Showing continual evolution in sound and structure and drawing influences from several sources (Dischord-style post hardcore, punk rock and metallic riffs), Italian noise rock/post hardcore band SIX FEET TALL sheer away from the more conventional aspects of noise rock and opt for a more emotional and unpredictable sound which explores darker avenues of punishing riffs while seamlessly intertwining atmosphere and melody. Today, we’re please to give you the first stream of their new EP “Be Grave with Your Life”, set to be unleashed through Mothership Records on June 12th 2020.
For fans of: Whores, Mutoid Man, Jawbox, Coliseum
SIX FEET TALL are based in Perugia, Italy, and made their debut in 2016 with a debut EP for UA’ Records. The band started touring Italy right away and embarked in a UK tour in 2017. In 2019 they revamped the lineup, which now includes Michele Perla from Die Abete on guitar, Andrea Gentili and Federico Mazzoli from Northwoods, respectively on drums and on bass, Diego Coletti, singer of punk rockers Cayman the Animal, on guitar and vocals.
Comments the band:
As a fourtet, we managed to write six new songs in a relatively short period of time and recording them as soon as they were ready was the most natural thing to do, and we did so, without thinking too much about it. This really felt like a fresh start, so releasing another EP, instead working on a full-length album, was probably smarter. Let’s be honest, we’re not good enough to write a 40 minutes long record and not make it boring!
There isn’t a single concept that describes the record.
We like to get inspired by words, their sound and rhythm, eventually a meaning will come later on. We think our music is incoherent but really focused at the same time. It’s restless, indolent, nervous but also positive. We like to sing about good intentions, dissatisfaction, distorted memories, the fear of death that keeps you awake at night, fragile hopes.
The pun on the record’s title sums up our vision of life. It’s funny, but tragic.
“Be Grave with Your Life” was recorded between 2019 and 2020 in Rome (Cinque Quarti Studio with Lorenzo Amato) and Perugia (HD studio with Alberto Travetti, where the vocals were recorded). The record was mixed by Dave Curran of the UNSANE at Trai Studio (MI) and mastered by Claudio Adamo at Fonoprint Studio in Bologna, Italy. The artwork is by Alessio Marchetti (Tutti I Colori Del Buio, Rope) and its vivid imagery based on decontextualized childhood perfectly matches the concept of the EP: life, death and (false?) hopes.
We started Six Feet Tall about 4 years ago now. All of us have been in a thousand different bands before, but most of them lasted just a month or so. Probably, we’ve just been lucky with this one, as the chemistry was right since the very beginning without really planning what sort of music we wanted to play. We released our first self-titled EP in 2016 and played quite a lot of shows in support of that, we also did a small tour in the UK a year later.
Then we got a bit stuck. Our other bands (Diego sings in Cayman The Animal. Federico and Andrea play in Northwoods) took most of our free time during those years, and we also felt like our sound needed to evolve, but always being the three of us wasn’t really helping.
Eventually, our friend Michele moved to our city, Perugia, and we asked him to join the band. We already knew what an amazing and eclectic guitarist he is, being big fans of his other band, Die Abete, which plays a really explosive mathcore.
Producing the EP was a long process and it involved 4 different engineers, each of them was chosen for a specific reason.
Lorenzo Amato (of Max Carnage) tracked all the music. He’s an amazing engineer and we knew he could deliver a pristine recording of our music, to have a lot of freedom at the mixing stage. Alberto Travetti (a.k.a. Trave) recorded Diego’s vocals. They’re long time friends and they’ve been in bands together since they were kids, which, along with alcohol, helped a lot to make the recording process much more pleasant. You know, tracking vocals can get really frustrating if you’re not in the right mood. Diego being comfortable was the priority, but Trave also has a great taste when it comes to arranging music and layering vocal tracks, and we knew he could help us get the best out of our songs.
About mixing, we had a pretty clear idea of how we wanted this album to sound like, and no one better than Dave Curran (of Unsane) could make it happen. Dave lives in Italy now and we met with him a few times, which felt better than asking a complete stranger to work on your music. There’s nothing much to add, we had a sound in mind and he brought it to life, we wouldn’t change anything about it.
The record was mastered at Fonoprint Studios in Bologna, by our friend Claudio Adamo (of Cani Dei Portici). He’s a top class engineer in Italy, and the studio where he works at is one of those spaceship-like ones, with a million knobs, flashy lights and buttons that no one really knows what they do. The records sounded pretty great after mixing, but Claudio’s mastering was the icing on the cake.
“Be Grave With Your Life” will be released by Mothership, Diego’s and Federico’s label, so we could say it’s basically self-released. We thought it’d be right to do it this way and not ask a thousand other labels to help us with the costs of pressing physical copies. Mothership has been going for almost ten years now and released about 20 records, some of them are musically quite different, but they’re all made by friends who live and experience music like we do, and share the same ethics as us.
Track by track commentary:
Paleolithic Before Paleo Was Cool
This song started with a bass and drums pattern that sounded complicated at first, until we realised it was just a 3/4 meter but we didn’t notice. One guitar is quite simple and follows the rhythm section, while the other one is much more improvised and chaotic.
We wanted to play with the listeners’ mind by adding some unexpected dynamic changes, like, everything goes quieter when you’d expect it to get really loud.
Vocals and the lyrics were added last, and we tried to emphasize the hypnotic and prehistoric (at least we like to call it this way!) mood of the whole track.
We thought it’d be cool to connect the sudden ending of the first song with the beginning of the second one. The main riff of the song comes in right after that, and we managed to come up with a cool vocal line quite quickly. At some point there is some sort of a vocal key change, to make everything more interesting, but the underlying chords remain the same. We liked this gimmick a lot, so we ended up doing it twice on this track. Suddenly, everything changes quite dramatically, like if someone shot the song in the leg, which continues to crawl on the ground, until it gets back on its feet again. Lyrics are quite abstract on this one, but they change according to the different moods of the track.
It starts with a scream and a pretty straightforward heavy riff in 4/4, to which we added a dissonant bass and melodic vocals to balance everything out. At some point, everything gets messy and fast, then it goes into a long, steady, crescendo in 7/4, culminating with the same riff that opens the song once again, but heavier. This track is about willing to do things, but without knowing how and why we want to do these things. Pretty much, it’s the same line repeated over and over again throughout the song.
Hold my Mask
When we first started jamming this song in the practice room, it kinda sounded like an indie rock song, so we had to fuck it up until it sounded like a mix of Torche (the band) and a broken washing machine. However, it still follows a pretty standard verse/chorus structure. Vocals are always clean but make it through the noise, like whistling in a sawmill with all the heavy machinery on. By the way, this one talks about a younger friend of ours.
Still Waters Are Still Assholes
Lyrics talk about the fact that, in the end, we’re all a bunch of losers, especially those who think to be above everything and everyone else. It features a well rounded verse, an almost emo fat sounding chorus, and it ends with a riff you can probably headbang to!
Definitely the weirdest track of the EP, so we put it last. It’s very sweet, but the bass purposely plays the wrong notes and it’s intended to give you the same feeling of listening to a kid reading a poem badly. It’s dreadful, but also cute and you just can’t hate it. Sorry, we couldn’t think of a better metaphor right now, hope it gives you an idea.
We had some shows booked in support of “Be Grave With Your Life” and we were talking about doing a short run of shows around Europe too. Then all this Covid madness blew up and, all of a sudden, everything was cancelled. Fortunately, because we’re putting out the record via our label, we could just postpone the release a couple months without pissing off anyone else! We still don’t know what’s going to happen and when we’ll be able to play live again, but we’re tired of waiting so we’re putting the record out this month anyway. Hopefully people will have some free time to listen to the new songs before they can see us live.
Since the lockdown is over here in Italy, we’re finally back in the practice room and we’re rehearsing the live set like crazy and jamming some new riffs as well.
𝐵𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎 𝐷𝐼𝑌 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑓𝑎𝑐𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑤𝑒 𝑎𝑙𝑙 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑎𝑛 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦𝑑𝑎𝑦 𝑗𝑜𝑏 𝑎𝑠 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑚 𝑜𝑓 𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑒, 𝑚𝑒𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑚𝑖𝑐 𝑑𝑖𝑑𝑛’𝑡 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑎𝑛 𝑖𝑚𝑝𝑎𝑐𝑡 𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑓𝑖𝑛𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒𝑠. 𝑊𝑒 𝑛𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑚𝑎𝑑𝑒 𝑎 𝑑𝑖𝑚𝑒 𝑎𝑠 𝑎 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎𝑛𝑦𝑤𝑎𝑦!
Of course we’re bummed about this whole situation, because we wanted to finally play the new stuff in front of an audience, but it doesn’t feel right to moan too much about this. None of us lost their job, we’re doing fine and we can only be grateful. The virus came out the blue and probably fucked everyone else’s plans.
About what happened specifically in Italy, we believe the authorities may have handled the emergency better, especially in certain areas where the spread of the virus really went out of control. Also, we don’t like this idea they’re trying to sell us, of how people can be better durings crisis. That’s just not gonna happen, because people suck.
𝐼𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝑛𝑜𝑤, 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟, 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑤𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑘 𝑡𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑘 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑢𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑦.
Of course we’re also talking about the whole underground scene and not just bands. So many small DIY venues, recording studios, DIY labels, screen-printing companies, and other businesses related to the music are struggling, some of them will not be able to get back on their feet after this.
New Italian Noise Punk acts worth checking out:
As an active band in the Italian noise-rock scene, we feel like there are quite a few new bands worth mentioning that are defining a new sound in our country. Here’s a few records worth checking out.
Baratro – “Terms and Conditions” / We could say Baratro is a power trio, featuring Dave of Unsane, Luca of Marnero and Federico of Council of Rats. They only released two tracks so far, that sound pretty much like a death sentence.
Rope – Crimson Youth / From Turin, started by members of a thousand other bands such as TICDB and Peste. A bunch of perfectly crafted mid-tempo punk rock jams, with major open chords, shouted melodic vocals and a lot of guitar feedback. [see IDIOTEQ feature HERE]
Frana – Awkwardwards / From Milan, they debuted in 2018 and only released one full length so far. Twisted punk rock melodies, complex guitars and pounding obsessive drums.
The Love Supreme – A shade of Yellow Very Close to the Gold Album / From four different cities, very fast noise rock with a hint of classic 2000s american screamo. Very short songs, clean-ish guitar, distorted bass, two singers. [see IDIOTEQ feature HERE]
LLeroy – fast, but huge sounding three-piece from Bologna, with quite a few records out, all of them worth checking out. We simply couldn’t not mention this band, total heavyweights in the scene. Looks like they’re working on a new record, so stay tuned!
Extra: Top five series to talk about during a fancy party that will make you look smarter :)
Determinism, transhumanism, quantic computers and sci-fi that finally challenges the contemporary, it will probably become a cult. Without a doubt, the series of 2020.
Tales from the loop
Inspired by the paintings of Simon Stalenhag, which come to life with a melancholic and attentive photography. Halfway between a modern Twilight Zone and retro-futurism.
The plot against America
Based on the homonymous novel of Philip Roth, biting and dystopian. The parallelism with the American political system is clear, a good take also on the mood of the USA in the 40s, and the good historical reconstruction.
Ricky Gervais’s After Life is unpretentious and unfiltered. The series makes fun of the small and big invisible wounds we all carry. Honest, reflective and terribly deep, its capable of making you laugh while two seconds earlier you were retaining the tears.
Polish series that came out in Italy this year, a tough crime show set in the 80s, based on the novel of Rojs, which we all hope they will print here asap. Historic, aggressive and gentle at the same time.