Musicscan: Who am I “talking to”?
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Arno Strobl : I'm Arno. I wrote the lyrics on most of the album, I'm also the lead singer on this one, but I'm not part of 6:33. That's why the album is released as a "6:33 & Arno Strobl" album. Formerly I was known as the singer of Carnival in Coal.
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Dietrich : I'm Dietrich, one of the two live keyboard players for the band. I'm also in charge of the drum programming, and handle the production of our albums.
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Nicko: I'm nicko, guitarist of the band and main composer of the music.
Musicscan: What is it for you guys to be called an avantgarde or progressive flavored band - is it somehow annoying or fine with you? Is this what 6:33 is all about musically?
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Arno Strobl : I think that both trademarks are ok with 6:33. Although we don't try to stick to one of them in particular. Avantgarde and progressive are both to be recognized through some aspects of our work, but there's much more than this. "Free metal" could also be used.
Musicscan: Can you perhaps tell us something about the intention and the spirit of 6:33 when the band came to be. Has this early intention/spirit changed in any way until today?
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Nicko: At the beginning of the band we didn't have a real idea or a directive line of what 6:33 had to be. We just wanted to create a music based on all our influences,not only in metal, a kind of weird marriage!
Today our intention is the same, but we have a better control on it. Our first album was a real outlet for us, but in restrospect it was too messy. "the stench..." shows up a particular ambiance, with a lot of different kinds of music, but it was put together very naturally.Today we can say there is the "6:33 paw".
Musicscan: And are there any principles you would never give up to with the band style-wise? What kind of?
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Dietrich: We swore we would never play Djent or Dubstep (laughs). Seriously, i think that in spite of the variety of ambiances of our tracks, we have a certain way of composing. I don't imagine ourselves doing a song just based on guitar riffs, we need to create a story about it.
Musicscan: What are you heading for in general? 6:33 seems to focus on constant change and you always have to expect the unexpected…
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Nicko: For me a song has to be free! When I start one I have no idea of its structure or how long it's gonna be, i only know the ambiance and the color of what i want it to be. The track builds itself and is finished only when i feel that its story has come to its end .
Musicscan: How important are compromises to your band? Should they play a major role at all? To me it seems that you're not willing to take compromises into consideration at all...
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Dietrich: You're right we're not. Compromises seem to be a sad thing for me, we do enough in life. If an idea looks good to us, we keep it, it's as simple as that.
Musicscan: Being around as a band with an own identity and vision does it bother you when you see or meet kids who ignore you or have a different understanding of what your music and your style means to you? Are there many people that cannot understand what you are heading for musically?
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Dietrich: I have the feeling that 6:33's music is perceived a bit differently on the album than on live. Our shows are very theatrical and with offbeat humour, we wear masks and are very punchy on stage. All that opens a bridge with the people who would maybe tell themself "wow it's a bit too weird and complicated for me", it makes things more open and digest.But that doesn't mean we're a "funny" band (as some people could maybe think). I find this adjective simplistic.
Musicscan: Do you feel that 6:33 has already found its “own” sound, or is it still evolving?
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Nicko: Yes today i really feel that 6:33 has found its sound, at least its world. But the goal of each musician (concerning the band) is to make his music evolve like he does in his life. "The stench..." represents who we are today, we'll go on our way and let's talk about it again in 5 years! (laughs)
Musicscan: If you compare the visions you had of your collaboration with Arno Strobl and compare it to your impressions listening to “The stench…” now – what´s the difference, is there any?
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Dietrich: I had less white hairs in my visions (laughs). It was hard to make a real idea of what the result would be, as Arno had written a big part of the lyrics on his side, and we didn't have a eye on it. But we did have the general spirit of it, and it was respected. The only difference for me is the development of the "dark" side, that you can find for example on the title track. It's a thing i wasn't expecting, and it was a very good surprise.
Musicscan: What stands out in your mind about the chemistry of the writing and the recording of the album? How did this contribute to the overall sound and feel of the album?
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Arno Strobl : We mostly recorded the album Nicko, Dietrich and me. Nicko and Dietrich know each other very well, and then I dropped in. It was kind of a bet, because no one knew if we were about to get along this well. We really had a great time writing arrangements and recording the album, I really think "The Stench" is mostly the result of us three "clicking" together.
Musicscan: There are a lot of bands now that are heavy without really using metal aesthetics. Do you feel like a part of that? What current bands do you think of as your peers or bands that you feel a commonality with?
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Dietrich : Metal makes definitly part of our culture, but we are all interested in quite every kind of music.In a project as open as 6:33, it was obvious that we couldn't be limited by only one genre. We try to give every part of the tracks a good reason to be there. The result is heavy but the sensation of strengh can come from other elements than a heavy drum double bass pedal or a loud guitar. It's all parts put together that give this impression, and in this case we're feeling close to many bands, not always because of the music itself, but because of the approach of it: Ulver, Devin Townsend,Leprous, Nine inch nails, and many more!
Musicscan: Where do you guys see the line drawn between progressing on what you do well, and completely offering a new direction or sound? Especially in the context of your band of course…
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Nicko: As a composer i'm in a constant learning, of my instrument and keyboards programming. The danger is to get habits, it makes me feel like I would repeat myself. Trying to create something new makes us experiment on new stuff and pushes us forward.
Musicscan: Do you think it is necessary to create a certain distance between you and the music in order to get a better understanding of its inherent quality – how do you handle such question in the context of 6:33?
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Nicko: i'd like to be able to create a bigger distance between me and our music, but when i compose a song i can spend several nights keeping working on it until it's finished.The other members of the band always give their point of view, and i ask myself very often about the quality of the structures and the sounds. But the idea's got to be immediate, and if i don't like it today, there's no chance i'll like it tomorrow.
Musicscan: What are you looking for in your songs? Do you think there are still genuinely new sounds to be discovered or can modern music basically be said to be a recombination of already existing forms and known elements?
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Arno Strobl : I feel very close personally from the 90's state of mind, back when creativity was such a boiling caudron. Melting different stuff together may be one axis of creativity, but it's not the only one. There are plenty of things to do, the very first one being to try and record the music that you've got in your mind, and not what you heard on the radio the day before. Being unique is not the goal in itself. Being unique is a consequence, when you're working as an artist with dedication and honesty.
Musicscan: A strong part of your sound is about experimentation. Of the songs you guys have recorded, which one do you feel crosses the most borders? What other borders, musically speaking, do you guys wanna knock down in future?
6:33 & Arno Strobl: Arno Strobl : I think each song on the album smashes borders its own way. Even "I Like It" that sounds like the most easy tune on the album is a desecration of how a metal band would be supposed to sound like. Maybe the title track is one of the most "border crusher", but once again, none of this has been written as a musical statement or to be "different" on purpose. We just wanted to include everything that we like in our music, just so the album looks like the reunion of what we are as musicians and individuals.