From the outskirts of America's vast auditory landscape hail Portland, Maine's 6gig-- a young rock band intent on establishing a new sonic frontier. While comparisons have been made to Failure, Quicksand, and Filter, frontman Walt Craven explains that "6gig is a unique combination of all the members' various styles and influences." "Hard rock without the high hair" is how 6Gig was recently described by national skate/snow magazine Transworld Stance, which nailed the band's sound as "inventive chord progressions that speak to thousands of desperate and disgruntled youth everywhere." Supported by a metal backdrop, 6Gig's set is composed of heavy guitars and an inclination towards emo-core.
Formed just over a year ago, the youthful foursome got their rock 'n' road education in the Northeast by touring incessantly with a number of established hard-rock acts, including Godsmack, Disturbed, Mudvayne, Fu-Manchu, Speedealer and Orgy. "I learned how to play guitar listening to Metallica," Walt Craven (6Gig vocalist) told the Boston Phoenix. "I have a sweet tooth for heavy guitar sounds." Walt credits the diverse music scene and supportive atmosphere of Portland (Maine) as an important part of 6gig's genesis: "Portland actually has a very cool scene with lots of bands and clubs that support live music. We were all in different bands when we first met. I happened to be in one of the same rehearsal spaces as our guitar player Steve.
I stopped in one night and Steve was jamming with Weave (bass) and Dave (drums). Things clicked right away for all of us. Steve and I have very different guitar styles and influences, but when we play together, it just seems to mesh." As the band coalesced and began to practice, they started the process of pooling their disparate influences into complete songs. "When we got together we took the pop stuff I had written, the heavy guitars that Steve was doing, and added in the punk styles of the other two," Walt says. What sprang from these sessions in a small, cold Portland room were the seedlings for the band's debut album, Tincan Experiment. The LP's 12-tracks were recorded at the scenic and remote Longview Farms in North Brookfield, Mass., Royal Tone Studios in Los Angeles, Calif.; Big Sound and The Studio in Portland, Maine. Co-produced by the band with Roger Sommers and Spencer Albee, Tincan Experiment's powerful first single "Hit the Ground," is evidence that 6gig is an out-of-the-box heavyweight contend
er. Dig deeper into the album and you will find subjects more resonant, to which listeners in the Northeast have already begun to relate: themes of isolation, rebellion, self-revelation, truth and falsehood, action and consequence. "But it's not all about themes and messages," explains Walt. "The lyrics are all not necessarily narrative or auto-biographical.
They are simple sketches. There's a lot of room for listeners to color those sketches with their own imagination, and to relate to the songs in their own personal way." The beautifully crafted and emotionally potent title track "Tincan Experiment" is a song about taking chances, the conflicting feelings of regret and vindication, and the satisfaction and loss that accompanies the transformations of life. "Talk Show," with its fist-shaking anthem, "Why can't I find my piece of mind? "What I found I found myself" is a rallying call to break out of oppressive situations and about the triumph of self over all else. The closing track "Willie" attaches an entirely new face to love that one may recognize upon close observation. It is a sketch of an obsessive desire that will stop at nothing to achieve its ends, which are at once both romantic and disturbing as guitars eerily drone in front of a full string accompaniment. 6gig had been together for less than 5-months when Los Angeles-based label Ultimatum Music caugh
t wind of the band.
The label arranged for them to perform in front of tens of thousands of Goo Goo Dolls fans at a show in South Carolina, and the reaction 6gig received was next to phenomenal. "We had never played a gig like that before!" recalls Walt. "That was only our fifth show and even tho we were much heavier than what we expedcted the crowd to be into, the audience really seemed to like it. We sold everything we had (home burned cd's, homemade iron-on t-shirts) and signed hundreds of autographs. It was really weird, but it felt great." 6gig were quickly signed to Ultimatum in April 2000. But as incredible as that sounds, just one listen to the remarkable debut LP makes it clear that this rookie quartet is indeed destined for acclaim far beyond their native New England soil.