Need to Know: Electric Six
By Courtney Nichols
"The Rubberband Man," originally by The Spinners, is a cover featured on the new album. You've wanted to cover the song for a while, right? Why is that?
I just think it is a really catchy, happy song and compliments the rest of the album real well. Also, it's what played during the mud-wrestling scene in Stripes, which is one of the happiest scenes in cinema.
Are a lot of your songs influenced by cinemas or other forms of art?
I don't know about that. A lot of what we do is insular and esoteric. We play a lot of inside jokes, which aren't even funny to us. I try not to think things too much or over think things, that helps moving on to a new album year after year after year and not really thinking about the consequences of what you're doing.
It's a great position to be in.
It's great. If you don't care about anyone else or yourself or what you're doing and try and hurry up as fast as you can and then die -- it's essentially the best way to go about it.
Your music videos are pretty amazing. Do you use friends who are directors or --
A little of everything. Anthony Ernst Garth is a friend of ours from Detroit and he's done a couple of videos [including "I Buy The Drugs" and "Formula 409"]. We're actually not going to make a video for Zodiac. We're at the point in our lives we don't really have the time to all get together because we are all millionaires and vacationing. Also, we don't really know what music videos get you anymore. We enjoy making them but we're not going to force it. We'll make a video when we have a good idea and right now we don't have a good idea -- unless you have a good idea.
Do you use graphics or incorporate any of your videos into your live performances?
It's fairly low budget and by "fairly" I mean "totally." We take the Guided by Voices approach where we throw a bunch of middle-aged guys on stage with instruments and let them play their songs. With six people in the band there is a struggle bringing in multimedia.
Does your audience encompass the whole spectrum of mankind?
They really do. There are young fans and old fans. In the past a good cross-section of our audience has been meathead frat guys, which was never the intention. It helps because you have to bridge if you want them to buy T-shirts. It takes time to realize that when eight or nine guys show up at your shows you have to talk to them otherwise they get angry.
It must be interesting to see meatheads sing along to "Gay Bar."
They love it! That's a big song for them. I can't tell you how many times they will come up to us and be like, 'I'm not gay and all but I love "Gay Bar" -- not that I'm gay.'