Recently we caught up with Brighton pop-punk Six Time Champion on the back of their new EP, More Than Me, released late last month. We found out about a possible Slam Dunk Festival appearance and the potent mix of pop-punk and hardcore.
By Jane Howkins
You recently released an EP entitled More Than Me. What can you tell us about that, and the process of creating the EP?
Yeah it’s awesome to finally have that EP out. Our last proper release was almost 2 years ago so it’s great to have some new stuff to play at shows. It definitely feels like a progression in terms of sound. We tried to keep the energy from our previous releases, but it’s not about writing the same thing twice so we kept ourselves pretty open to trying new things.
The writing process behind this EP was actually pretty similar to our previous releases. The only real difference was the amount of time that went into it. Our first 2 EPs were really the first songs we ever wrote spread out over a couple of recording sessions. This time we actually sat down to write a record rather than a bunch of songs. It did take us quite a while but, as much as it sucked not being out playing shows, I think spending that time working on the release benefited it in a big way. In terms of the actual recording we went back to John Mitchell at The Outhouse in Reading. We worked on a single with him last year and it was a lot of fun so we were keen to go back for this one. He’s a lot of fun to work with and gets great results.
You’re from Brighton. What is the music scene like down there? We’ve had a few bands come through our doors from the city recently.
Brighton’s music scene is incredible really. There are venues absolutely everywhere and some really good practice spaces, universities, etc. so it makes it pretty easy for bands to start out. Obviously you’ve got bands like Architects, As It Is, Gnarwolves, Black Peaks, Dead Swans etc. that are all from Brighton so it’s a definite breeding ground for awesome bands.
Do you have any plans to release a full length release in the near future?
We’re not really too sure what we’re doing in terms of our next release just yet. Obviously, with More Than Me just being released, our primary focus will be touring and promoting that for a while. Having said that, we’ve started working on some new material pretty recently so there’s new music floating around. We’re just not at a point where we’ve made any decisions with what we’ll be doing with it yet.
Your lead single from More Than Me is called Down. What can you tell us about that?
We had that song pegged as the lead single when we first wrote it to be honest. There was something about it for us that sounded a little different to material we’d written before and it just felt like a good place to start. I think it’s the first song where we’ve really focused a lot around the vocal hook, but there’s a good balance between the tone, themes of the vocals and the instrumental side of things. It sort of encompasses the next step for the band as it has all the fundamental things that we have in our songs, but pushed them a little further and opened them up. It felt like the right move to push that as the lead single.
Do you have any tour plans at the moment and is there anywhere you particularly look forward to going?
Touring-wise we’ve got a few things in the works that haven’t been announced yet, mainly for early next year. If it all comes together we’ll be hitting a lot of places we’ve never been before which is always cool.
Do you plan to do any festivals next year? We can imagine you playing at Slam Dunk Festival!
Slam Dunk would be the one! We’re pushing to try and get on some festivals next year as it’s not really something we’ve done yet. There’s a lot of cool festivals throughout the UK and Europe so the chance to play any of those would be awesome.
Your music combines pop-punk with hardcore. How did you decide upon that combination? Most artists usually pick one or the other but it is an interesting mix.
To be honest it wasn’t something that we ever made a conscious decision about. Myself [Rich] and Simon were in a hardcore band together before we started Six Time Champion and as we tend to do the bulk of the writing. I guess that influence comes through in a lot of our stuff. I think there’s probably less of that in the songs on More Than Me compared to our first couple of releases as we’ve struck a better balance and got better as songwriters. For us the main thing is writing music that has a lot of energy to it because that’s what we enjoy playing.
What sort of music are you influenced by, and who do you recommend our readers check out?
Individually everyone listens to a massive range of music and brings those individual influences to their own parts really. I think that’s probably more evident on More Than Me compared to our previous releases. Obviously we all listen to a fair bit of pop-punk but outside of that we all listen to a real mix of different things which can help keep things a bit more interesting when you’re writing.
Definitely checkout the new Homebound EP when that comes out. They’ve been friends of ours for a long time and their new record is sick! I’ve also been listening to the new Trophy Eyes, To The Wind and In Her Own Words records a lot lately.
What can people expect from a Six Time Champion show, and why do you think people should come and see you play live?
Umm, that’s a tricky one! We always try and make sure shows are pretty rowdy and fun. We were on our record release tour a few weeks ago and someone punched the ceiling whilst crowdsurfing and a part of it fell down which was pretty funny! Playing live is the main thing we love about being in this band so we always put as much effort as we can into a good live show.
Any last words for the fans?
Just a big thanks to everyone that’s stuck with us over the past year and checked out the new release, come to a show etc. It means a lot and hopefully we’ll see everyone on tour next year!
More Than Me by Six Time Champion was released on 14 October 2016, available here