SIXER – interview by liz ortega
Punk and Country-sounds a bit foreign, but on the contrary, it’s a widely known mix. It wasn’t too long that the Virginia based rock n rollers, Sixer, used country music as an influence in their style of punk rock. Taking the deafening, aggressive sounds of punk rock and lacing a tinge of country for texture, Sixer’s brand of Southern punk rock triggered a authentic inspiration. “I wouldn’t say that we’re big country music fans. I like older country music that I heard growing up. So, I guess it comes out in the way we write songs. Country music and punk music are kind of the same in a lot of ways, so, I never really looked at it any different,” says guitarist, Chris Rupp.
Sixer surfaced in 1999 right after guitarist/vocalist, Leer Baker and Chris Rupp departed from another well-known Virginia rock band, Ann Beretta. Adding other core members, Casey on bass and Dan on drums, Sixer is a complete wreckin’ machine ready to demolish anything and everything.
So, how the hell did they come up with a name like Sixer? “The name Sixer (hahaha), it sure as hell ain’t sports related! Right when we started this band, shit I’m not even sure you’d call it a band at that point. Leer was at the beach one night drinking with some friends of ours and as the story goes he told someone to pass him the “sixer”, and I guess it just struck a chord. He came back and it seemed cool, so why not,” says Rupp. Steering clear from the subtle, melodic style they played with their previous band, Sixer brings forth a decadent sound that is loaded with a serious degree of profundity. Although, their ability to craft great songs and put on excellent shows is mostly in their genuine make-up, Sixer doesn’t set out to covey a certain message to their listeners. “I wouldn’t say we have a message. People take out of it what they want. I mean, there are enough bands that want to give you their opinion on this and that–fine, whatever– but that shits not for me. Sixer shows are a god damned good time! Seeing people having fun, enjoying some kick ass rock n roll, says Rupp.
But what about the punk rock? I asked Chris Rupp what he thought of the punk rock scene nowadays and he answered “I think it could go either way at this point. I mean, there are a lot of kick ass bands doing shit right now but in the same token, there are probably twice as many that are just plain crap! I don’t think I even know what punk rock is today… green hair and a new tattoo?” My sentiments exactly. But in all honesty, Sixer is one of those good bands that can justify the meaning of punk and rock n roll in one fuckin’ song.
Sixer’s discography concludes various compilations, EPs and two full lengths. Busted Knuckles and Heartbreak (TKO Records), was a dashing display of gritty rock n roll ala AC/DC with a mix of the Clash for taste. This full length debut prompted another highly anticipated release entitled, Saving Grace (TKO), which delivered an impressive collaboration of destructo punk and raw southern comfort.
The band hasn’t been around for very long and with just 2 full length records under their belts, Sixer is nowhere near ready to throw in the towel. And in my opinion, their impact has only just begun. “The more we play, I think, the better we get and there is no way that any of us could be satisfied as long as we know that we’re doing what we love and getting better at it. When that stops, it’s time to hang it up and yeah, there is a lot more to conquer. Shit, this is only our second record…we’re not going anywhere anytime soon,” replies Rupp.
See how determined these guys are? Rock n roll means a great deal to some people, and for others, like Chris Rupp, it means the world. “I’ve been playing in bands with Leer since we were probably 11 or 12 years old. That’s really all either of us know how to do. So, I think it’s pretty safe to say that playing rock n roll is a way of life for us, but if it wasn’t any fun or entertaining, I know I wouldn’t be doing it. Shit, I’m sure none of us would…it’s a hard way to make a living.”
Indeed, Sixer will be going somewhere. Where? Who knows, but as dedicated and focused as they seem to be, Sixer will undoubtedly reinforce the face of rock n roll and when they release their next album, they will prove to be prolific in their time.
Sixer has recently moved on to BYO Records and are in the process of a new record due in July of this year. And a new record could only mean one thing–touring! Yes, these guys will be touring very soon in support of their newest efforts, so don’t screw yourself out of this one–go out and see them, ya freaks!