This interview was conducted with lead guitarist/singer Dick Valentine from the Detroit electro/rock band Electric Six. Electric Six, infamous for their eccentricities and desperate need to rock just released their second album, Senor Smoke two days before this interview was conducted. There is a follow up article based on these transcripts, titled, “Less Melotron, More Electricity: A look at the Greatest Detroit Electro-Synth Dance Rock band.”
MVRemix: How do you rock harder than any band in the history of bands?
Electric Six: Wheatgrass juice, we hate our parents, knife fight, head trauma, knowledge of music industry and how it works, posturpedic mattress
MVRemix: How did you decide on the name Electric Six? Did you not feel that Der Wildbunchen would have been a marketable band name?
Electric Six: There were six of us sitting in the room at the time when the record company demanded we produce a name for ourselves. The feeling was electric. As for Der Wildbunchen….no.
MVRemix: Can I start a band called Der Wildbunchen or do you have copyright to that name? I was thinking of starting a Frankie Lyman garage rock cover band, would it be out of line to ask to merge bands?
Electric Six: Go ahead. Take the name. No it is not out of line.
MVRemix: What adjective would you say accurately describes your band?
Electric Six: Nervous.
MVRemix: How did this band form? Is it one of those, we were all friends and we decided to rock hard together type of stories, or more like, Divine occurrence, weird, supernatural type of stories? If you could start an epic story on how your band came together, how would it go?
Electric Six: The genesis of Electric Six was a local Detroit band called The Wildbunch which formed in 1996. It was comprised of five people who all went to the same high school, but never really knew each other in high school. We decided to form a band and the same band was signed to a record deal in 2002. The Wildbunch then became Electric Six. Then a year later, half the band quit and we brought in the guitar players that are in the band today.
MVRemix: Would you say that lines like, “I was born to excite her, she could never be whiter,” demonstrates the romantic side of Electric Six?
Electric Six: No, I would not.
MVRemix: Does Electric Six have any room for romance, or is there no room in your hearts besides the need to rock out?
Electric Six: There’s a little room for everything.
MVRemix: Would you say the song “Gay Bar” is an attempt to bridge the gap between gay hang outs and straight hang outs? Sort of a, “let’s all hang out together” type of song?
Electric Six: It’s more of a “let it all hang out” kind of song. Literally.
MVRemix: Why Canada? Why now? You’re on a tour and you decided to travel to the north, Toronto, and Montreal. Do you feel Canadians can really handle what you bring to the table? I mean, most Canadians prefer that classic revolutionary type of sound like Nickleback and Celine Dion to the more sophisticated dance rock sound of Electric Six. Are Canadians ready for you guys?
Electric Six: If you guys are ready for a hockey puck slamming into your teeth at 125 mph, then you are ready for us.
MVRemix: If Electric Six were to write an Electric Six manifesto, what would the first line be to describe your platform?
Electric Six: We came here to chop off your arms and feed them to Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist.
MVRemix: You are a Detroit band. Did you feel that the Eminem film 8 Mile accurately depicts the Detroit lifestyle and how you were all raised?
Electric Six: No, we came from 12 Mile. That is to say, we spent our high school years debating whether Fables of the Reconstruction or Life’s Rich Pageant was the best R.E.M. album and we whined and threw tantrums when our parents refused to buy us a new Playstation.
MVRemix: Besides Jack White, what other Detroit artists/bands have you worked with? Who would you like to work with in the future, in Detroit and outside of Detroit?
Electric Six: John Hentch from the Hentchmen played on Senor Smoke. We’d like to work with Michael Bolton.
MVRemix: If you were to spend an eternity in hell, what record would be on loop for eternity?
Electric Six: Blue Moon by Elvis Presley
MVRemix: Do you ever party with Mick Collins? And if so, does he make you feel uncomfortable?
Electric Six: I had a bowl of soup with Mick once. He has never made me feel uncomfortable.
MVRemix: What angle should I take for this article about your band, Electric Six? What do you think is a better idea, “Is Canada ready for Electric Six?” type article. Or “Canada is ready and willing to embrace Electric Six in their cold Northern arms.” Or, “Less vocals, and more Melotron.”
Electric Six: Canada is ready and willing to embrace Electric Six in their cold Northern Arms
MVRemix: What if I were to suggest less singing, and more Melotron?
Electric Six: You’d be a dirty little rat.
MVRemix: Tell me about this new album that is going to drop like it’s hot on February 7th. How would you describe it? Sexy and perverse, or Naughty but industrial and German? What is the sound, the flavor, the importance of this album? Is it better than your last album, or should people just not bother? Tell us why we should get your record. Sell us.
Electric Six: Senor Smoke is a much more mature record than its predecessor. If you like maturity, you’ll love it. If you want Gay Bar, Part 2, you’ll get Devil Nights instead. Use your imagination. You must buy this album because I am putting my kid brother through college.
MVRemix: What is the plan for Electric Six in the future?
Electric Six: Fuck with your head one more time.
MVRemix: Any last thoughts or comments?
Electric Six: Yeah! Y’all should have Geddy Lee bronzed and place him atop the CN Tower.