Please introduce your band
Imagine the Foo Fighters and Muse stuffed in an underground studio during the "nuclear holocaust" with nothing but Weezer and Radiohead albums to session - yeah, I'd like to be fly on that wall too! Now you can, thanks to SixTwoSeven. Delivering the attitude of an Underdog and the punch of a Champion, SixTwoSeven's chunky guitar riffs, charismatic vocals, and emotional solos are the most beautiful ass whoopin' your ears ever took.
Tell us about your lineup
Greg "illfunk" Bilderback– lead guitar, lead vocals (2010–present)
Matt "the Machine" Bilderback– drums, backing vocals (2017–present), Keyboards (2016)
Jason "J Danger" Bilderback – guitar, backing vocals (2016–present)
Mike "MK Ultra" Knapp
Nathaniel "Natty Ice" Linville - guitar (2019-present)
David "DC" Cook (Former)– Drums (2016-2017)
Other projects involving members of SixTwoSeven over time have included, Wheelchair, Five Hoss Cartwrights, Test Proof Positive, the Phil Bilderback Trio, Alpine Frequency, Victor Cutoff, Drive on Mak, Jason and the ArgoScotts, illfunk and MC MD, illfunk and DJ Mindbender, and Bork Laser
How did the band meet?
We formed in 2016 after I, "illfunk" had been pushing the Self Produced Demo “Allow me for a moment...if you will...to be Frank" on the web for several years. The demo, featuring 7 songs recorded and played entirely by me, began gaining a little notoriety online. After garnering more than 25,000 streams, I was compelled to put together a live show lineup, and by mid-March 2016 we were starting to perform live as a 3 piece. By the end of March, a decision was made to add my big brother, J Danger to the lineup for the recording and ensuing tour because I was basically too scared to do it without him. A few short weeks later, while in the studio recording "Some Other's Day" with Nirvana Producer Jack Endino at Soundhouse Studios in Seattle (also known for his work with Mudhoney, and Soundgarden), another Bilderback was brought in. Initially, I thought he might just provide support for backing vocal tracks on the CD because he is far and away the best singer of us boys, but the band and Endino fell in love with his harmonic contributions, and shortly thereafter a Nord Stage Keyboard Sponsorship was awarded so that the boy could join us on stage. The album was mastered by Grammy Award Nominee Joe Lambert (The Revenant).
We did a West Coast Tour with Austin TX Punk-a-billy Drive On Mak, in the Summer of 2016, with stops in Seattle, Olympia, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Portland. We had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Drive on Mak, as well as Portland up and comers the Welkin Dim. You Should Check out Adam Kennedy's new project PM Tiger from Tampa, FL, (wink wink).
In early 2017, we parted ways with DC so he could be with his family, and Matty moved from keys to the full-time drummer of the band. We are currently a 5 piece with the addition of Nat Linville.
What's the story behind your band name?
SixTwoSeven is just my AMA Motocross Racing number 627 spelt out. The first recording I ever had was the demo for Motormouth and I entered it in an online song contest. I needed a name, the song was about racing dirt bikes so I took the easy way out and spelt it out as a name. Now it's been trademarked so I'm kind of stuck with it.
Tell us about your influences!
Well, I'm majorly influenced by skateboard, snowboard, and motocross culture personally. I also grew up listening to The Cure, Bauhaus, Joy Division, and then graduated into punk like DK, Nomeansno, and eventually fell into more mainstream alt-rock influences like Dinosaur Jr, Foo Fighters, QOTSA, Royal Blood, Weezer or Radiohead. I'm big into Pretty Reckless, Jack White, Brandi Carlile, and all the boys are huge fans of the late great Tom Petty. That's where our obsession for harmonies comes from, road trips with the brothers singing Tom Petty's greatest hits in every possible harmonic arrangement.
Could you describe your approach to songwriting?
That gets shaken up a lot as we go on because this morphed from a solo thing I was doing by myself at first to a full-on band where everyone writes songs. We each write our own parts, and every one of us has been the majority writer on at least one song. Usually, they start with a riff and a really bad improv melody vocal as I search about the ether looking for the "hook". When I have found it, we will all know, and then we kind of go back to that and see where it goes.
Describe your band's first big break
I'll have to let you know when it happens. For now, let's imagine it will be like that episode of "Saved by the Bell" where Zach and AC Slater were rehearsing with their band Zach Attack in Kelly Kapowski's Dad's garage, and a super famous record producer (in my fantasy it's Butch Vig) is jogging by and hears us. He's so blown away by what he hears that has to come knock on the door and speak to us. He proceeds to go on about how he absolutely must do a record with SixTwoSeven. (If Mr Vig is too busy I'd be down to sub him out for Steve Albini.)
Tell us about some of your most memorable gigs - both good and bad!
Headlining the Crocodile on a Friday night was pretty sick, I cannot lie. Opening for Agent Orange at the Whisky A Go-Go two times was also very cool. They are really sweet guys. We also played with Telekinetic Yeti, 1000 Mods, Sloppy Seconds and some other really great bands. There was even one gig that we did a benefit show to fight youth homelessness, we raised over $2100 and a whole van full of clothing donations, and all the bands on the bill were exclusively DubSeven Records bands.
What advice do you have to those who want to start a band?
Well, start one because you have to make music. That is the best reason, and the only one strong enough to endure. I am compelled to do this beyond reason. I have literally put all of my financial and emotional energy into building a sustainable system by which I can continue to create and release music whenever the mood strikes, which is all the time with me. The best bits are the live shows, the worst bits are the countless emails you have to send to keep things moving. It isn't all glamorous.
What are some of the challenges you face being in a band?
Getting through quarantine, surviving a member leaving. Sophomore slumps, bad home recordings, generating revenue. The hardest thing is believing that it makes sense to waste all this energy and money to make something that realistically most people might not ever hear. Why do I do this? Does it matter? It does to me I guess because I can’t sleep at night until I get all these songs out of me. It's like childbirth or something.
What does it take to be successful as a band?
99% drive and 1% talent. You have to be one tenacious motherfucker, to get from the part where you have no reason to believe, all the way to the part where others are starting to believe. By that time you're like, No Shit, we're gonna make it, we haven't got a choice. Literally, all of me is in this. Every single day, Nothing gets left in the tank.
How important is music theory?
I prescribe to the theory that if I like the way it sounds, it must be right.
Tell us about the releases you've put out to date
Allow me for a moment...if you will...to be Frank - 2011 DubSeven Records
Reckless Soul (Single) - Digital Only - 2016 DubSeven Records
Some Other's Day - 2016 - DubSeven Records
Some Other's Day (Deluxe Edition) - 2017 DubSeven Records
Heaven Knows / Runnin' with the Big Kids (single) - 2018 DubSeven Records
Already Gone / Dead on the Table (single) - 2018 DubSeven Records
New Solutions / A Winter in Palmyra (single) - 2018 DubSeven Records
Already Gone / Dead on the Table (LP) - 2018 DubSeven Records
The Mistrial / Motormouth (Single) - 2020 DubSeven Records
Small Craft Advisory / An Engineer's Lament - 2020 DubSeven Records
One Night Stand / Escape Clause - 2020 DubSeven Records
The EP Some Other's Day was released in August of 2016, and debuted at #606 on College Radio, and climbed to #173 before trailing off. It was on the charts for 12 consecutive weeks.
The LP titled "Already Gone / Dead on the Table” was released in September (29th) after a string of singles and B sides throughout the summer of 2018. The record debuted at #497 on the College Radio Charts, and broke into the top 150 the first week of October at #141, reaching as high as #135.
Our Newest singles have forgone a college radio campaign, but have seen the greatest success ever on streaming sites with over 3 million streams since October.
What has been your band's biggest achievement?
Surviving 5 years as a band is really hard by itself. Collecting all the necessary coins and tokens such that you can be found on the Google and look professional there, is also quite an ordeal. I'd say the thing I'm the proudest of us not only surviving as a band during quarantine but seeing our greatest commercial success to date, play out in pandemic times that are knocking bands off the list left and right, has to be the greatest achievement. We are family, what can I say?
How do you view the current state of the music industry?
There are opportunities to be had but don't quit your daydream. Meaning don't stop dreaming but don't be too quick to write off what a good day job can do for your ability to seize those hidden new opportunities. You may need talent, drive and hard work to get where you're wanting to go. Streaming is a new era, and I don't know how it will shake out, but it's not too likely that anyone is earning a substantive living from streaming alone.
What are you working on right now?
We have another 7 songs that will complete the LP Small Craft Advisory. We have another 8 songs acoustic album in the works that will have at least 5 new songs on it and maybe a couple of acoustic versions of lud rock releases from the past like Heaven Knows or something. We have another 4 or 5 loud rock songs in the drafting stages that will make up the following album so we are nowhere near out of material. I'd like to get to making a few more videos while we can't tour, digital content is the thing at the moment. Maybe one day we can get back to live shows, that is, after all, the only reason I got into this.
What is your focus for the year ahead?
More and more content. If we can’t be touring we can be making things. Generate a huge backlog of material to keep us going, and when live shows return we can get out of the studio and push all that content we made. It’s really about all you can do, that is how we have survived through this whole deal.
Thank you so much for dropping by the WeJam studio! Where can we follow your progress?