Interview- Grin and Bear it: The Sixers bring intimate energy to town
Since forming in early 2000, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers have suffered a little emotional wear-and-tear: marriage, raising children, and all the accompanying tribulations have colored their consciousness, according to Kellogg, and feature prominently in the direction their music now takes. A little older, perhaps a little wiser, the Sixers have found an intimate energy that comes, Kellogg says, from just "being real." Their latest album, The Bear, captures the everyday-ness of a life in flux, adds a jolt of energy, and rocks on without looking back. "Sometimes you get the bear," Kellogg says, "and sometimes the bear gets you."
The Hook: Let's start simply. Why are you a musician in the first place?
Stephen Kellogg: Music is far and away the funnest job that I worked during and after college– this is me getting drunk, this is my kind of a good time. The Sixers view our job how most people view their jobs: try to do the best you can with it and make enough to live the life you want to live.
The Hook: How would you sum up The Bear?
SK: The inspiration for The Bear comes in two parts: first, we really wanted to make a record where we didn't rush through the studio process– we wanted to get really inspired performances on the songs, performances where our hearts were really in it.
The Hook: And the second part?
SK: We wanted a record to reflect life. We're in this middle place where we still look to our parents, we're still somebody's kids– but I have two daughters, I'm somebody's dad now. It's an interesting place to be in, where looking forward to middle age doesn't seem so old now.
The Hook: What's the purpose of your online behind-the-scenes mini-series?
SK: The one thing about playing music is trying to really be yourself so people have this window into you being really honest about how you feel. Sometimes, I'm depressed or frustrated or embarrassed or goofy– things not considered "cool." So when you show people these little videos, it's one way of checking yourself, making sure you're being straight with listeners and fans and saying, look this is where we are coming from and if that resonates with you, great, but if you're disappointed that we're sitting at the table in our boxers, we're not the right band for you.
Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers perform at Fry's Spring Beach Club on 10/8. The Sometime Favorites and Dawn Landes open. The show starts at 8:00 pm and tickets are $14 at the door.