Walter Craven - vocals, guitar
Steve Marquis - guitar, backing vocals
Weave - bass
Dave Rankin - drums
From the outskirts of America's vast auditory landscape hail Portland, Maine's 6gig-- a young rock band intent on establishing a new sonic frontier. While comparisons have been made to Failure, Quicksand and Filter, frontman Walt Craven explains that "6gig is a unique combination of all the members' various styles and influences."
Walt credits the diverse music scene and supportive atmosphere of Portland as an important part of 6gig's genesis: "Portland actually has a very cool scene with lots of bands and clubs that support live music. We were all in different bands when we first met. I happened to be in one of the same rehearsal spaces as our guitar player Steve. I stopped in one night and Steve was jamming with Weave (bass) and Dave (drums). Things clicked right away for all of us. Steve and I have very different guitar styles and influences, but when we play together, it just seems to mesh."
As the band coalesced and began to practice, they started the process of pooling their disparate influences into complete songs. "When we got together we took the pop stuff I had written, the heavy guitars that Steve was doing, and added in the punk styles of the other two," Walt says. "We're not afraid to rock and do heavy guitar work, but we're also not afraid to express ourselves more melodically, too."
What sprang from these sessions in a small, cold Portland room were the seedlings for the band's debut album, Tincan Experiment. The LP's 12-tracks were recorded at the scenic and remote Longview Farms in North Brookfield, Mass., Royal Tone Studios in Los Angeles, Calif.; Big Sound and The Studio in Portland, Maine.
Co-produced by the band with Roger Sommers and Spencer Albee, Tincan Experiment's powerful first single "Hit the Ground," is evidence that 6gig is an out-of-the-box heavyweight contender. The song is sure to delight radio programmers and rock enthusiasts alike.
Dig deeper into the album and you will find subjects more resonant, to which listeners in the Northeast have already begun to relate: themes of isolation, rebellion, self-revelation, truth and falsehood, action and consequence. "But it's not all about themes and messages," explains Walt. "The lyrics are all not necessarily narrative or auto-biographical. They are simple sketches. There's a lot of room for listeners to color those sketches with their own imagination, and to relate to the songs in their own personal way."
The beautifully crafted and emotionally potent title track "Tincan Experiment" is a song about taking chances, the conflicting feelings of regret and vindication, and the satisfaction and loss that accompanies the transformations of life. "Talk Show," with its fist-shaking anthem, "Why can't I find my piece of mind? "What I found I found myself" is a rallying call to break out of oppressive situations and about the triumph of self over all else. The closing track "Willie" attaches an entirely new face to love that one may recognize upon close observation. It is a sketch of an obsessive desire that will stop at nothing to achieve its ends, which are at once both romantic and disturbing as guitars eerily drone in front of a full string accompaniment.
6gig had been together for less than 5-months when Los Angeles-based label Ultimatum Music caught wind of the band. The label arranged for them to perform in front of tens of thousands of Goo Goo Dolls fans at a show in South Carolina, and the reaction 6gig received was next to phenomenal. "We had never played a gig like that before!" recalls Walt. "That was only our fifth show and the audience really seemed to like it. We sold everything we had and signed hundreds of autographs. It was really weird, but it felt great." 6gig were quickly signed to Ultimatum in April 2000. But as incredible as that sounds, just one listen to the remarkable debut LP makes it clear that this rookie quartet is indeed destined for acclaim far beyond their native New England soil.
As for the band's unique name, Walt admits he hasn't given that part much thought. "The truth isn't that exciting!" he laughs. "We played the name-game and brainstormed, but none of our choices really clicked. Since I'm a computer guy and have a 6-gigabyte hard drive, I would say the term '6 gig' a lot and it just stuck. I ran it by the other guys and they all liked it. But when we do interviews, we like to tell people that 6gig was my nickname because I got fired from my last six jobs!"