12:22 7th June 2004

Six By Seven

There are some bands that will never get hyped, yet they'll always be cool because of the pure emotions that they distil. Nottingham indie-rockers Six By Seven are one of those bands. They're releasing new single 'Ready For You Now' on June 14 and a new album follows up in August. Chris Olley, singer of Six by Seven, is on the phone...

G: You're touring again, releasing a new single and your fourth album “O4” in august. Can we talk about your strong comeback?
Chris: Yeah definitely… it’s a great album… and we’ve had a single playlisted on Xfm and 6Music, we’ve done quite well I think…

G: There have also been changes in your line-up. How different is it to be recording and performing as a 3-piece?
Chris: Slightly different but it actually sounds better. The bass comes through playbacks and it sounds better, bigger in some way. People having been coming up to us and saying that's the best they've ever seen us. Paul who left the band was just playing bass, he didn’t have that much of an input anyway so he hasn’t really changed anything.   

G: How did the collaboration go with Tim Holmes from Death In Vegas? (he produced the b-sides from the new single “She didn’t Say” and “Pretty Baby”)
Chris: It was really good… I enjoyed going to the studio and working with Tim… it was really interesting.  The sound of these tracks is like Loop and Spacemen 3, we put a lot of reverb on the vocals, it was also recorded played live and very rough... it’s an interesting sound and quite different from what we’ve done until now. 

G: You’ve got your own label now Saturday Night Sunday Morning Records. Does this have to do with the need to have freedom and control over your releases?
Chris: I think it’s important to have your own label yeah. We’ve been offered record deals and we turned them down. We don’t want to do anything that people are telling us to do anymore, we want to take control of our own music and release our stuff ourselves and become true artists.   

G: That’s why you left Mantra Recordings?
Chris: Yeah... well… it was a mutual decision. We wanted to get off the label really… we done three albums and it didn’t really work. But I can’t say bad things about them, I won’t say anything about them apart from they are all great people and it was a very positive experience. We made three albums with that label and I'm very proud of them. I can't say anything about Beggars Banquet they're a brilliant label.

G: Regarding the Internet, you occasionally have songs to download from your website… 
Chris: Yeah… we’ve done a single that you can download, you get the artwork and everything, it’s called 'Bring Down the Government' and the b-sides is called 'OK'. We're gonna be doing more of those pre-singles for people... I mean… we encourage people to pay £1 or whatever like a donation and they actually do, everybody likes the idea.

G: You don’t see downloading as something that can challenge the intellectual property then?
Chris: No, I don’t believe that. I’ve always thought that for years now the industry has been blaming the internet for poor record sales and it's not that at all, there's other reasons I think. They’ve been trying to control the Internet for the last five years. It's never affected us and I think that it helps the band really. If people find music that they can download on the Internet and they like it, I think it’s just another way of new fans and you get someone extra coming to your show and in the end people wanna buy the records anyway, they wanna own the artowrk and have the lyrics. I don’t see it as a loss of income at all, you get a better profile and for us it probably means more sales. Who gives a fuck?

G: OK… could you tell me some things about your side-project Twelve?
Chris: Twelve was just an idea I had to make twelve songs released through the Internet as six singles and that would be it. I did do that, I built a little website and started selling them as singles and the project progressed. Then somebody in America sent me an e-mail and said to put them together and make an album. So I did and now it's in the shops.

G: You also plan to release a "best-of" for which you invited people to vote their favourite songs through the website. Has the voting finished?
Chris: Yes, we are going to release a "best-of" at some point in the future. I think the voting has stopped now… we had about 300 votes and it was very interesting to see the list of their favourite songs.

G: So, which are the favourite songs?
Chris: 'So Close' is the favourite and probably 'Get a Real Tattoo' which is a b-side oddly, but what we are gonna do is re-record the songs because we're another band that plays now and we sound so much better that we are going to re-record them and release them again in the best-of… that’s the idea.

G: How has the reception of the crowd been on this tour? 
Chris: It's been really good… we started to get back to the kind of profile we had on the first and second album… and we are going to scale down the touring now so we'll be playing less gigs and hopefully we're going to play to bigger venues and bigger cities.  

G: The venue in Liverpool was empty though…
Chris: Yeah… I mean last time we played in Liverpool there was about 120 people and then we come back and there are less than 60 people. We're not going back to Liverpool, we're not going to play there again. When we played Manchester there were 200 people… hopefully the 60 people from Liverpool will go over to Manchester next time cause that’s the only place you get to see us. Liverpool is on the shit list, it's over. Cardiff also. We've decided to play only in big cities from now on, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Nottingham and London. You know... when so few people show up it’s heartbreaking for the band…

G: Any festivals on your agenda for the summer?
Chris: Yeah we are playing at Glastonbury and Spazialle Festival in Turin.

Six By Seven are: Chris Olley (vocals/guitar), James Flower (saxophone/organ), Chris Davis (drums)