S I X . B Y S E V E N... More than the sum of their parts
Interview: S I X . B Y S E V E N
Published on May 13th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
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Nottingham space rock heroes S I X . B Y S E V E N return with their seventh studio album Love and Peace and Sympathy, their first to feature former Placebo and Boo Radleys drummer Steve Hewitt. It’s typically majestic stuff, so you’d be well advised to catch them on one of the following UK dates in July:
22 Club Ifor Bach Cardiff
23 Bristol Louisanna
24 London Lexington
25 Exeter Cavern Club
26 Manchester Soundcontrol
27 Notingham Rescue Rooms
28 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Rocksucker got all interviewy in the face of band leader Chris Olley, asking him about the new LP, his other musical projects and the popular pedals he peddles…
What brought about the return of S I X . B Y S E V E N? Had it been brewing for a while, or did it all happen suddenly around your chance contact with Steve Hewitt?
It happened by accident really. We were doing The Death Of Six By Seven when I met Steve. He came up and started rehearsing with us and then suggested we lose the Death Of bit. So we agreed that we would do some old songs then too.
Was Steve involved in the creative process at all for this album? What did you make of the Love Amongst Ruin cover of “So Close”?
I liked it, it rocked! All the songs were written and demoed and Steve has a lot of input picking the songs he thought would sound good with drums or just the ones he really liked. His drumming on “TRUCE” was a very spontaneous thing in the rehearsal and transformed the song really.
What’s great about him is that he won’t do more than what sounds good. So if the first 2 songs on the album have no snare, he’s gonna put all his efforts into playing the kick and ride. He does what all great drummers do, adds to and supports the songs.
The new songs have a graceful, almost calm sort of majesty about them. Would you say this reflects where you ‘are’ at the moment, either personally or as a band?
I think that a lot of our songs in the past had that about them too, it’s just that now we have had time to get all those type of songs together on to one album.
Was all the new material written in the time since reforming, or does some of it date back further?
“Crying” goes back five years. I spent a lot of time releasing internet-only albums and EPs and quite a few of the songs are from those records. The rest I wrote last year and released them as limited edition vinyl style mini albums. The idea was to get everyone to vote for the tracklisting and re-record the album with the band. It didn’t happen because we weren’t thinking Steve would be in the band. When he came into it we had to just go through all these songs and pick what was right.
Why are all the tracks with single word titles presented in capitals?
What will you do with the songs that didn’t make it onto the album?
Put them on the next one or write something new? Dunno.
Your band name has been written in a few different ways. Which is your preferred styling?
S I X . B Y S E V E N
Will you be playing at any festivals this summer?
I hope so!
Do you have any more solo/Twelve/Fuck Me USA records in the offing? Or indeed any other projects?
I’ve started a singles KLUB on my website and am doing limited edition art releases with photographs and prints. I love doing Twelve again. I’ve just done an album called WAR and another called CRYME. I’m playing in London soon too. It’s great fun tinkering with synths! It brings out the German in me.
How did you wind up going on tour with Julian Cope as merch man and roadie? What was it like being on that side of things?
Boring and slavish.
How’s the Coopersonic business going? Who do you know of that using one or has used one?
It’s going okay. They are amazing pedals. Richard Hawley phoned us up the other day and bought A Repeater Pedal. The Arctic Monkeys have 5 Valveslappers. Spiritualized have a load, apparently Jason Pierce won’t leave home without his Repeater Pedal. Other bands that use our pedals are Kaiser Chiefs, Primal Scream, The Dandy Warhols, The Coral, Jake Bugg, Sonic Boom…the list goes on…
Has there been any music from this year that you’ve paticularly enjoyed, or is there anything you’re particularly looking forward to?
Yes! Squrl, Grimes, Soft Moon, Luke Abbott, Exit Calm, British Sea Power, Flight Of The Conchords, Liars but most of all I love the new Kurt Vile record, Wakin on A Pretty Daze, it’s just blissful and beautiful, melodic and dreamy.
Chris Olley, thank you.
Love and Peace and Sympathy will be released on 8th July.
For more information, please visit the official S I X . B Y S E V E N/Chris Olley website.