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Six by Seven interview via email September 2002

Well, I guess everyone knows I like Six by Seven.  So big surprise I did another interview.  I still haven't figured out why they aren't as big as U2.  They're rock & roll without being retro.  Chris Olley is the guitar player & singer.

QRD – What tags if any do you think belong to Six by Seven? Emo? Punk? Post? Rock? Pop?

Chris – I don't know, how  would you label Spiritualized? I think it's important though, how else do you sell records?

QRD – Why was it important to you to record The Way I Feel Today live without any overdubs?  None of the other records have been done this way have they?

Chris – No, that is true, and maybe that's one of the reasons for recording it live. We were bored and just wanted to do it that way....bored of the recording process of editing with computers, you spend a lot of time drifting around the studio waiting for someone who is working on a computer.

QRD – The loss of Sam Hempton as a second guitarist for the band without a replacement seems to have made a much smaller difference than I would have expected.  Did you do anything with your guitar setup to compensate, like get a bigger amp or more pedals?

Chris – No, I did the opposite actually, I got rid of all my pedals except for overdrive. I still had the same amp (Fender Deville)  but it broke down on the 2nd day of recording the album so I used an old Marshall 100w MKII they had at Rockfield. I still haven't got an amp, I use Tony's from Spiritualized's Marshall 2000, we kind of share it!!

QRD – What is your current guitar setup anyway?

Chris – Rickenbacker, Marshall 2000 Dual lead 50W and a Coloursound Overdrive Pedal. I also use a Boss Pitchshifter Pedal for delay on "Oh! Dear" and a Boss Tuner.

QRD – Why did you do the Invasion of the Body-Snatchers style video & which Body-Snatchers movie is your favorite?

Chris – It was the best treatment/idea for the video. The best one is the first B&W film I think.

QRD – I read in an interview that "I.O.U. Love" intentionally sounded like "Under the Milky Way Tonight."  Is that actually the case & if so did you give the Church any songwriting credit when you registered the work?

Chris – Yes, It's a carbon copy.....a hommage...and erm no, I think we will wait for them to phone us!!

QRD – In the last interview I did with you, you said the third Six by Seven album might be the last one because the band's sound might have been fully realized & the new album's pretty amazing, have you completed Six by Seven?

Chris – No, we now have stage 4 to look forward to and we will be working with a different label.

QRD – What would have to happen for Six by Seven to reach a higher level musically?

Chris – Get a better singer.

QRD – How did your last american tour go? Are you planning another one?

Chris – I think it was ok, no we haven't sold enough records over there, I don't even know if the last album is out yet in the States.

QRD – How has being married & having a child effected your music both positively & negatively?

Chris – I have 2 kids and having regular sex puts a smile on my face.

QRD – When was the last time you thought about giving up music for a more stable career & what changed your mind?

Chris – Yesterday? Everyday? I dunno, I can't do anything else....where do you go if your doing something you have always wanted to do?

QRD – Do you think of the guitar as a percussion or melody instrument?

Chris – An electric guitar is a rebellious instrument....from the moment I first saw one I wanted one.

QRD – What do you think is Six by Seven's gentlest & sweetest song & what one the loudest & most aggressive?

Chris – "Always Waiting For.." and "Sawn Off Metallica T-Shirt."

QRD – There's a bit of a dichotomy in Six by Seven's song catalog between love songs & full out aggression.  Is this variance intentional or just something that naturally has happened?

Chris – It just happens that way. All the best bands do both. All of my favourite albums have both.

QRD – If you could get one of your songs used in an advertisement, what song would it be & for what product?

Chris – "Eat Junk Become Junk" on a car advert.

QRD – Most of your songs are fairly emotional & personal; do you think all good music must be?

Chris – Yes.

QRD – Do you have any tips for people looking to improve their crafts as songwriters or guitar players?

Chris – Copy your favourite songs and write their arrangements down on a piece of paper. I still don't understand bands who don't edit their stuff down. Bands ask me to help them out in the studio and the first thing I have to do is tell them that there is too much going on in the songs. So I say get rid of this and get rid of that and they don't like it. So I leave, telling them them they will never get a record deal...and guess what? They don't! ha ha ha

QRD – I read an interview (other than mine) where you mentioned Swans.  Have you gotten a chance to hear The Angels of Light's How I Loved You?  What do you think of it?

Chris – No I haven't can you send me a copy of it?

QRD – What's the best tv show currently on the air?

Chris – Six Feet Under.

QRD – What makes you feel like you had a successful day?

Chris – A good wank at the beginning and a good shag at the end.

QRD – What do you hate to see in a band's live show?

Chris – Self important banter between songs.

QRD – Anything else?

Chris – Sorry it took so long to do this vey nice and intelligent questionairre. I've been away. Take care.