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Interview:
Electric Six has working process down pat
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

After 14 years and seven albums together, Detroit’s Electric Six has come to one conclusion about its working process: “Usually the last song that is written for (an album) is what we consider to be the best one,” says frontman Dick Valentine.

And in the case of this year’s “Zodiac,” that song is a funky piece called “Jam It In the Hole.”

“That was the closest thing we ever had to a jam session, where people got together and laid down ideas and we recorded it,” recalls Valentine, 38 (real name Tyler Spencer). “I had the lyrics sitting in my notebook, and we just kind of jammed it out.

“We’re always looking for that one song that makes the album that much more fun. This album wasn’t fun enough; parts were fun, but it needed one more fun song, and (‘Jam It In the Hole’) came together in the span of, like, a day. Then you realize the record is done, when your album seems fun enough.”

And the Electric Six, which has released an album a year since 2005, is already in the midst of that process again.

“I sound the alarm in November-December — ‘Send my your ideas,’ and so forth,” says Valentine, who resides in Brooklyn and recently composed songs for the new Internet zombie series “Bite Me.” “Then I see what I can write lyrics to and gravitate towards.

“We try to make sure everybody has their stuff represented, too. Our bass player (Smorgasbord) will submit 60 ideas. I can’t use all of those, of course, but he’ll send me six ideas for the next album before I’ve even thought about it. That’s because he doesn’t drink, I think. He’s addicted to (the computer recording program) Garage Band instead.”



The Electric Six and Millions of Brazillians perform Thursday, Dec. 30, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $23. Call 313-961-8137 or visit www.livenation.com.



Web Site: www.livenation.com

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