Interview: Capitol 6
Published on September 2nd, 2011 | Jonny Abrams
Vancouver singer/songwriter Malcolm Jack has been hard at work this year but, rest assured, this does not make Jack a dull boy. (Sorry.)
In March, his band Sun Wizard released one of the summer-pop albums of the year so far in the form of debut long-player Positively 4th Avenue, and yet he is already embarking on a fruitful side project with the more psychedelic yet equally gorgeous Capitol 6, whose Captain Rehab EP and “Fever”/”Henry’s Opus” double single can be heard on their Bandcamp page.
Rocksucker caught up with Malcolm to discuss matters from the perspective of this latter project…
Congratulations on all your sterling work so far this year. Who is Captain Rehab? I love the name – it puts me in mind of “Mr. Evasion” by The Pretty Things.
Thanks! Captain Rehab is sort of like my imaginary drinking buddy. The song’s kind of a conversation with him about whether I should get my shit together or just say fuck it and lose it completely. I’m working on a song right now called “20, 000 Beers Under The Sea”!
How did you guys come together? And why the name Capitol 6? There appears to be only five of you…
I really lucked out with these guys. I was really just looking to record a few extra songs I had aside from Sun Wizard. Initially I was gonna record them solo, then I asked Dave our guitarist to help me out, and then the crew just kind of grew and I think Matt was added to the line-up like a day before we recorded our EP. But yeah, we’re all definitely feelin’ the vibe, we’ve been working on lots of new material and it’s totally ‘band’ oriented.
The name Capitol 6 is actually a rip off from an old movie theater on Granville street in Vancouver that was torn down about 10 years ago. It had this crazy neon sign that came out over the sidewalk and it was super insane. After they closed it, the sign stayed for like five years just getting haggard – it’s just a rad piece of Vancouver history. Plus I wanted a name that sounded like Spacemen 3…ha!
Isn’t it a bit early into Sun Wizard’s career to be already doing side projects? Not that we’re complaining! Is it an excuse to indulge your more psychedelic instincts? Will the two bands continue to co-exist or will one take priority?
Yeah it is, I totally fucked that up! Ya maybe it’s a bit of that – it’s rad in Sun Wizard that we try to make jangly, clean pop cause I love all that stuff, ya know, Big Star and The Smiths…and then it’s cool to get weird too and have an outlet for that. But Capitol 6 isn’t just my side project, eveyone in the band is busy in other bands – Chains Of Love, Bummer High, Racoons. We’re all sort approaching it like a side project in a way so I think it’ll work out just fine.
Why are you described in your press release as “chain gangers”? What does that mean?
I think it refers to the rhythm of our songs. It kinda sounds like a chain gang doesn’t it? I dunno, I didn’t come up with it…
Is there an album in the offing? If so, what can we expect from it? Be as abstract as you like with your description…
Yeah for sure. We just finished a 7-inch and that’s basically coming any time now. We’re super stoked on it, it’s way more of a band effort. And then, yeah, we just started recording for a full length. I’m stoked, everyone in the band has a few songs they brought to the band so it’s different. We want it to be a bit all over the place, like a Velvet Underground album or something. We’ve got a sick recording setup right now so we’re pumped. Oh ya, and we just found this Acetone organ in our back alley and it’s minty so that’s gonna be all over the new record – it sounds so good.
Seems like there’s a lot of good music coming out of Vancouver at the moment. Can you see a reason for that? Is there a ‘scene’ kind of feel about it?
Yeah, I agree, it’s cool. I think most musicians will tell you that they’re not really part of a scene, and it’s true – my friends are in all kinds of different bands or doing whatever. Having said that, I work at a rad venue in town, so I get to know a lot of musicians and everyone’s super friendly, so there’s a good vibe going on here for sure and there are so many new bands that haven’t even really left the city yet…
Any up-and-coming artists you’d like to recommend or give a shout out to?
Oh totally. Best band in town in my eyes are The Shilohs – they just finished recording their first album and it’s a serious masterpiece. They’re killing it. But yeah, like I say, there are lots of rad new bands in Vancouver – The High Drops, Slam Dunk, Two Towns, man, lots of others….
If we asked you right this moment to name your top three albums of all time, just off the top of your head, which would you pick?
Holy shit. Right now, how about Sticky Fingers by The Stones, Arthur by The Kinks (Rocksucker says: check out our in-depth review of the recent Arthur reissue here) and, just for you, SF Sorrow by The Pretty Things!
How very thoughtful of you! Malcolm, thank you.
For more from Capitol 6, please visit capitol6.bandcamp.com