Sixth Root
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Sixth Root

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Black
14
14 June 21-27, 2006
www.wirenh.com :
audiovideo
by Matt Desenberg
A mere three days after
uploading their new single “What
Is Real” onto the Internet music
mecca Garageband.com at the
end of May, the one-year-old
Dover alternative rock band Sixth
Root plucked top honors in the
Modern Rock category in no less
than five different classes: “Best
Guitars,” “Best Drums,” “Best
Bass,” “Best Production” and
“Grooviest Rhythm.”
A second bombing run
occurred the following week, with
repeat victories in the “Drums”
and “Production” polls, as well as
more creative nods such as “Most
Original” and “Rocking Track.”
As if the trophy case weren’t full
enough, the group topped off their
landslide Garageband.com debut
with “Track of the Day” honors
for June 5.
How does a band achieve such
a commanding sound? “(By) actually
finishing the song!” Sixth
Root bassist Greg Glasson jokes.
“What Is Real” will officially
be released Saturday, June 24, as
part of the band’s eponymous EP
celebratory release show at The
Barley Pub in Dover.
Despite how easy Glasson and
his comrades make it sound, it’s
not as simple as merely finishing
a song. The band weaves together
metallic, effect-laced riffs and
time signatures outside the common
4/4 (“What Is Real” has a
section of 13/8) with an epic,
space-driven sonic picture reminiscent
of Muse and U2, and a
few odds and ends thrown in for
good measure. Upon further conversation,
it’s apparent that what
makes the song so atmospheric is
not a big chorus, hook or other
gimmick, but rather a sprinkling
of each member’s unique personality
amid the sonic fray.
“‘What Is Real’ is a good example
of that,” Glasson says, referring
to the band’s collective songwriting
process. “I think Nick, who
writes a lot of the songs, brought
in the original riff, but Russ
changed it, Jim played with it, etc.
Before you know, the whole thing
just sort of takes shape.”
The band’s name is derived
from Dover’s Sixth Street, where
each of the musicians more or less
lived at one point. But with the
MySpace phenomenon in full
swing, bands are able to bypass
geographical boundaries, turning
to Internet forum communities for
access to instant exposure, criticism
and a potential new fan
base—all essentially for free. The
popular Garageband.com is more
or less the standard among such
sites, a digital beehive of charts,
ratings, profiles, street teams and
tour schedules for thousands of
bands in every imaginable category.
From blues to reggae, heavy
metal to fusion, any given band
can immediately find a place to
mesh, post mp3s of original material,
be reviewed, and essentially
forward their own musical agenda
upon subscribing to the site, which
is free.
What’s more, the charting system
is also designed to be as foolproof
as possible. As the band
noted in a press release on June
6, “The majority of the voting is
done by musicians and is taken
very seriously…. Unlike
MySpace, the votes cannot be
manipulated by the band or
friends. Songs are randomly sent
to reviewers and rated based on
the song’s relevance to its genre.”
Although you probably won’t
hear it played back to back with
the hookiest-of-the-hooky modern
rock, “What Is Real” is definitely
recognizable material and
seems to have hit a nerve with the
genre’s audience. Which, oddly
enough, seems to be less than a
top priority with the band.
“When we set out to write a
song, we don’t go for a hook,”
says Glasson, adorned in a plain
white shirt with a baseball cap
pulled low. Sitting down with
Glasson, guitarist Russ Graham
and tattoo-adorned vocalist Paul
Henderson in a local coffeehouse
(drummer Jim Rudolf and guitarist
Nick Phaneuf were otherwise
engaged), they all readily agree
that, while a given song idea may
come from one band member, it
spends time in everyone’s hands
and morphs accordingly. Often the
final result is something far from
the original concept. “It may
sound like a cliché,” Glasson elaborates,
“but we sound like us; we
have our own sound.” Informed
by the varied list of influences
mentioned in their online profiles,
which range from Peter Gabriel to
Muse to Coltrane, the sound they
create is, in many ways, original.
Case in point is Henderson’s
vocal style. Formerly of a softerside
acoustic duo, Sixth Root’s lead
singer can be best described as a
sixth instrument; he doesn’t rise
above or dominate the band, but
rather mirrors and gets inside of it,
fluidly riding the band’s signature
ever-shifting dynamics. While resting
firmly in a melodic metal vein,
Henderson’s performance on
“What Is Real” achieves an almost
mechanical quality one moment
and a soft croon the next. Two
parts song and one part straight
speech, his voice is as hard to categorize
as the band’s overall sound.
The sheen surrounding
Henderson’s lyrics is created with a
variety of effects and loops, such as
reverse delay and echo, whammy
pedals and flangers, many of which
are triggered onstage by
Henderson. Upon a first listen, it is
easy to assume (as this writer did)
that such processing was a result of
in-studio tweaking, which is often
times notoriously difficult to reproduce
live. According to Graham,
however, the process was reversed.
“Everything you hear on the record
came from our live set,” he says.
Produced by Maurice Labrie,
“What Is Real” and the additional
tracks that comprise the new EP
started, as many premiere recordings
do, as a simple demo: something
to offer bar and club owners
as a way to land more gigs. The
biggest challenge was finding
someone to help them capture
what they wanted to do.
“It’s hard to critique in that
environment and know when
(it’s) not good enough,” Graham
says, scratching at his spikes of
black hair. Henderson agrees.
“You’ve gotta have someone
who’s not invested,” he says,
“who’s not afraid to say, ‘Hey
man, your tone sucks, it’s just not
working.’”
Sixth Root will return to the
studio this summer, this time with
Josh Harris (who has remixed
albums by Korn and The Killers)
in charge, along with Labrie.
Glasson, Henderson and Graham
all agree that the next recording
will be about pushing themselves.
If they continue to fare as well as
they have so far, the unique Sixth
Root sound may soon become
everyone’s.
Sixth Root CD release
with The Velvet Morning
Saturday, June 24 at 9:30pm
Barley Pub, Dover
603-742-4226, ww.barleypub.com
www.garageband.com/artist/sixthroot1
www.myspace.com/sixthroot
Sixth Root raids Garageband.com
The Dover experimental rock band is set to release their debut EP,
featuring Internet success “What Is Real,” at the Barley Pub
Karen Marzloff
three-fifths of Sixth Root at The Brick House in Dover.
Monday night’s “Hush Hush
Sweet Harlot” series at the Red
Door delivered two local acts,
Jared Dubravsky and The
Dramadies, as well as
Brooklynite Jane Herships, who
performs as Spider.
Spider opened the night playing
songs off her CD, “The Way
to Bitter Lake,” music that evokes
dandelion fuzz scattering in the
sunlight: wispy, beautiful and delicate.
Her voice has earned her
favorable comparisons to Vashti
Bunyan. Musically, her gentle
acoustic strumming is infused
with an engaging, subtle pop sensibility
that makes her music fresh
and familiar all at once.
Spider was followed by
Exeter High School’s anachronistic
wunderkind, The
Dramadies. A four-piece dedicated
to capital “R” Rock ’n’
Roll, the band channeled an era
when arena rock could still
deliver emotion, before it
devolved into full blown hair
metal. This moment in musical
culture actually took place a
decade before most of the band
was born, but The Dramadies
proved they have the chops to
transcend the novelty of their
age. Singer and guitarist
Chelsea Paolini, still in 10th
grade, showed off not only an
ability to play her instrument
but to perform for and engage
an audience.
The Dramadies were followed
by country folk troubadour
Jared Dubravsky of
Kittery, sans his backup band,
The Next in Line. Dubravsky
brought a noticeable silence to
the room during his performance,
which was tinged with
country but with a heavier lilt
toward folk influences. His
songs were delightfully creaky,
the lyrical sadness of the songs
floating over bright chords.
Dubravsky is planning to record
a CD this summer, which he
expects will be slightly more
rooted in country than his solo
performances. The crowd also
got a surprise performance by
resident star and booking manager
Laurel Brauns, who played
two songs on acoustic guitar in
a quick but gorgeous set.
—Eryk Salvaggio
to listen
• Jared Dubravsky is at
www.myspace.com/jareddubravsky.
See him live at Dover Soul on
Saturday, July 29.
• The Dramadies are also on
myspace at
www.myspace.com/thedramadies,
and have a show at the Sad Café
in Plaistow on Tuesday, June 27.
• Spider is online at
Spidersongs.net.
Spider, The Dramadies and Jared Dubravsky @
The Red Door, Monday, June 12 - The Wire June 2006


Discography

Sixth Root- What is Real e.p released June 2006
www.Garageband.com
www.idolunderground.com
www.iac.com
100.3 WHEB in Portsmouth NH
www.wheb.com

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Formed in the winter 0f 2005, Sixth Root has quickly grown to become one of the most original rock acts to ever hit the seacoast of New Hampshire. The unusual mixture of diverse musical backgrounds is the driving force behind their unmistakable sound. Led by Paul Henderson(Henderson Band), Nick Phaneuf and Jim Rudolf(Texas Governor) and bass player Greg Glasson (who toured extensively with Rock act Dear Liza as a teenager and has toured with such acts as Blues Traveler, Derek Trucks, Cracker and Barenaked Ladies to name a few). Sixth Root has an array of influences ranging from King Krimson, Meshugga, Peter Gabriel, Thrice and Coltrane that are evident on their first ep released in June of 2006. The Wire Magazine calls Sixth Root ”An epic, space-driven sonic picture reminiscent of Muse and U2. IN June of 2006 Online music company Garageband.com propelled the bands signature track “What is Real” to the top Ten in modern rock and crowned it most original modern rock track for the week of June 26th. This caught the eye of remix producer Josh Harris who has worked exclusively with the Killers. Plans of a pre-production deal are currently being discussed for a fall session. Aside from their recent studio success, sixth root is primarily known for their high energy live shows and ability to translate their live sound larger than their studio efforts. A distinction to which few bands merit these days in comparison to their studio work…the band can be reached at www.myspace.com/sixthroot