Propelled into the national rock arena during the Detroit renaissance at turn of the millennium, Electric Six garnered significant critical acclaim for its up-tempo, sexified take on classic garage rock. Despite shuffling band members through the years, Electric Six has maintained an impressive level of prolific output; Heartbeats and Brainwaves--their eighth LP since 2003--comes out next week, with the band on the road touring in support. Founding member and front man Dick Valentine talks about the new release before the show in LA show tonight.
This band is never annoyed.
Superficial genre talk in music interviews: How pointless is it, on a scale of 1-10?
I give it a 5. It's not pointless, nor does it have a point. There is no point. But you have a point.
Your 8th LP, Heartbeats and Brainwaves, comes out this week. What's unique about this one compared to the others?
Heartbeats and Brainwaves is the first album we've done that is produced by our guitar player John Nash. It was probably the most "home recorded" record. We did some vocal takes in various bathrooms in band members' houses. Nash's bathroom had tremendous sonic quality. However, we also used a big fancy studio at times... mostly for the female backing vocals. Girls have a higher standard... most of the time.
You're a Queen fan. Sasha Baron Cohen is set to play Freddie Mercury in a biopic that begins production soon. Do you think he'll play the part righteously?
Yes. Yes I do.
You've lived in Brooklyn now for a few years. Do you see yourself ever moving back to Detroit?
I am committed to Brooklyn for the long haul. The odds of me moving back to Detroit are the same as me having lunch this afternoon with Millard Fillmore.
What artists have been knocking your socks off lately?
Mark Mallman. He's on tour with us and he is such an amazing performer. I've never seen anyone do the same songs every night and yet make them sound completely different from night to night. He's the most spontaneous performer I've ever seen.
Aside from Electric Six, what's been occupying your time?
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The stock market. I'm doing really well. While the market is down 4% for the year, I'm only down 3.5 percent. I know how to pick 'em.
You held down jobs as a copywriter and PR editor in your Wildbunch days. Do you miss that scene?
Yes, I do miss that scene. I miss the guys in middle management most of all. Those guys are awesome.
Electric SIx performs at the Key Club, 9039 W. Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood