Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Chris Olley / Six. By Seven Interview

Part of doing this blog is selfish as fuck and here's where the fun also lies, it means i can interview people who's music i've loved for ages, in this case i bought my first Six. By Seven record around 15 years ago which was the Candlelight 7" with awesome b-side Young Man's Stride, and oh yes in future there will be a b-sides article.

Anyway i decided to quiz main player Chris Olley who has recently once again resurrected the Six. By Seven band, now with former Placebo drummer Steve Hewitt and what sounds like a new lease of life.

HD: Loving the artwork for the new album, I’m assuming the union jack moth is the album cover, where did the design for this come about?

CO: Yes it is. It's was done by Paul Barton. Metamorphosis, change, deep meaningful stuff. Eurovision!!!

HD: I’ve seen 2 different release dates for the album so far, can you clarify if it is June 10th? Also is this a self-released thing and will there be pre-orders etc…

CO: It's coming out in early July now. We had to put it back slightly because of something or other. Yes, we don't have a record label as such, we work with the guys at Cargo Records.

HD: With the upcoming UK tour being the first in quite some time, can we expect some older songs as well or is it solely to promote the new album? I personally would love to see 2 sets one of the new album and a separate set of older tunes.

CO: We tried rehearsing some old songs the other day and to be honest they just didn't come up to scratch sonically with the new stuff which I think says a lot about the new stuff. i know you have to play old stuff but do you have to play old stuff just for the sake of it even if it doesn't sound as good? We feel like a new band now and we already have lots of new songs. We will always play So Close though because that one really does sound great still. Anyway, we spent the last 16 years playing gigs all around the country playing songs off those early albums.

HD: From reports I’ve read and comments you yourself have posted it seems like you’re very content with the new Six. By Seven line-up, do you feel a renewed sense of energy now?

CO: Yes!!  The new record is by far the best thing I have personally ever done with a guitar in my hand. It's great, I hope it works out for us this time.

HD: You’ve talked about how good sonically the new songs are, do you feel you may have captured more of a Six By Seven live experience in the studio this time?

CO: Definitely, this is the shit!

HD: I’m really looking forward to hearing the new album and reviewing for this site, do you care about reviews anymore? Or does it all just go over your head?

CO: I don't care no.

HD: In the past you’ve tended to avoid the basic album/singles format, ie. Extra releases like the Peveril Hotel albums or 14 track singles, do you think you’ll be slowing down this time or do you plan to keep up the extra weird releases in future?

CO: Don't know yet. I'm just doing a singles Klub on my website which is fun for me. It's interesting working within your own format that you set and make exactly like you want it. Afterall, what is an album these days? It was 'a double sided plastic sound carrier with at least 8 songs and 35 minutes in length' when we signed a deal!! CD's holding umpteen tracks, downloads, singles... You can do whatever you like now. I just did two songs and put them in a card and hand wrote the lyrics to each one and dedicated them to the people who bought them and included 5 photographs. I love doing stuff like that. If we make some money out of this album it would be great to do stuff on vinyl for fans through the website. Trouble is it's too expensive at the moment and then it becomes less exclusive unless you become as big as Oasis or Radiohead. Then you just piss the fans off who didn't get it because it was limited!!

HD: I’ve noticed you have tended to release a lot of bootlegs, any chance of the upcoming tour getting the bootleg treatment?

CO: Don't think so. It will be all over YouTube about two hours after we pack up anyway.

HD: Fanboy question, any chance ever of a Six By Seven b-sides release?

CO: Yeah! We used to sell them as bootlegs. We had over 40 odd B-sides in the end. I don't really wanna be going back anymore though at the moment. I've just pulled all the Bootlegs and back Klatterlog from the website.

HD: I’ve noticed the bootlegs/sessions CD’s seem to have disappeared for now is this just while you concentrate on the road ahead or have they had their time?

CO: Yep! They may come back.

HD: I see you’re keeping the Twelve name alive, can we expect the same for Fuck Me USA? Or has this project had it’s day now, love the 3 disc boxset you did recently for it btw.

CO: Fuck Me USA was an art project. 3 legendary gigs, Glastonbury, Live At Leeds, Aldermaston. A first album, A debut album and an anthology and a box set. The only thing that can happen now is Unreleased second album perhaps and reformation.

HD: Any bands/albums you’re looking forward to this year?

CO: Daft Punk. (that was a joke btw, did you know they had a new album coming out?) I tend to listen out for stuff but mostly listen to 6 music. Am currently loving the new Kurt Vile Album.

HD: Loving the UK dates listed and can’t wait for the Leeds one, are you geared up to do some proper touring again? Or any worries?

CO: We do have an agent but we really need to put bums on seats to be able to carry on touring. Geared up? Yeah, just throw the amps and drums in the van and head up or down the M1.

HD: In general it’s good to hear you sounding positive about the future of the band, I really do hope to hear more from you guys, you deserve it.

CO: Thanks mate. When someone says that, I always think of the film 'Unforgiven' with Clint Eastwood. He plays the part of an old gunfighter and at the end he has his foot on Gene Hackmans chest and is about to blow his brains out and Gene Hackman say's, "I don't deserve this, I was building a house..." Clint just says, " 'Deserve' has got nothing to do with it" and promptly pulls the trigger. And that's it really isn't it?

So there you have it, bang over to to hear 'Truce' from the new album, it's a brooding beast of a track

Then head over to and get a ticket to see them live, because 'Deserve' in this case really does apply

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