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Electric Six is still putting out high voltage
Electric Six has been nothing but prodigious, releasing 11 studio albums in the 12 years since the Detroit group's 2003 debut and the Jack White-assisted single "Danger! High Voltage."
The secret, according to frontman Tyler Spencer, aka Dick Valentine; keeping the bar high -- but not necessarily too high.
"when you have as much output as we have at this point, the idea that every record, every song has to be perfect -- you just don't operate that way anymore," Spencer, 43, explains by phone from East Lansing. "I think it loosens you up. We don't really put any pressure on ourselves to make 'great' albums and we just end up making a lot of good albums 'cause we don't crack under pressure.
"At this pint we're musical cockroaches. We're surviving. You just can't kill us off."
Electric Six's latest outing, "Bitch, Don't Let Me Die!" came out in October and, Spencer says, illustrates that philosophy. "It's a classic example of we're just gonna go in and the best 12 songs are gonna be the album," he says. "There's no real theme. We didn't have a 'sound' in mind. We went into (2011's) 'Heartbeats and Brainwaves' knowing it was going to be a synthesizer and drum machine album,' and (2013's) 'Mustang' was going to be the antithesis of that, 'Let's do a guitar record.'
"But the last record (2014's 'Human Zoo') was just kind of a sampler platter of whatever we came up with, and we did the same thing with this one, which is a lot of fun for us."
Spencer predicts Electric Six will start working on its 12th album soon, but 2016 will also be a heavy touring year -- including a return to the European festival circuit as what he calls "sort of a legacy/nostalgia band" amongst the hot newcomers.
"Every five years or so we get called into be the 'dad' band," he says. "We haven't done those (festivals) since 2009, so I think this will be our summer to do that again.
"It's OK. It beats the alternative. I never understood the concept that you had to stop doing music when you turn 30 or whatever. Two bands I want to model our career after are Guided By Voices and The Fall; they're totally doing it -- going gray, getting the dad guts and stuff. But we're all still doing it, which is great. At this point, I don't think I can do anything else."
Electric Six and MPV
Thursday, Dec. 31. Doors open at 9 p.m.
Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.
Tickets are $20.
Call 313-961-6358 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.
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