6:33 is a surprising band that fuses all genres imaginable and the result is absolutely outstanding. This French outift has recently released “Deadly Scenes” via Kaotoxin Records and have amazed the underground scene, therefore Pest Webzine has decided to have a conversation with these awesome French men.
The band’s name is quite impressive! Why that exact time? What’s the meaning of it?
Howahkan: Some whisper that it refers to the verse of the gospel of Matthew ("Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you."). Some other think this may be some obscure numerology mindfuck. Others simply tell the band was created at 6:33 AM after a very long night. Who knows?
Your sonority is described as Experimental Metal. Do you think this is the best definition? How would you describe it to someone that hasn’t listened to the band yet?
Rorschach: It’s the hardest thing to describe about 6:33. We mix many styles without limits: Rock, Metal, Boogie, Jazz, Fusion, Prog, Hardcore, Hip-hop, Orchestral music, even Cinematic music. Some people call 6:33’s music “Nawak Metal”, or “Avant-garde Rock-Metal”, I would say “Experimental Fusion” (in the large meaning of this term).
You’ve been releasing new material every two years and you recently released “Deadly Scenes”. Your imagination is quite fertile! What inspires you daily? What are your musical influences?
Nicko: We have many influences that come from music but also cinema and tv. We are geeks and you can notice many clinks to pop culture in the lyrics or the ambiances we develop. Musically our influences come from Pink Floyd as much as Devin Townsend, through Mickael Jackson and many, many more.
The music is quite pleasant and there isn’t a moment of boredom due to the variety of instruments, voices and all that. Yet there’s some grimness present in the cover and in the band members themselves… tell us more about the concept of the band and the members.
Rorschach: I wouldn’t say there is a grimness, it’s more a sarcastic second degree sense of humour, and that is 6:33’s signature. It’s like a Freaks Circus with its (nice) monsters, where you can feel attracted and repulsed at the same time, afraid and in love, dark and funky, sensual and dirty, serious and funny, crazy and wise… It’s a bunch of different emotions that makes the circus of our world, and 6:33’s soul.
The band has a rather peculiar look with members wearing masks… kinda reminds me of Slipknot. Is that the look you were aiming for? What’s the significance of all this?
Rorschach: We don’t wanna hide all the time like Slipknot or Daft Punk. We just have fun putting the masks on stage as a part of our costume. It’s inspired by the kabuki and ancient greek theatre, where the actors put masks on stage, but more with a superhero kinda game.
How does the composition process happen? Do you all sit in a room and write riffs and lyrics?
Nicko: We have a special way of composing. I write most of the music, Howahkan takes care of the drums programmation, then when the track sounds efficient, Rorschach writes the lyrics while we work together on the arrangements. After some pre-prods we enter the WhiteWasteland studio hold by Howahkan to record the songs.
What lyrics/issues do you deal with? There seems to be some black humour in it.
Rorschach: Issues? I don’t know what you’re talking about (laughs). Actually I feel that my character in 6:33 is the extreme expansion of me, on stage, but even in my lyrics. I’m allowed to let my several inside voices jump on the paper when I write my lyrics, and they’re inspired by the music they hear. Of course as I’m totally aware of that phenomenon it gives the lyrics a sarcastic and dark second degree sense of humor, like when I’m on stage. On this album we’re dealing with the Seven Deadly Sins, through little scenes introducing several characters.
The toy in the baby stroller is quite morbid with the pig’s head, the gun and the bra hanging from it. Care to explain its meaning.
Howahkan: This cover is related to the concept of the album, which is the Seven Deadly Sins. We wanted something visual, with a cinematic vibe (think "The Adam's Family" meets "Rosemary's Baby" here !) to express one simple idea : Are we born sinful, or do we become that way ? It's all about temptation here.
Your videos are usually different and interesting, and they seem to be scenes taken from movies. How do you come up with creative ideas like these?
Rorschach: Our music is inspired by the cinema so it’s obviously visible in our videos. We worked with different people depending on what what we wanted, until we met Rusty Matalou (the director of our last video “Black Widow”). He just understands what we want and sublime it in a way we love. We’re working on a new video with him, and have many future projects…
6:33’s music would fit perfectly in some movie scores. If that were to happen, in what genre of films would you like to be featured? Do you have a special director?
Howahkan: I think we would feel right at home in a Tim Burton movie, but it seems like we would have to wait for Danny Elfman's retirement (laughs).
Considering all the musical diversity in your album, how difficult is it to put this in a live environment? What can one expect from your concerts?
Rorschach: It’s not an easy task to transcribe our world and music on stage, but we manage to do it by working a lot on the sound (you will hear everything that is on the album on stage), the visual (it’s like a freaky musical comedy with the masks and our way to play on stage), and the energy (our frontman is particulary crazy, people say…).
Are you planning on doing a tour to promote “Deadly Scenes”? Will you play outside of France?
Rorschach: Yes, we want to go on the road as much as possible during at least the next two years, and most of all outside France if possible. We have some plans outside of France going on but nothing completely booked yet. We’re looking forward for every fun plan so if you know people that want us for his fest, wherever whenever, just call us! We would love to go and play in every country of the world!
All reviews have been outstanding. Did you expect this?
Howahkan: Our previous album, "The Stench From The Swelling" was featuring a different singer: it was a collaboration with Arno Strobl from the cult band Carnival In Coal. The reviews were really great, and it pushed the band to a whole new level. But it was somehow quite hard to tell if people would still follow us in another album where Arno wouldn't be involved. Finally, the reviews for "Deadly Scenes" were even greater and I'm immensely proud of what we've done on this album.
I believe all your albums have been released by different labels. The first one was on M&O Music, the second on Season of Mist and the third on Kaotoxin Records. Do you only sign one record contracts? Why the constant change?
Howahkan: Well, that is not entirely true. Our first record came out on M&O Music, a small french record company that signs almost only first albums from young bands (and today I honestly wouldn't recommand them to my worst enemy). After that, we released our second album ourselves, creating our own structure "Wafflegate Productions", and Season of Mist was our distributor. We quickly realized it was too much work for us and we were a little overwhelmed, so for "Deadly Scenes" we tried to find a new record company that would support and understand us. Kaotoxin Records was definitely the way to go! The next one will be with them, we promise ! (laughs)
It’s definitely not easy finding information in English about the band. How big are you in France? What’s your main goal as a band?
Rorschach: I would say that slowly but surely we’re digging our little hole in the french metal world. We’re respected by the specialized media, and our public is growing concert after concert, videos and albums, and that is already a beautiful success for us. The main aim is to sell thousands of albums and play all around the world, and we work the hardest we can for it! But with the music we do what we know we’ll never be the new Shakaponk (laughs).
Arno is listed as a past member but he still collaborates with the band. Is this information correct? Why are there videos that state “6:33 with Arno Strobl”? How important is his collaboration?
Rorschach: The information is not totally correct. Arno had made a featuring on the very first album “Orphan of good manners”, and when the band separated with its formal singer, Arno and 6:33 made a collaboration on the EP “Giggles Garlands and Gallows”. I entered the band at the end of the writing of this EP, but we wanted to push it to a full album with Arno coz we were having fun, so we did “The stench from the swelling” under the name “6:33 and Arno Strobl”.
But then Arno went to his other projects and we wrote “Deadly Scenes”. Arno has never been a member of 6:33, but a luxury guest. This collaboration with him has been as important for us as for him: he gave us some credibility and visibility in the media, and we gave the taste of creation back to him (he had lost it at the moment we met him). So it was a rich human and musical experience, deep and full (and I’m not talking about sex!)
Many thanks for your time. Please leave a message to Pest’s readers.
Howahkan: Thank you all for reading, and keep up supporting bands ! Peace.
Interview by Sonia Fonseca