Electric Six is a six-piece American rock band formed in 1996 in Royal Oak, Michigan. Their music was described by AllMusic as a combination of garage, disco, punk rock, new wave, and metal. The band achieved recognition in 2003 with the singles "Danger! High Voltage" and "Gay Bar", and have since released 14 studio albums, two rarities albums, and one live album. A live DVD, Absolute Treasure, was released in 2014. The current lineup of the band consists of vocalist Dick Valentine, lead guitarist Johnny Na$hinal, keyboardist Tait Nucleus?, rhythm guitarist Da Vé, bassist Rob Lower, and drummer Hyperkube Bonanza. Session drummer Todd Glass has played on studio albums since 2016.
|Also known as||The Wildbunch|
|Origin||Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S.|
|Past members||The Rock and Roll Indian|
John R. Dequindre
Formation and the Wildbunch years (1996–2000)Edit
The band formed in 1996 and was initially known as The Wildbunch, eventually dropping that name due to pressure from the British group of the same name. Throughout the latter half of the 1990s, they played regularly at the Old Miami and the Gold Dollar in Detroit, the center of a scene that produced breakout acts like the White Stripes. The band was originally composed of Dick Valentine (Tyler Spencer, lead vocals), M (Cory Martin, drums), The Rock and Roll Indian (Anthony Selph, lead guitar), Surge Joebot (Joe Frezza, rhythm guitar), and Disco (Steve Nawara, bass and former member of The Detroit Cobras). Valentine has always been the primary songwriter, both music and lyrics, of Electric Six. During the band's temporary split at the end of the 1990s, he formed his own band called The Dirty Shame and released one CD titled Smog Cutter Love Story which featured, among other tracks, a first version of Fire track "Vengeance and Fashion." The band reformed by 2001 to record and release the first release of "Danger! High Voltage" and record the track "Dealin' in Death and Stealin' in the Name of the Lord" with Troy Gregory for his Sybil album.
Fire and mainstream success (2001–2004)Edit
The 2003 release of "Danger! High Voltage" (produced and mixed by Damien Mendis and Stuart Bradbury) proved a massive hit, particularly in the United Kingdom. The single also garnered the band public attention after a rumor got out that a pre-fame Jack White from The White Stripes sang backup vocals on the single track "Danger! (High Voltage)" when it was recorded. Although this was presented as fact in multiple sources, then-guitarist Surge said in an interview:
'What about the Jack White rumors? Who sings with Dick Valentine in the song?' Surge responds, 'No, no it's a fan. We put a competition out, um and he won, he's a mechanic, it wasn't Jack White.' Disco adds, 'Yeah he was probably the only person that entered!'
In another interview, former drummer M. said: "My attorney has advised us to neither confirm nor deny the presence of Jack White." Still, the rumor persisted that White was featured on the song. Both he and Electric Six denied this, and the vocal work was credited officially to the unknown John S O'Leary.
The band's 2003 debut Fire (also produced and mixed by Damien Mendis and Stuart Bradbury) earned the group significant critical success, landing the "Danger! High Voltage" single at number 2 on the UK singles chart. Their second single, "Gay Bar", released in 2003, reached No. 5 in the UK charts. The album made it into several best-of-2003 lists, as well as reaching the top 10 in the UK album chart, and another single "Dance Commander", which gave Electric Six its third Top 40 single in the UK.
After finishing the recording of Fire, three members left in June, leaving Dick Valentine, M, and Tait Nucleus?. Johnny Na$hinal (John Nash, lead guitar, member of The Volebeats, The Witches and solo effort The Alphabet), The Colonel (Zach Shipps, rhythm guitar, ex member of Brendan Benson, The Atomic Numbers and Mood Elevator), John R. Dequindre (Chris Peters, bass/guitar) and Frank Lloyd Bonaventure (Mark Dundon, bass) (both-ex members of Ann Arbor's whirlingRoad, Getaway Cruiser and Six Clips) subsequently joined the group, although The Colonel had to opt out of early performances due to prior touring commitments. In time, Dequindre switched from guitar to bass and Bonaventure left to attain a law degree.
Señor Smoke (2005)Edit
The band's second album, Señor Smoke, was released in the United Kingdom on February 14, 2005. Since the band had been dropped from their previous American record label, a North American release of the album was delayed until February 7, 2006, when it came out on Metropolis Records.
The first single from the album put the band at the center of controversy, especially with Queen fans, following a cover of the Queen hit song "Radio Ga Ga." The controversial music video shows lead singer Dick Valentine as the ghost of Queen's lead singer Freddie Mercury and a backing band of poodles. Queen drummer Roger Taylor, who wrote the song, said that he was "unimpressed" with the video; Queen guitarist Brian May reportedly liked it.
Though some have claimed this video portrays me dancing on Freddie Mercury's grave, but that wasn't the idea. Actually it's more like we are resurrecting Mr. Mercury for the duration of the song and his grave is the logical starting point. We just were trying to show him being resurrected from the grave for three and a half minutes. I guess a video like that can be taken the wrong way, but we hadn't looked at it like that. Anyhow, everyone knows we disliked the fact that we had to put this song on our record, so this ridiculous video took a little bit of the sting out of it for us and made it somewhat bearable. It was also very rewarding to work with dogs. In terms of the response we've had, some people think it's brilliant. To the others, we can only apologise. We never meant for it to be taken that way. But I definitely respect Freddie and his work.
In November 2004, drummer M. called it quits, leaving Dick Valentine as the sole original member of the former Wildbunch. Their new drummer, Percussion World (Mike Alonso), had been affiliated with the band and its members for some time, and was named as a permanent member of the band.
Electric Six finished recording their third album, titled Switzerland, in November 2005 and released it in North America on September 12, 2006. The band intended to record a video for every song on the album, "a lot of them...low budget." At present, eight videos have been released.
I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me From Being The Master (2007)Edit
In May 2007, Swedish bassist Smörgåsbord! (Keith Thompson, member of Johnny Headband) joined the band, replacing John R. Dequindre on the bass, who reportedly wished to spend more time on his other musical projects.
I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me from Being the Master, Electric Six's fourth studio album, was released October 9, 2007. It has sixteen tracks. In the UK the album was released on October 22.
16 of the 18 tracks recorded were used on the album. There were no singles in support of this album; however, the band have had several music videos produced and spread over the internet for a number of tracks on the album.
Flashy and Sexy Trash (2008)Edit
A fifth album, Flashy, was released on October 21, 2008. This same year the band won the 2008 "My Heart" Competition for this album.
The band promoted the album in the US, the UK and Spain on their 'Hitting the Walls and Working the Middle' tour. A 30 track album of demos and previously unreleased material titled Sexy Trash was released and made available at those shows.
In May 2009, Metropolis records released "Covered in Gas" by Evil Cowards, a project by Valentine and Fall On Your Sword's William Bates.
KILL was released on October 20, 2009 in the US with the UK release following on November 2, 2009.
Dick Valentine told the audience at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia on April 30, 2009 that the new fall release would be titled "Jared Styles"; however the final name for the album simply became KILL.
A music video for first track on the album, "Body Shot", has been released on the internet, and is featured on the upcoming soundtrack of Michael Benveniste's "Tedd Can Chronicles".
On February 14, 2010, Dick Valentine announced via the Electric Six website that the band is in the process of recording their 7th studio album. Valentine also mentioned that this album would contain a cover song that they have been contemplating for a long time. This cover has since been confirmed as "The Rubberband Man" by The Spinners.
On April 30, 2010, Dick Valentine confirmed at a concert at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana that the seventh album would be a twelve-track compilation titled Zodiac. It was released on September 28, 2010.
Heartbeats and Brainwaves and Absolute Pleasure (2011–2012)Edit
The band's eighth studio album is titled Heartbeats and Brainwaves, as announced through their official website on June 22, 2011. It was released on October 11. It was the first release of which Johnny Na$hinal served as producer. Previews of five tracks from the album were posted on the band's official Facebook page.
On January 30, 2012, the band announced via their website and Facebook that they were going to release a live album, entitled Absolute Pleasure, set for release in the fall of 2012. The album was recorded at shows in Minneapolis and Chicago in May. Absolute Pleasure was initially reported to be a double-disc album, with the first disc containing the entirety of their first album, Fire, and the second containing their "favorite tracks from all the other albums", however, these plans changed in development and the finished product was a single-disc amalgamation of both discs' content." A live DVD of Fire was also going to be filmed at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in London on December 15, however, these plans were cancelled and later revisited as the band's 2013 Absolute Treasure Kickstarter project.
Mustang and Absolute Treasure (2013–2014)Edit
On February 16, 2013, the band launched a Kickstarter campaign for a live DVD called Absolute Treasure. The project was intended to give Electric Six the funds to film and release a live DVD of a performance to be filmed on September 7, 2013. The funding was successful.
Absolute Treasure was released for download in February 2014.
Human Zoo and Mimicry and Memories (2014–2015)Edit
Towards the end of their 2013 tour, Dick Valentine confirmed on stage that they were working on a new unnamed album to be released in 2014. On January 22, 2014 the Electric Six Facebook page posted "Hey Crazies...work has commenced on studio album # 2,143...or 10, depending upon how you're keeping score. It'll be out in the fall. No confirmed title yet, so don't ask."
On the 6th of June 2014, Electric Six launched their second Kickstarter project; this time for a two-disc album entitled Mimicry and Memories. Disc 1, Mimicry, being a cover album. Each member of the band personally selected a song to cover and the funding packages offered four fans the chance to choose a song to be included on the album. Songs to be included on Mimicry include covers of One by Harry Nilsson, The Warrior by Patty Smyth and Scandal, The Look by Roxette, Do You Love Me? by Kiss, Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac, Easy Lover by Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey, Turn Me Loose by Loverboy and Cat People (Putting Out Fire) by David Bowie.
Disc 2, Memories, served as a sequel to Sexy Trash, offering another selection of rarities, demos and B-sides from the band's back-catalogue. The project was successfully completed and was released to the public in March 2015.
Bitch, Don't Let Me Die! and Roulette Stars of Metro Detroit (2015–2016)Edit
On March 24, 2015, it was announced that bassist Smorgasbord was to leave the band. He was subsequently replaced by Matt Tompkins, AKA Rob Lower, from the band Mighty Tiny.
On January 7, 2016, the band suggested via their Instagram page that longtime drummer Percussion World would be leaving the group. A few weeks later, he surfaced as the new drummer for Celtic punk band Flogging Molly under his real name, Mike Alonso. He was replaced by Noah Appel, AKA Two-Handed Bob, who also was in Mighty Tiny with Matt Tompkins earlier.
2016 saw the fruition of the band's Roulette Stars of Metro Detroit project - a mockumentary feature film starring the band as themselves, funded by Kickstarter and complete with soundtrack album.
Fresh Blood for Tired Vampyres and You're Welcome! (2016)Edit
On July 29, 2016, the band announced its twelfth studio album, Fresh Blood for Tired Vampyres, which was released on October 7, 2016. Two Handed Bob left and was replaced by Hyperkube Bonanza (Ray Kubian). In September, the band launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund You're Welcome!, a double-album with one disc being a covers album - a sequel to Mimicry - and the second disc being a live album - a sequel to Absolute Pleasure. The live album contained the show recorded at the O2 Academy in Oxford on the 22nd of April 2017. You're Welcome! was released in September 2017.
How Dare You? and A Very Electric SiXmas and Chill Out! (2017)Edit
In October 2017, Electric Six released its thirteenth studio album, How Dare You?. In November, the band launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of a double album entitled A Very Electric SiXmas and Chill Out! with the first disc being a Christmas studio album and the second disc a live album containing a set of stripped-down versions of the band's songs.
Bride of the Devil (2018–present)Edit
Sound, style, and influencesEdit
Electric Six incorporates a variety of styles, resulting in being termed a "genre-blurring" band. The group's sound has been described as a synthesis of "disco, synth pop, glam, and arena rock," including the falsetto vocals of disco, laden with "rampant solos, be they guitar riffs, synth wails, or strutting drums" that enforce the band's "energetic sound." However, the band members themselves have rejected such genre classifications as "disco-metal" and "disco-punk."[clarification needed]
Critics have termed their lyrics as "disaffected, angry, ironic and lustful", expressing "macho flippancy" and "tongue-in-cheek pomposity". Dick Valentine has estimated that "90 percent of our songs, maybe even higher than 90 percent" are "about absolutely nothing." Songs by Electric Six are often concerned with subjects such as human sexual behavior, masculinity, dancing, hypersexuality, fast food and fire (The band's official biography states that their debut album Fire was so named because they "noticed an abundance of the word fire on this record and...decided to go with it."). Lead singer Dick Valentine had commented on the aforementioned lyrical tendencies in song content with regards to the band's third album:
[...] for the first time, none of the songs have the word "dance" or variation of "dance" in the title. But fear not. We have songs with "drugs" and "girls" and "tonight" and "night" and "louder" and "party" in the title, so we haven't given up on our philosophy just yet.— 
- Fire (2003)
- Señor Smoke (2005)
- Switzerland (2006)
- I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me from Being the Master (2007)
- Flashy (2008)
- KILL (2009)
- Zodiac (2010)
- Heartbeats and Brainwaves (2011)
- Mustang (2013)
- Human Zoo (2014)
- Mimicry (2015)
- Bitch, Don't Let Me Die! (2015)
- Roulette Stars of Metro Detroit (2016)
- Fresh Blood for Tired Vampyres (2016)
- You're Welcome! (2017)
- How Dare You? (2017)
- Bride of the Devil (2018)
- A Very Electric SiXmas (2018)
- Streets of Gold (2021)
- TBA (2022)
|2014||Absolute Treasure||John Anderson||Dick Valentine, Tait Nucleus?, Johnny Na$hinal, Percussion World, Smörgåsbord, Da Ve||Tyler Spencer||Mel Caceres, Phil Crossland, Pat Divis, Sharon Iles, Peter Schofield & Niles Stanbery||A concert film of the band's performance at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, Michigan on September 7, 2013.|
|2016||Roulette Stars of Metro Detroit||Tom Lehrer & Tom Nahas||Dick Valentine, Tait Nucleus?, Johnny Na$hinal, Percussion World & Da Ve||Tyler Spencer||Chris Fuller||A mockumentary film starring members of the band as fictional versions of themselves.|
|2019||Electric Six: Live in Liverpool||Tom Lehrer & Tom Nahas||Dick Valentine, Tait Nucleus?, Johnny Na$hinal, Percussion World & Da Ve||Tyler Spencer||Chris Fuller||A concert film of the band's performance in Liverpool, UK on the 18th of May, 2019 - funded and released via Kickstarter.|
|2020||Electric Six: Live from Quarantine||Tom Lehrer & Tom Nahas||Dick Valentine, Tait Nucleus?, Johnny Na$hinal, Percussion World & Da Ve||Tyler Spencer||Chris Fuller||A live-streamed concert film of the band performing a socially-distant set during the Coronavirus pandemic.|
|2020||Electric Six: Halloween Spooktacular||Tom Lehrer & Tom Nahas||Dick Valentine, Tait Nucleus?, Johnny Na$hinal, Percussion World & Da Ve||Tyler Spencer||Chris Fuller||A Halloween-themed concert film shot and broadcast live during the Coronavirus pandemic.|
|2020||It's The Most Wonderful Time...Of The Least Wonderful Year.||Tom Lehrer & Tom Nahas||Dick Valentine, Tait Nucleus?, Johnny Na$hinal, Percussion World & Da Ve||Tyler Spencer||Chris Fuller||A Christmas-themed concert film shot and broadcast live during the Coronavirus pandemic.|
- Phares, Heather. "Electric Six: Band overview". Allmusic. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- ""Absolute Treasure" live concert film now available for download". Electricsixnews.blogspot.com.
- Phillips, Amy (April 2, 2003). "Sax as a Weapon: You Didn't Know that Rock 'n' roll Burned". The Village Voice. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- "Meet the Electric Six". ElectricSix.com. Archived from the original on July 1, 2006. Retrieved July 14, 2006.
- Wheeler, Jeremy (2003). "The White Stripes: Candy Coloured Blues – Unauthorized". The New York Times. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- Doster, Eve (December 25, 2002). "Fanning the Fire: Boozing with the boys of Electric Six". Metrotimes.com. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- Kharakh, Ben (September 6, 2006). "Dick Valentine, Musician, Electric Six". Gothamist. Archived from the original on December 8, 2006. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- "Troy Gregory: Sybil". Fall of Rome Records. Archived from the original on October 22, 2006. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- Strauss, Neil (February 16, 2003). "MUSIC: SPINS; Burning Down the Garage". The New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
- Mitchum, Rob. "Review: Danger! High Voltage EP". Pitchforkmedia.com. Archived from the original on August 24, 2006. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- Shireen, Nadia (January 2, 2003). "Detroit funk-rock to set the disco on fire". BBC. Retrieved April 25, 2007.
- "Fire". Metacritic. Retrieved April 25, 2007.
- Rearden, Rachel. "antiMUSIC article Electric Six – Detroit Rockers Invade the UK". Antimusic.com. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
- Laurence, Alexander (August 2003). "Electric Six interview". Freewilliamsburg.com. Archived from the original on March 19, 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2007.
- Laurence, Alexander (2003). "Electric Six Interview" Archived March 19, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Free Williamsburg Retrieved on May 17, 2006
- Collective editor (2002). "Detroit funk-rock to set the disco on fire" BBC.co.uk Retrieved on May 17, 2006
- "Best of 2003". Metacritic.com. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- "Best in Music 2003". Freewilliamsburg.com. December 2003. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- "Favorite Music of 2003". Perfect Sound Forever. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- Wagel, Ray (2006). "Clocked In: Don't You Want to Know How They Keep Starting Fires?". Ann Arbor Paper. Archived from the original on December 7, 2006. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- "Coachella 2004". Virtual-Festivals.com. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
- Fury, Jeanne. "NY Rock Confidential". Archived from the original on December 12, 2006. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- "Electric Six Upset Queen Fans With Radio Ga Ga Video". ContactMusic.com. November 24, 2004. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- "Queen 'unimpressed' by Electric Six video". Kerrang!. December 3, 2004. Archived from the original on January 8, 2006. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- "Electric Six Go Radio Ga Ga". XFM Online. Archived from the original on December 31, 2004. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- "Electric Six official website – Music + Videos". Archived from the original on October 27, 2006. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
- "I Buy the Drugs". YouTube. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
- "Chocolate Pope". YouTube. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
- "Mr. Woman". YouTube. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
- "Pulling the Plug on the Party". YouTube. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
- "There's Something Very Wrong With Us So Let's Go Out Tonight". YouTube. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
- "Infected Girls". YouTube. Retrieved August 23, 2007.
- "Rubber Rocket". YouTube. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
- Fire butt, Johnny (February 20, 2007). "Electric Six". craveonline.com. Archived from the original on February 27, 2007. Retrieved March 13, 2007.
- "Electric Six". Electricsix.com. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- ""Important Information Re: Electric Six and the new album "Zodiac"..."". Archived from the original on May 14, 2011.
- "Electric Six Official Facebook". Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- "Electric Six to release live album in 2012". Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- "Electric Six single disc only live album". Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- "Electric Six announces London date in December at Shepherd's Bush Empire". Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- "The Politics Of Dancing: An Election Year Blog By Dick Valentine @ Antiquiet". Antiquiet.com. March 5, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- "Electric Six - Live DVD "Absolute Treasure"". Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- "Thank you!". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- "Hey Crazies - Electric Six Facebook". Facebook.com. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- "Halloween Fingers [Explicit]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
- "Hey Crazies album update". Facebook.com. January 22, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
- "Human Zoo Title". Facebook.com. May 16, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
- "Human Zoo". Open.spotify.com. October 13, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
- "Mimicry and Memories". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
- "Final Tracklisting for Mimicry and Memories". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
- "Dick Valentine". Facebook. February 13, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
- "Smorgasbord to Leave Electric Six After Eight Years | ElectricSix.co.uk". Electricsix.co.uk. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
- "A Very Electric SiXmas & Chill Out! by Electric Six". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
- "New Electric Six album announced | ElectricSix.co.uk". Electricsix.co.uk. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
- "Bride of The Devil, by Electric Six". Electricsix.bandcamp.com. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
- Hayman, Max (June 6, 2006). "Electric Six Revitalized and Ready to Hit the Road". Chart. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
- Phares, Heather. "Review of Señor Smoke". AllMusic. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- Hunter, Sandy (July 3, 2003). "Electric Six". Epitonic.com. Archived from the original on December 1, 2006. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- Schild, Matt (June 11, 2003). "Detroit's Burning". Aversion.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2007. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- Lipton, Eric F (March 23, 2006). "Rocking through the pain". The Daily Page. Retrieved July 14, 2006.
- Phares, Heather. "Review of Fire". AllMusic. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- "Frequently Asked Questions 2006". ElectricSix.com. January 19, 2006. Archived from the original on June 15, 2006. Retrieved July 14, 2006.
- Miccio, Anthony. "Smoke Rings: Getting silly, rocking out, and dissing the president with Detroit's Electric Six". Seattle Weekly. Archived from the original on December 30, 2006. Retrieved January 1, 2007.