Catching Up with Greg Bilderback and SixTwoSeven
SixTwoSeven are a group that we have had our eyes and ears on for a while now. This year saw the group releasing a string of singles that lead into their most recent full-length release “Some Other’s Day”. We caught up with frontman and songwriter in chief Greg Bilderback for an exclusive interview below as he brings us into 2019 with a bang.
– You have a new record out…what was the driving inspiration behind the release?
The inspiration behind the new record was really just to do what we set out to do the first time, and didn’t really do. Meaning a full on DIY record that had commercial success. We did the first album with Jack Endino at A Soundhouse in Seattle, which was an amazing experience that I hope to have again, but that recording was so polished, it didn’t have the garage-iness of a true indie release or even an older XXXTENTACION Soundcloud release, so I felt like we cheated a little on the original mission.
What I mean by that is, we see, in the genres of hip hop, EDM, and rap, loads of indie artists recording music at home, and making an impact in their respective scenes. For some reason this doesn’t happen as often with rock and roll, and my theory is that it’s the issue of recording acoustic drums. Sure you can make beats all day in Grandma’s basement with your headphones on, and the neighbors won’t complain about the noise. Try doing that with a real drum set. Sure, you can use programmed drums or an electronic kit to record rock music, but it won’t have that sound we were looking for, and this album definitely has that garage feel. I wanted to bridge the gap between garage rock, and arena rock. I think we did it this time.
-When forming a song, what steps do you take to create your vision? Typically how long does it take you to build a song from start to finish?
I have always identified us as a blue collar working class rock musician / band. We all have day jobs, families, failures, successes, difficult relationships, all the same stuff everyone deal with. Some people weren’t given the ability to write songs to cope or deal, but thankfully I was, and just because they don’t write songs about their struggles doesn’t mean they don’t find therapy in listening to them. That’s where we come in. Hopefully in some way or another it helps people deal, or brings joy into their lives in some way.
Each time we write, the process is a little different, because sometimes it’s my riff, sometimes it’s Mike’s or Jason’s. So that, coupled with the amount of time that we get to spend together greatly impacts the amount of time it takes to complete one. But the bulk of it usually happens relatively quick when we are together. Someone will break out a riff, and we all start jamming along with our ideas, and I’ll start belting out random melodies and lines until something sticks. Then I just build off of that with more and more lines like a musical game of Scrabble.
– When first creating your music, how did you decide on and form your sound?
When I discovered the band NoMeansNo (Vancouver Canada) as a teenager it literally redefined my understanding of what you were allowed to do and not do musically. I had never heard anything like it, and I have kind of always pushed any band I was ever in to break the chains a little if you will, and do some things that other artists don’t do, whatever that is. It really all came from listening to them.
As for our sound now, it is really more guitar driven than NoMeansNo. That sound is just what happens when Jason and I play guitar together. We have been jamming together since we were children, so there is by now, a distinct thing that occurs when we do that, and it has become our sound. Of course Matt’s harmonies have been a key element to distinguishing us from a typical rock or alt-punk band.
– When did music profoundly start to have an influence on your life?
I’m pretty sure I wrote a country song called “Black Truck” before my 3rd birthday but you’d need to confirm the timeline with my mom. My pre-kindergarten memories are pretty hazy. I have always loved music, we all have. I don’t know why or where it started, but it’s certainly the case for all 4 of us Bilderback boys. I believe the biggest thing was that my dad always allowed us to use his guitar. We weren’t allowed to touch many of his belongings growing up, but for some reason he was always chill about his guitar. I think that’s really what did it for us. It kind of made practicing a privilege, because we got to use something of dad’s to do it. Then again, as a teenager I discovered NoMeansNo and everything changed from there. Music was all I could think about, and all I did was skateboard and write songs.
– What sparks your songwriting creativity? Is it more of a storytelling aspect or a personal aspect?
I do like to tell stories with my songs. I like to try and give hope or meaning to peoples difficulties, by addressing them with my music. I think there is a connection that happens between people with a common cause. Lyrically for me though, it has to be said poetically. I’m really not a fan of coming right out and saying things conversationally in my songs. I feel like it’s always best to let the listener interpret the meaning, as it may reach a greater number of people emotionally, for a particular reason we maybe didn’t even imagine.
– With a new record in tow,, what other surprises do we have before the end of the year?
I’d like to get going on a few more music videos, we have lots of shows coming up on the West Coast, particularly in the PNW. I like to produce other bands too, so I have to squeeze those projects into my schedule as well. I produced or will be producing, records for bands like Zero Harbor, SixTwoSeven, Zon Bon Zovi, Cliffside Drive, Bork Laser, Feather Point, and Jason and the ArgoScotts, which all will be or have been, released courtesy of DubSeven Records.
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