Keep The Change

18 April 2012 | 7:30 am | Chris Yates

Six60 tells Chris Yates about the (mostly self-inflicted) pressures the band are facing to follow up their debut self-titled album.

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Due to the success of their debut album and the subsequent touring that followed, Walters is now in the enviable position of creating music as his full-time gig. He's taken some time away from New Zealand's musical breeding ground of Dunedin to get away from it all and concentrate on writing for their next record.

“I'm trying to get some writing done before we take off,” he says in his chilled out accent. “I try and write as often as possible, pretty much every day. It's kinda something that has recently happened, the band is busy enough that I can do it full-time and try and work it as a nine-to-five, you know what I mean? It's real cool man, it's like a dream come true. I don't have to do anything else.”

With this freedom to create music, there's also an adjustment period when music becomes your job instead of what you do for fun outside of the usual day to day drudgery. Walters says he is dealing with it pretty well, even if he's still finding his feet. Thankfully, it sounds like the new album is well on its way.

“It's quite weird, you go through phases,” he explains. “At first it sounds like it should be pretty easy, I mean you only have to write 11 songs, but of course it's pretty different to that. We're definitely just in the early stages of the next album, just trying to get as many little things done as possible. It is pretty weird, it almost feels like we're forcing it now. It seems as though once you've done your first album, you're just on a clock to finish the next one, so it's maybe a little less intuitive now. There's some pressure now, but most of that pressure is self-induced. We're our biggest critics, we always want to do the best show possible and obviously timing is really important, you've just got to keep relevant hey. We just want to get the ball rolling, we have a lot of demos coming together, but we probably won't use them all, half of them are probably crap (laughs).”

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Six60 are incorporating some pretty experimental ideas into their music, and managing to do it while still appealing to a lot of people at once. Walters says that approaching making music the way he listens to music is the key. He's unconcerned with being in a band that is hard to pigeonhole by traditional standards. 

“It doesn't matter to me what people classify the genre as,” he says bluntly. “As long as what we feel when we're writing the song is honest and we can believe it, then I think that's the most important thing. I'm probably most comfortable with the slower stuff, with soul-based music and guitar stuff, but I guess it's just kind of a miracle or it's pretty fortunate that we have five dudes from five different upbringings who like five different styles of music, and it all still seems to work.

“I feel as though we do it to an extreme compared to other artists,” he says of the band's effortless genre-hopping. “It wasn't something intentional, it was just what naturally happens. The way I listen to music, and the way I think most people listen to music, is that they don't just listen to one genre of music or one style of artist the whole time, so I guess we figured we shouldn't have to write that way. I don't wanna be in a band that just writes and performs the same shit over and over again.”