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“Every Word A Menace” – An Interview with Electric Six’s Frontman Dick Valentine

Electric Six’s second album, Fire Senor Smoke, was released in early 2005 in the U.K. Here it is a year and a half later and we in the U.S. get to finally rub our filthy paws all over it and listen to it to our hearts’ content. The band has successfully avoided the sophomore slump with a record that has the ferocity to kick your ass all over the dance floor. “Nuclear war on the dance floor,” indeed.

Electric Six is:
The Colonel: Lead Guitar
Johnny Na$hinal: Lead Guitar
John R. Dequindre: Bass
Tait Nucleus?: Keyboards, Synthesizers
Percussion World: Drums
Dick Valentine: Vocals, dancing

Frontman Dick Valentine was kind enough to grant us an interview from the trenches of being on tour.

Kaffeine Buzz: First of all I’d like to say congratulations on the new album, it’s really a great record.

Dick Valentine: You like it?

KB: I love it! It seems like it’s a much more tight record than the first.

DV: Yeah, It’s tight.

KB: How was the process different in creating the first album, Fire to Senor Smoke?

DV: Well, we had a completely new lineup, a completely different lineup of people from the Fire record. A lot of these songs were new so we were writing them right before we went into the studio. We weren’t really sure how the record would sound or what it would look like at the time of recording it, whereas when we did Fire we had a pretty good idea because most of those songs were six or seven years old anyway.

KB: From when Electric Six was known as The Wildbunch?

DV: Yeah.

KB: What is your inspiration for writing all the lyrics?

DV: Oh, you know I try to tell a story. I’m not really sure if there are any stories there, but that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to weave a tapestry.

KB: A tapestry of rock and roll?

DV: Yes.

KB: [Laughs.] I noticed in the recent record there are a lot of references to pop culture. Is that something that interests you?

DV: It does. I’ve always been fascinated with it, especially now that I’m… Well, I’m not really on the other side, I’m somewhere in the middle of having access to knowing how these kinds of things work. I’ve met an “A” list celebrity here or there. I’ve met a few B’s. I’ve met a lot of C’s. You know I consider myself somewhere around a G or an H and you see how you have corporations, you have publicists and you see how it all works. At the same time you’re still fascinated by it…by the people who are on camera and it’s great.

KB: Excellent. So how is the tour going?

DV: It’s going great. I’m in a van barreling towards Tucson right now.

KB: So you like to travel? Do you like being on the road?

DV: We do. We love it. We feed off each other on the road, literally.

KB: [Laughs.] Yes, well the Colonel’s big toe is really nice today.

DV: [Laughs.] Yeah. You know where I’m coming from.

KB: So I hear there is a third album in the works.

DV: Yeah, it’s more or less been tracked and we’re waiting for the mixes to bounce back to me. It should come out in September; the record.

KB: In the U.K. as well as the U.S.?

DV: That we don’t know. That’s kind of the grey area. It’s kind of the reverse situation as the last record. Now we have a firm North American deal but we’re not really sure what’s going on in the U.K.

KB: Is there a working title?

DV: Not yet.

KB: Senor Smoke was delayed in its release here in the U.S., why was that?

DV: It was delayed because we were signed worldwide to Warner and the U.S. arm of Warner didn’t really know who we were. So we had to wait to be dropped by Warner so we could shop around in the U.S. You understand the pitfalls when you go into this.

KB: So as a band do you have some kind of rock and roll manifesto?

DV: Um…just…really just…uh…no. No. No manifesto.

KB: Well do you have any advice for fans coming to your shows?

DV: We don’t really communicate well with the people who come to our shows; we don’t really try to talk to them afterwards.

KB: Why is that?

DV: Uh…fear…a hard time communicating. I have a terrible time communicating. You’re hearing it right now. You’re experiencing it right now.
Struggling…struggling to get by…every word a menace.

KB: [Laughs.] Do you guys have any videos in the works?

DV: Well, we plan to make a video for the next record but again, we have to hear those mixes first.

KB: Yeah, I saw the video for “Radio Ga Ga.”

DV: How did it make you feel?

KB: [Laughs.] Well, a little emotionally raped. [The video consists of Dick Valentine dressed as Freddie Mercury in a one piece spandex jumpsuit. During the video, he is seen dancing next to a gravestone as well as frolicking with a group of poodles.]

DV: [Laughs.] It was rewarding working with dogs. That’s great; any time you get to work with live dogs.

KB: How was that for you?

DV: Pretty good. It was very rewarding. And it was emotional at the end. At the end of the video shoot, you hug each dog and you know you’ll probably never see them again.

Electric Six made their way to our fair yet isolated city for a March 18th performance at the Larimer Lounge, a local venue that, according to Mr. Valentine, serves up the best Long Island ice teas on tour (he’s also a fan of local act Mr. Pacman). They have been touring with She Wants Revenge and Rock Kills Kid and they then moved on with opening bands for the last part of the tour with Every Move a Picture and The Fever.


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