Earlier this summer SixToes delivered their new record The Morning After to much delight from all at FFS towers. Joseph Merriman led the cheerleading with his review, and then caught up with the band to learn about the record in more depth.
How was 2014 been so far for SixToes?
2014 so far has been really exciting. It took us a fair amount of time to make the album so to finally hear people’s reactions is great.
How have the public reacted to your new album?
We are constantly surprised by the reaction of the public to our music. We have always simply made the music that we like and often the songs become quite introverted. People have really taken the time to appreciate the record and we have got really nice feedback. We couldn’t ask for more really.
What are the main themes on The Morning After?
The Morning After deals with a few themes. We like a good story and we like to set a scene. Although there’s not a running theme through the record there is certainly an atmosphere that we tried to create and hold on to for the duration of the album.
You’ve produced the album yourself. Has that put a lot of pressure on the band or is it something you’ve enjoyed?
Writing, recording and producing the album your own album isn’t easy. Sixtoes are a group of people that all have a lot of experience in the studio. So there are a lot of opinions flying around and we can spend a lot of time crafting the music into the feel we want for any given song. I don’t think it added any pressure as we very much do things at our own speed but we were so ‘up close and personal’ with each track that each song became its own journey. I think this way of working gives the album the sound it has. We are very proud of it.
SixToes seems to have moved away slightly from the eccentric, gypsy-folk sound you mastered in Trick of the Night. Was that intentional, or was it a natural progression?
Funnily enough eccentric is the most common word used to describe this album. This is simply the music we write. The addition of new band members changed the sound a fair bit and I think the quality of our recording has improved but other than that, it was a completely natural progression.
How has the band changed since the first album?
Trick of the Night involved three of us Anne, Ben and I (David) writing and recording all the instruments on the record. With this album we were lucky enough to have three new and extremely talented people involved. Tom Platt, Tom Guy and Niamh Fahy. They have changed the dynamic in the band totally, and brought amazing ideas to the record!
Has The Morning After been a harder album to write than Trick of the Night?
I don’t think the writing of the songs has been the hard part, I think giving the song the instrumentation and the dynamics that each song deserves is the challenge. We were fairly limited with the instruments available on Trick of the Night. On The Morning After we had to stop ourselves using every instrument invented on every track. Just due to having more options in the recording process I think The Morning After was more of a challenge to complete.
Are there any other artists you’d like to work with in particular?
We’ve been pretty lucky with who we have collaborated with in the past so I’m gonna aim high. I’d like to do a track with Justin Vernon. Perhaps get Mr Cave and Warren Ellis’ input in a track or two. I also like to write a song with Jim O’rourke, and have a sing song with Low. Maybe Josh T Pearson could make an appearance. Is that too much to ask?
Who is SixToes listening to?
Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds, Phosphorescent, Wild Beasts.