sábado, 9 de octubre de 2010
What's the meaning behind the band's name?
This name came from a superstition guitarist and founder Elliot Koenig had while growing up. He would always jump over the sixth step when running up the staircase of his childhood home (sort of like 'don't step on the cracks in the sidewalk' kinda thing). Getting to the 'six step' before anyone knew he was home was, for Elliot, a sign of good things to come.
How did you guys get started with all this??
Elliot formed SIXSTEP with friend and vocalist Chris Young (aka Moby) in 2004. They reheared at the local music store in Mission Viejo, CA, where Elliot worked as a guitar instructor. The music store was, until recently, the band's home base and where all current members of the band first started.
What's the message you guys want to transmit with your music??
SIXSTEP takes a satirical lens to modern music, relationships, world affairs, and politics in their songs. We seek to wake people up to how they're being led by a leash most of their lives, they only like what they're told to like, and they seem to be content not exploring themselves and the world around them, especially in this country.
In one of our latest as-of-yet-unreleased works, we have created a character/voice called “The Ministry Of Music”, an Orwellian overlord type thing that controls all the music that gets heard on the radio (which in America is not far from the truth). Through these tongue-in-cheek allegories, we get to insert our little digs at the establishment, and hopefully fans look beneath the surface of our music and words to find something deeper for themselves. And of course, have a laugh in the process. You got to laugh.
What's your method at the time of writing a song??
As a group we always try to push the boundaries of creativity. We don't have a singular way of writing a song. Usually though, Elliot or Al (vocalist) will come in with a melody and some lyrics and the song is constructed around that basic idea in our studio. Everyone gets first stab at writing their own part for any song, and when things aren't working we'll change it around to make it click better.
Bassist Jason Peed takes a different approach, and usually has entire songs tracked out with lead sheets for everyone to play along with. Though a lot changes in our studio, Jason always offers a blueprint for us to work from. Currently we're playing several songs that started our this way, “Ascent Of Apollo” from our Dangerous World album, “Waiting For a Call” from our first EP, Par 5, and “Ministry”, the new tune previously mentioned.
For SIXSTEP, writing a song is an ongoing process. Even after we record and release a song, we'll still tweak it, make it better. To us a recording of a song is sort of like a snapshot in time of how we were playing that song at that time. There's always different places you can take a tune. Nothing is set in stone.
Who are your music influences??
We could probably list hundreds of influences; we like all kinds of music and bits of everything. In fact, when we write a song, we very often say, “Play this part like so-and-so,” or “Do a this person kind of riff”. Our biggest influences would probably be Incubus, Elliott Smith, Frank Zappa, John Coltrane, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Morphine.
We do a lot of covers too, and whenever we cover an artist it affects our own music-writing, always for the better. We've covered The Beatles and The Doors extensively, and recently the 90s funk-rock band Spin Doctors. There's also a King Crimson cover making an appearance on our latest single release, so check that out.
What plans do you guys have for the future??
SIXSTEP has been almost entirely a Southern California affair, so we're really looking forward to touring other places in the country and the world and feeling a different energy. L.A. and Orange County are tough places to build fan bases since there's so much music and so many bands, and a lot of people are jaded and just don't care. We recently got a residency at The Key Club on Sunset Strip so we're hoping that will be a place to build a bigger crowd and become an underground phenomenon.
We've also just booked our first San Francisco gig, opening up for The Memorials, the new band from former Mars Volta drummer Thomas Pridgen. So that will be cool!
What has been the funniest prank you guys have been or took part while on tour or after a show??
Nothing insanely elaborate comes to mind, but we like to leave things in each other's equipment cases when the other guys aren't looking, like stacks of old set lists... I believe a tampon recently made it's way into every band member's gear over about a month (don't ask where it came from).
If you guys were stranded in the middle of nowhere after a show or while on tour. The help is 65 miles away from where you guys are, ¿Who would you guys send to look for help? And if while the rest wait, there's no food and the only way to feed yourself is by eating each other, ¿Who would you eat first?
We discussed this in great detail. But we decided we'd have to send Jason the bass player because he's a loose cannon, and could probably take all four of the rest of us if we tried to eat him. By process of elimination we decided we can't eat Ricky (saxophone) because he's too scrawny, Ruben (drums) is Mexican and he'd be too spicy, so between Al & Elliot we decided on Elliot because he's Jewish and we don't think cannnibalism is kosher.
What country you guys would love to play?
Anywhere! We've had friends go live in China and they say rock music thrives over there, so we're looking into that. Also just met a band from Norway who are a lot of fun, so we're thinking a European tour may not be too far off.
With what bands you guys would love to share stage??
It would be really awesome to play with some of our biggest influences, unfortunately most of them are dead. Oops.
We'd really like to play with Porcupine Tree, RX Bandits, Gov't Mule, Primus, My Morning Jacket... they're all really cool not-so-mainstream bands that really do their own thing, and do it amazingly well. And maybe someday we could be so lucky to share the stage with Zappa Plays Zappa, Dweezil Zappa's tribute band for his father. That would be a trip.
Are you guys OK, with the direction the band is going actually?
I think the real question is... are YOU okay with it? We hope you are.