Like an artist with a brush and canvas, Keep 6 paints a musical spectrum of sound blended with a variety of dynamics, emotions, theories and inspiring lyrics.
Their latest album "Just a Matter of Time" boasts eleven tracks that each hold their own personality of expression whether its about everyday life or the answer to the deepest secret ever hidden.
Driving to laid back bass grooves coupled with tight, back beat drums and powerfully dynamic guitars riffs, the songs leave a playing field for deep lyrics and beautiful harmonies.
The chorus for every song leave you humming the words after every listen only to be anxious what the next song may reveal
When witnessing one of their intense live performances where every note is played like their last combined with haunting vocals and harmonies, you can tell this band is no fly by night act.
Influences can be heard from alternative rock and old school blues mixed with a darker edge of tones and grooves, you might say there is a Yes/Incubus/Faith No More feel with a distinctive signature sound of their own.
The mission of the newest songs where to make them the best they could possibly be for radio and exceeding the band's own expectations of the finished product.
Keep 6 has grown and evolved with every album thus producing their most brilliant work to date with their third album release "Just a Matter of Time" which will please many a music lovers ears.
The longevity of Keep 6 proudly stands since early 2007 with all original members to this day.
With every live show grows a larger fan base across Western Canada and the band plans on expanding their performances to Eastern Canada and USA as well as planning a showcase in SXSW 2012.
Keep 6 had the honor of sharing the stage with such acts as A Perfect Circle, Three Days Grace, Sloan, Social Code, Priestess, Matthew Good, Three, Streetheart and many other reputable bands in the biz.
Summer fests includes Boonstock (2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011) as well as the ever growing annual Ride For Dad Cancer Fund Raiser among many other live gigs.
Keep 6 enjoyed a nice radio play campaign with their previous album "Four Fangs" which was featured across the North American college radio scene and stretched out their fan base well beyond their home in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
With the newest 11 track album "Just a Matter of Time", Keep 6 plans to further the good word of their music in 2012 while continuing to write and record new material for yet another album in the future.
(Via e-mail by Costas Sogas)
Costas: Hello KEEP 6!First of all, I want to thank you for fitting this interview to your tight schedule, as I hear you're working on your third album.
Shorre: Thanks Costas! We are very appreciative of you approaching us for this interview.
Busy or not, it's always exciting to have the chance to reach out to our fans.
We've been hard at work in the studio for a long time now, this is a great opportunity to let people know what's been going on!
Costas: Now, as you know, I am not really an interviewer-I'm just a fan of Keep6,so my questions will be the questions of a fan and hopefully I'll ask about things the fans want to know :-) So here we go...
I was always wondering about the Canadian Rock Scene...Apart from the obvious super bands like Rush,or Annihilator, I have heard at least 50 Canadian bands and not one of them was less than really good!
I am curious-is there something in the water? Or is it your very culture that promotes music?
Matt: I think that it's the diversity that our country has to offer!
From the range of elements we face in the year, to the variety of people we live among, and the multitude of cultures we are exposed to. It creates what I honestly believe to be a very inspiring environment.
I think that's why this country has produced very successful artists in almost every genre there is. Life is changing very quickly out there, people want to hear something fresh. Canada is just a great place to inspire something different.
Our band really tries to capture that, especially in the newer songs.
Costas:(Maybe I need to visit Canada myself,I'm running low on ideas these days ) Let's get to Keep6. When and how did the band form and who are the members?
Matt: I was actually playing in a band called "Twentyfold" that rehearsed at an old school next door to a band that Scott and Jay were playing in called "Cause and Effect".
When both bands broke up, Jay and Scott hounded me for a solid 6 months plus to come and write music with them.
Eventually one night, I caved and a new band was born!! The chemistry was there immediately.
Costas: And as for your vocalist?
Matt: Haha! Ever watched the blooper auditions to American or Canadian Idol?
We auditioned singers for over half a year with nothing but a couple of decent finds, which seemed to immediately disappear off the planet.
It seemed like we just couldn't find the right fit...that is until an old band mates of Scott's decided to come check out a rehearsal. After jam, he suggested we audition his son Shorre.
Shorre: I was very new to singing at the time and I was a lot younger than the other guys, so I felt pretty intimidated at first.
But when I heard the 5 or 6 songs they had fully written I was blown away, it was exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for.
I went home that night and wrote melodies and lyrics to three full songs.
By the next rehearsal I had 5 sheets of lyrics and was singing into the microphone. 5 years later, here we are.
Costas: (It kind of reminds me "Spinal Tap", with vocalists instead of drummers and if you haven't seen that mockumentary yet,do it- you will laugh your rear ends off!) I couldn't help but notice that your line up hasn't changed since the beginning and I was wondering... How do you do it?
I mean, even ridiculous amounts of cash and fame couldn't help bands like Metallica from line up changes and as far as I know, in these aspects you're not Metallica :-) So, what's the secret?
Matt: We are beyond friends at this point. We are a band of brothers.
The name of the band, Keep 6, essentially means "To watch your brother's back". That's how we all feel.
We all work so great together. I am very proud of the bond we have going, it is essential for surviving as an independent, original band in the scene today.
Shorre: Like any other band, we've had our fair share of internal quarreling, but only because we're passionate! Haha!
When we're having problems with something, I don't think any of us are afraid to actually speak out about it.
We don't let things build up. If something's wrong, let's deal with it now. I really think this is key to keeping things together as a band. This and significantly less drinking than Metallica!
Costas: (Given the cold weather and the famous Canadian whiskeys,I am not sure if I'd be such a moderate drinker!)
A steady line up is vital for good song writing, tight live performances and unique sound.
Although performances and sound are something every band needs to work out for themselves, songwriting is another matter. Since there is no such thing as "parthenogenesis," all artists have influences that defined them as artists and are partly responsible for their songwriting.
Could you name a few artists that inspired Keep6 and perhaps some personal favourites?
Matt: Influences vary so much among all of us, it would actually make your head spin.(laughs)
And I think that is what makes us so unique. For instance I love the classics like Black Sabbath, Rush, Zeppelin, Alice in chains and that sort of thing.
Scott listens to things like a lot of modern stuff like Coheed and Cambria, Avenged Sevenfold, Dream Theater.
Shorre listens to a lot of heavier stuff as well as a lot of more independent and local bands. Jay will listen to funk and jazz one day, and death metal the next.
Shorre: Even then, I don't think any of us listen to anything that the others don't enjoy. We all have a huge range of influences, it's pretty difficult to narrow anything specific down. I guess I would say that Rush especially is a big inspiration to all of us.
Costas: (And that explains why you can switch so easily from a style to another within the same song and make it sound so natural!)
I hate to be a cynic, but there are easier ways to get rich and famous than entering the music business.
Moreover, progressive bands are even less likely to become a source of steady income for their members.
However, not only you're active, but you're already working on your third album! Why? What's in it for you guys? Is music that important to you?
Matt: Very good question Costas. I think in general it is more for the love of expressing ourselves through music.
I believe everyone has a song in them. Yes, we would love to make a living as full time musicians in the music business but our love of songwriting and live performances is what draws us to do this.
With "Four Fangs" we were able to get radio play all across the USA, as well as interest from some very reputable television production companies. Even little successes like that bring enough satisfaction to make it all worth while.
We are putting our heart and soul into these songs, our new material is turning out to be our best.
It's a very exciting feeling to get to share the songs with people who enjoy them.
Costas: (Honestly,I am impressed guys-not only you got airplay,but you did it with an album at least as good as your first one!)
Speaking of your albums, would you like to comment on Keep6's albums "Humanifesto" and "Four Fangs"?
Shorre: Personally, I really enjoy setting the three albums up and listening to how things have changed.
We recorded Humanifesto after having been together for less than a full year.
It's possible that this was a bit early haha! But I happen to think it was a good move for us.
The first album basically consists of the first ten songs we wrote and were recorded onto a little 16 track box before transferring them onto Pro Tools for mixing.So it has its rough edges. But, it was something tangible we could show for ourselves, and this was a great source of motivation for us.
As for the second album, I like to think of it a bit like the angst ridden teen years!
The songs were much more progressive and we were much more intense about pushing ourselves to our limits.
I ended up deciding to write a very dark concept for the album and the music was able to put a twisted spin on things.
It's a really fun album actually, in a eerie kind of way.
Costas: ("Rough edges in Humanifesto?" , "A bit too early?" But I love it !!!)
How were your albums perceived from both fans and press?
Matt: Its starting to become very difficult to get exposure from the press.
Music scenes in a lot of places are starting to become very saturated.
With so many acts fighting for attention it can be a real struggle, but I think I speak for the whole band when I say we've been pretty satisfied with the reaction. The second album especially. We've actually been working with a company called Tinderbox Music that did an eight week radio campaign in the USA and we managed to chart on more than a few stations. This side of things has been a huge learning experience.
Shorre: We've made more money off the album than we put in. I think that's a pretty sure fire sign that things have been going well.
We've have had a very strong core of dedicated fans from the beginning who are still coming out to shows today and the crowds keep getting better. The response from the USA has been quite flattering as well.
Costas: (*sighs* I wish I could attend just one of your shows.....)
Speaking of press and exposure, all the Major companies are trying to convince people that the Internet is the new El Dorado for the musicians and the fans alike. It's partially true, the Internet brings you in a more direct communication with the fans and helps spread the word.
However, as soon as a band gets some attention, the music becomes available for illegal downloading.
Moreover, I know personally of songs that got thousands of plays, but didn't sell any digital copies.
It seems that Internet is working only for those who can afford the cost of a professional promotion campaign.
It also appears that aspiring bands with self financed albums, usually don't get their money back, due to piracy. Any thoughts on the Internet and its influence on bands and fans?
Shorre: The truth of the matter is, is that the music industry is changing. And changing fast.
Things are not the way they used to be, and they never will be the same again.
The internet a very recent invention in mans history and we have a long way to go before we understand how to deal with the anarchy of the web.
Songs are getting downloaded, movies and T.V. too. This isn't going to slow down.
Its up to artists to find ways to adapt to the new environment. There is no point in grovelling over things.
Matt: The internet is definitely a tool of essence for any artist.....look at what Korn did for instance, they embraced the internet and ran with it, and look where they are today. As for pirating music, that is a whole other can of worms in itself.
Personally, I like genuine copies of CD's from my favorite artists and hate the idea of all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears put into each song being stolen. That someone can't afford a DOLLAR for a song is ridiculous!!!
Costas: (A song they claim to love,mind you!)
I am well aware that I haven't mentioned lyrics yet, but there's a reason.
The lyrics in both albums make me feel like I have just watched a movie of David Lynch.Beautiful images (both in the lyrics and the movies),but I'd be a liar if I said I completely understand them!
Maybe it's my limited grasp of English language, or maybe Keep6 share common beliefs with Lynch-he denies even commenting on his films, refuses to explain anything and says that understanding prevents from feeling.
Are your lyrics meant to be felt and not understood, or should I worry about my IQ?
Matt: This one is for you Shorre...
Shorre: Haha, I wouldn't worry too much Costas. I must admit to having some, at times, difficult to interpret lyrics.
When I started writing the lyrics to Humanifesto I was 17.
It wasn't my first attempt at writing lyrics but it was going to be the first time I had really taken the process seriously. I wanted to write an album about different situations, most of them with a kind of wrong place, wrong time kind of feel, that were about some sort of darker sides of humanity. A song about revenge taken a little further than intended, a song about an unstable victim, that kind of thing.
I've always had a fascination with the anti-hero. That is really the root of the story in Four Fangs. For the second album, I decided to write a concept album.
The album is based on a story I had written for an early version of what is now the song Fear, about a man who goes mad with guilt.
About 2 thirds through writing the album I decided to base all the lyrics off of the story, and I expanded it thoroughly.
Four Fangs in its modern form, is a story about a boy named Casio who is abandoned by his parents.
He ends up living a really rough life in the orphanage that he grows up in.
This causes him to develop a mild schizophrenia and a severe sleeping disorder.
He spends many nights alone, awake, in the dark until one night he is visited by a wolf.
This wolf tells him that he was not an only child, that his parents had also had a daughter. But they didn't abandon her like they did Casio, and because of this, Casio has to go exact his revenge on his parents by murdering his sister.
At first Casio doesn't believe but the wolf convinces him that this is the only way he will be able to fall back asleep.
He ends up finding his sister exactly where the wolf told him she would be. Unfortunately, killing his sister did not yield him the sleep he desired.
Completely distressed Casio demands answers from the wolf, but cannot seem to find him anywhere. Until finally, Casio finds the wolf staring directly at him through the mirror. Casio shoots himself in the face, finally getting the sleep he had been longing for! Of course, haha, I really do not expect you to get all of that! The album was written very much with the intention of describing the feelings of Casio, far more than describing the actual events. Casio is the good guy of the story, I wanted to sort of take you on the adventure from inside of his mind.
As for the new songs, I've taken a whole new approach entirely to match the new approach the guys have taken to the music.
I think I will hold off on giving away too much of what's to come though.
Costas: (Thank you Shorre for verifying I am not getting senile!)
Would you like to share with us your future plans?
Matt: What we as a band have learned and experienced with the prior two albums we recorded and released, really has been a wealth of knowledge for the third album's songs and future.
Each song is unique in its own way but not overly complicated as we felt that the groove nucleus was essential. The result has been overwhelming. Every song has its story. We truly feel this is our most accomplished writing yet and are very excited for the world to hear these songs.
I think the main plan is to continue to write, continue to do our best getting the music out for everyone to hear, and perhaps in the not too distant future, hop on a bus and actually take our music to the people!
Costas: ( Sounds like a great plan-if you ever need a roadie,let me know!)
Before we call it for a day, I wanted to thank you for the time you took for this interview.
You have my best wishes for your musical ventures!