10 x E6
Almost a decade after heavy hits, Electric Six are still going — and growing
Published: July 11, 2012
Most articles about Valentine and the E6 practically start out by name-dropping those hit singles from the group's 2003 album Fire — and this article is no exception — but actually, Valentine says it's "the songs from Albums 4-8 where I go 'Holy shit!' a lot more than the first three." (In 2007, E6 released I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me From Being the Master. But Valentine simply calls that one "Album 4.")
"It was around 'Album 4' where [bassist, Keith] Thompson [aka Smorgasbord] joined, and [drummer, Mike] Alonso [aka Percussion World] was on full time and [guitarist] Zach Shipps [aka the Colonel] was recording us basically at his house; that was when it became more of an 'anything-goes' vibe. [Shipps] did four albums in a row while [guitarist] John Nash honed his chops with home recording."
Around 2010, Valentine felt "it was just the right time to see what a change of pace would sound like."
Nash produced last year's Heartbeats & Brainwaves, suggesting they try doing a full-on synth album, something Valentine said he'd been ready to do for a while. "So, yeah, Heartbeats very much felt like a culmination and that, at least for the short term, there was nothing more to do."
"I'm really happy with the records this group of people has done, and I know when it's time to do another one, next year, we'll come up with something equally as interesting."
After 10 years — or, as Valentine puts it, "at the end of the day" — he still sees E6 as "really small potatoes." Those breakout hits name-dropped above were never "big, from an American standpoint. So, if I've learned anything, it's that it's a big world. And it's a nice spot to be in. It's a comfortable situation with a whole lot of room to go up."
"It took a while to get to that point. But whatever, ... we'll take it."
The Electric Six perform at 8 p.m. July 15, as part of the Pig and Whiskey Festival, which runs July 13-15 at Troy Street and Woodward Avenue in Ferndale. A modest East Coast tour follows. Full P&W details at metrotimes.com.
Jeff Milo writes about music.Send comments to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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