly revealing his talents.

Latest track ‘Ablutophobia’ came as a shock – I hadn’t heard Sheep,Dog&Wolf until this, and its detailed parts, developed structure and delicate composition floored me. Not only do Daniel’s multi-tracked vocals make him sound a lot older than his 17 years, but there’s a huge amount of instrumentation packed into the song. Eerie, distant euphonium and meandering jazz saxophone merge with classical-sounding guitar and hip hop beats. It brings to mind Owen Pallett, Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver in a confounding marriage of styles.

Daniel has been playing music for 10 years – since he was seven, when he first picked up the recorder. He says he’s a saxophonist first and foremost, having started learning that at age 11, then taught himself guitar and drums. Clarinet is the next instrument he plans to add to his set.

Constructing a studio in his bedroom using cheap gear sourced from Trademe,  he began an intensive self-recording recording style midway through last year. “I record really obsessively,” he says, “kinda forgetting about everything else for a few days at a time. With ‘Ablutophobia’ I ended up not getting to sleep ’til three every morning, then waking up, recording all day until I had to stop because of the neighbours, then going to sleep at three. Once I finished recording the song, I realised I hadn’t been outside in three days. I never sleep very well when I’m recording, so I tend to look like a bit of a madman.”

Currently putting together his debut EP, he hopes to have it out by the end of March, and is looking to put together “at least an eight-piece band”, with a big brass section and vocal harmonies. Listen to more tracks on his myspace.

Sheep,Dog&Wolf- Facebook

Photo by Suren Unka

Posted by Sarah Gooding under Auckland, New Zealand
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