“SK6ERS,” as the band is affectionately known, have carved a determined, inspiring path since forming. An exceptional live act given to high-energy showmanship, The Sixers are closing in on their 1000th show with a newfound grit and gratitude. Stephen and core Sixers – Kit “Goose” Karlson (keys, bass, tuba, accordion) and Brian “Boots” Factor (drums, mandolin, banjo) — are friends who act like brothers and switch off on their instruments to keep it fresh; much in the tradition of their collective heroes, The Band. “We’ve all opted to approach our life in the same way – trying to put integrity ahead of ambitions of fame and fortune, though we’d like that too… at least the fortune part,” Stephen says with a laugh.
Many bands talk about “keeping it real,” but in The Sixers’ case, they mean it. “We’re not up there projecting a personality we can’t believe in. I think it’s important to go with the feel of each moment and take chances. If that means we get out of synch or sing out of key once in a while, so be it. The crags are cool because they’re interesting.”
That explains why producer Tom Schick (Norah Jones, Ryan Adams, Rufus Wainwright) signed up for the new record. “Each person in The Sixers really adds a lot,” he says. “They’re so locked in with each other. Stephen is definitely the leader of the gang, but everybody has their say,” he adds of the roles played by Boots Factor and Kit Karlson. “They rise and fall together. It’s amazing to watch them work.”
Schick now understands why the group has a growing legion of loyal fans. “They’re a ‘classic rock’ band in the best sense of the phrase,” he says. “You can hear Neil Young, Tom Petty and John Cougar in there. It brings back a lot of good feelings about growing up and listening to great people who can really play their instruments. It’s not pieced together on a computer. It’s very refreshing.”
The band announced an indefinite hiatus in July 2012 and began a farewell tour that wrapped up in New York City, as the band played to their largest headlining audience ever.
Edited by beyondmountains on 24 Nov 2012, 16:09
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