Monday, September 13, 2010


  The Electric Six helped define Detroit's burgeoning music scene in the 2000's, by  defying classification and not being afraid of taking risks. Directly responsible for unleashing 'Danger! Danger! High Voltage!' and a notorious cover of Queen's 'Radio GaGa' upon the masses, throughout their career, the Electric 6 have stubbornly and rightly remained true to themselves.  Are they Hard Rock? Punk Rock? Art Rock? Does it even matter ? The band is currently preparing to tour Europe in support of their seventh studio album, 'Zodiac', which is slated for release September 28th, 2010. DETROIT ROCK BLOG's Matt St.Aubin was fortunate to talk, via cell phone, with Dick Valentine to discuss the past, present, and future of Detroit's most eclectic rockers.

 If it all ended today, would you be happy with the level of success you've attained?

“Oh absolutely. When we started the band, I never, ever, ever, ever thought it would get to the level it was at. I truly was a complete defeatist about being in a local band in Detroit at the time. I always looked at the band as something to do on weekends to kind of and escape my day job, and I never really thought it would go anywhere. We had dealings with this label or that label and it would always end badly and we'd never get a deal or never really get what we were looking for and I thought that would always be the case. I never thought that I would get to do this professionally. So, the fact that were on our seventh album and I haven't had a day job for eight years is beyond my expectations.

What do you view as your biggest success with the Electric 6 ?

“Our biggest success, I think, is the world travel. I don't really quantify it in terms of record sales or money. I look at the countries we get to go to. Again, that's the thing that's just floored me the most and changed my life the most. Were going to Greece for the first time this year and every year we always seem to get one or two more countries we haven't been to you. It's changed my outlook on everything to have friends in Russia and friends in New Zealand and to me that's the biggest success.”

In terms of the band, what do you view as your biggest regret?

“There are hindsight regrets, I guess, like maybe you wish you didn't do Radio Ga Ga. Maybe, you wish you had stood your ground and not put that song out. But at the time, you just make the calls as they come. There's far more that I think this band has done right. And, you can say maybe we should have broken up, or done this or done that, or been less of like a comedy act and more serious, but I think that being true to ourselves and being the type of band that we are, we've actually been able to stick around longer than people initially thought.”

What single musician or group has had the largest influence on you and why?

“I don't know about influence. The longer we do this and the older I get, I don't like to think that were necessarily looking up to bands. Now were kind of nonplussed by it at this point, to be completely honest. We use to play in festivals and I'd look and see 'Oh there's a member of the strokes and wow that's interesting'. Now all I care about is getting to the catering tent.

 (Mutual Laughter)
 That having been said, I use to look up to the Talking Heads quite a bit. I don't know what it is about what they did and the types of music they put out and how they went about their business. I know that's kind of dated and what not, but they certainly don't make bands like that anymore.

They certainly don't make songs like 'Sax and Violins' anymore.

No, you're right and that's my type of talking heads right there. I think you know where I'm coming from.

Where do you see yourself and the band in 5 years?

That's a really good question because I think a few of us are starting to look at possibly having kids. That would kind of change things in terms of the amount of touring that we'd do. And I think we are semi-cognizant of that fact that maybe we do need to take a year off or something at some point. I think we've been conditioned to thinking that if we do take significant amount of time off that this will all be taken away from us. I think that's the thinking there. Hopefully, five years from now we'll have had some adjustments made that allow us to keep going. Like intravenous food.

Not that you've toured the world, which country is the most memorable?

To me it always comes back to Russia. Going to Moscow is such a unique experience, it's such a weird city. To me that's the thing that always seems the most surreal because I'm 38 years old and I spent my teenage years during the Reagen era. My whole life I'll never be able to get over the fact (I was) in the Soviet Union.

The Electric 6 will play the DIY Street Fair in Ferndale, Michigan on September 18th,2010

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