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SixTwoSeven: Digging Deeper

The Washington State band Rock the Northwest on their own terms

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SixTwoSeven are a West Coast band on the rise. Their heavy and enticing sounds come alive in their newest release "Already Gone / Dead on the Table," which brings the essence of the band to life. A hit already on the College Radio charts, the group shows no signs of slowing down...and we like it. With elements of artists such as Foo Fighters and Muse on board, SixTwoSeven are quickly making a name for themselves with their honest and unique brand of music. We caught up with the and recently for a memorable interview you will not soon forget.

When you decide it’s time to make a new single and album, is that more exciting or stressful?

Great question, I think it’s a little of both. I mean it’s kind of like having a baby. You’re excited for the new chapter, and nervous about the unknown, it’s a lot of work and responsibility and it’s also extremely rewarding. You don’t know if it’s a boy or girl, what it will look like, it really is kind of nerve-wracking and exciting all in one, and totally worth every second of energy you invest in it, just like being a dad.

You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

We write the songs as a group usually, but it does often start with one of us on our own, hacking out a riff, and then bringing it to rehearsal. We draw inspiration from our “blue collar” lives, our jobs, our failures and fears etc. The same stuff we are all fighting through every day really. My favorite part of the process, is watching a small idea unfold like a magic origami, revealing all the little folds, each one intricately placed in the precise location, by all the different perspectives each of us brings to the table. You think you hear one thing in your head, then after jamming it out with the boys for a while, it really can grow into something new, much different than you may have first imagined. It’s like a gender reveal for the baby we were talking about before, “oh look, that’s what this song is going to sound like”. It’s exciting, the initial couple of jams really get me pumped when we begin settle into a nice hook and groove for the first time. I enjoy the vision taking shape, it’s a fascinating evolution to me.

What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?

My fondest musical memories growing up in our house as kids were definitely the early jams with my big brother J Danger. We used to record everything on this old 1980’s GoldStar radio/cassette recorder. Our mom still has it to this day. I used to build drum sets out of a suitcase, garbage cans, music stands and Tupperware. Jason would play my dad’s guitar, we wrote so many songs that way. Some ended up on legitimate releases later as adults, like “J Minor” on the Five Hoss Cartwrights Album “BASHITOUT”. That song is almost as old as we are.

Nowadays my favorite musical times are when the family gets together for Holidays. I’m in a band with two of my three brothers, but we are playing a particular kind of music when we do that. When we are hanging out for Thanksgiving or Christmas, it’s different. Someone is always playing an acoustic guitar, playing Jim Croce, Tom Petty, or Jason Mraz or something, and someone else is always adding 2 or 3 parts of harmonies. Ten minutes later you’re getting MJ’s “Beat It”, Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” or Nintendo music from our childhood. It’s a cacophony essentially, but I live for it.

How do you balance your music with other obligations in life? How does it get effected if so?

This is a particularly good question for indie bands like us, who despite a little bit of notoriety, still have to work day jobs. My favorite line is “Don’t quit your day dream”. I like that because I’m of course, a fan of chasing your dreams, and not losing sight of them (even when you hit 41 years old), but I’m also super aware that the career I have chosen as an electrical engineer, is what facilitates my being able to do this on the level that I do. Finding that balance is critical. Some of the ways that issue plays out is with things like touring. We have day jobs, so for us, touring requires shorter trips, we have to break that stuff up so we can get back to work. It requires some logistic creativity and a network of people to help make it all possible.

I like to produce other bands too for DubSeven Records (my label) so I have to squeeze those projects into my schedule too. I produced or will be producing, records for bands like Zero Harbor, SixTwoSeven, Zon Bon Zovi, Cliffside Drive, Bork Laser, Feather Point, and Jason and the ArgoScotts. Hopefully I’m able to continue doing that as well, that’s a huge part of the balance I’m aiming for. I love to play my music, but recording and producing has a special place in my heart too.

The trick to balancing it all, in my opinion, is to make the most of your 5pm to 2am hours (after work). There isn’t going to be a lot of time for naps or leisure activities when you’re cramming all that into a 7 day work week. I’m a single dad too, thankfully my daughter believes and supports what we are trying to do here, and understands the sacrifices we have to make as a family to achieve it, thus she’s really been a huge part of our early success.

What is your favorite song to sing live?

My favorite song to “play” live is probably “Joshua’s Song”. I just love to play the guitar solo, the song has cool dynamics, it’s usually the 2nd to the last song in our set, so it has a whole lot of things going for it.

My favorite song to “sing” live is probably our cover of the Cure’s “Fascination Street”. I have loved singing that song since I was 13, so doing it onstage with my band is no different. It’s just easy and fun, and we do it pretty well I think. The crowd usually seems to agree with me, it gets a nice response. We don’t do it very often though, we tend to usually only get 25-30 minutes to play, so it’s hard to take that time to play someone else’s music.

Do you have any events coming up or recording going on right now aside from the new album in tow?

As I was saying earlier I really like to produce bands. We released Zero Harbor and SixTwoSeven records already this year on DubSeven. I’m currently working on a Zon Bon Zovi EP release (electronic music), and then later this month I’ll start recording Cliffside Drive (pop punk), followed by Bork Laser (punk) in January 2019. I’ll be adding a Feather Point (rock) LP to the 2019 discography, and next spring/summer I’ll be recording Jason and the ArgoScotts (doom rock) from Austin Texas. I’m getting booked up pretty fast, I’m really excited about that part. I’ve always been a believer in the philosophy that there is no point in expanding your reach if you’re not going to use it to help others.

We have SixTwoSeven shows at the Rendezvous Seattle (Sunday 10/28) with Cliffside Drive and Bork Laser, we open for Dead Boys at the Shakedown in Bellingham (Friday 11/9), we headline the Crocodile Café Seattle (Saturday 11/24) with Four Lights, the Finger Guns and Racheal Teixeira, and are working on a benefit show for Christmas, tentatively at Funhouse Seattle (Friday 12/21) to benefit the Youth Care Orion Center in Seattle.

At what age did you start singing and what inspired you?

I’m pretty sure I wrote a country song called “Black Truck” before my 3rd birthday but you’d need to confirm the timeline with my mom. My pre-kindergarten memories are pretty hazy. I have always loved music, we all have. I don’t know why or where it started, but it’s certainly the case for all 4 of us Bilderback boys. I believe the biggest factor to be that my dad always allowed us to use his guitar. We weren’t allowed to touch many of his belongings growing up, but for some reason he was always chill about his guitar. I think that’s really what did it for us. It kind of made practicing a privilege, because we got to use something of dad’s to do it.

How easily do songs tend to come to you?

Instrumentally it can be a bit more painful than it can lyrically, or melodically. I think getting the riff ironed out is a tad harder than the melody, and once I have the melody, then I just keep blurting out words in the melody until I nail a catchy hook. Once I have a melodic hook I like with a couple of words that work, then the rest starts to fill in like a lyrical game of Scrabble if you will. Some lines are easier than others, depending on how solid of a foundation I gave myself to build off of. Also there are like 4 entirely capable song writers in this band, I don’t think SixTwoSeven will ever run out of new songs to record so long as the 4 of us are in it together.

If you had a soundtrack to your life what song/songs would have to be on it?

Foo Fighters “Hey Johnny Park!”, Weezer “The Sweater Song”, Dinosaur Jr “Start Choppin”, Royal Blood “Out of the Black”, NoMeansNo “Rags and Bones” and MUSE “Reapers”. I could live on those cuts for years.

For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words?

Smashed computer parts, broken glass.

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