Fireworks Magazine Online 66 - Interview with The SixxiS

FIRING ON ALL SIX: An interview with The SixxiS


US based band The SixxiS have a new album, ‘Hollow Shrine’, out and a support slot on Spock’s Beard’s European Tour, so things are certainly looking up for them. Gary Marshall hooked up with the band for some insight, albeit struggling to identify which band member was speaking at any given time.

As a new name to many Fireworks readers can you give us some background on the band, how you got together, when and where?

“We started out as a project a long time ago while Vladdy (Iskhakov – lead vocals, guitar, violin, piano & synth) was still in college and took quite a while to get to where it is now. At first it was not really intended to be something serious, but the more things progressed, the more it became increasingly important and the momentum kept on going until we were a proper band. As with a lot of bands there were quite a few member changes that happened along the way and things didn’t really progress until we solidified our line-up in around 2011. You could look at this period as one of preparation and development and that helped us focus more on our craft and consequently we were able to really dig in and establish the sound of the band so that when we got our opportunity we were prepared and ready.
All the musicians that are a part of this band were recommended by other musician friends who were familiar with the project and knew what was going on. We think the development of this band has been a very long and interesting story; every gut wrenching twist and turn only brought us to bigger and better things”.

Have you all performed in other bands prior to The SixxiS?

“Yes. All of us have other projects we are involved with when we are not on the road or in the studio. But the Sixxis is the main band for each of us now”.

Where does the band's name derive from?

“The day that the original members of The SixxiS got together happened to be June 6th 2006 (06/06/06). When one of the guys noticed this we decided to go with it as our name. We also thought it was pretty cool when it came to the logo as the name is reversible”.

How would you describe your sound and style to someone who may not have heard you yet?

“That’s a tough question to answer. We all agree that it’s an original sound that has blends of many different elements stemming for the Grunge era, bands like Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, and other bands such as System of a Down, Rush and Muse. If it had to be classified, it would probably be "Progressive Grunge", to a certain extent”.

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Who are the main songwriters, or are the compositions a collaboration?

“Vladdy generally writes the skeletal structure of the song along with lyrics, riffs and chord changes; after that everyone gets a chance to hear it and we start building the overall sound of the song together as a band”.

Your individual biographies on the web site indicate a diverse range of influences. Do you think that has had a significant impact on your sound?

“Absolutely! Our sound would not be what it is if it was not for the diverse influences we all have. It only adds more to our overall sound. This is definitely what makes this band unique in our minds. The songwriting process becomes really good fun because of all the different ideas and variations that we can come up with and utilize in our songs”.

It would appear that you have an influential ally in Mike Portnoy, what with support slots with The Winery Dogs and his Progressive Nation Cruise; has his support been as proactive as it would seem?

“Our tour with The Winery Dogs was viewed as such a long shot at first. Our Manager, Rob Palmen, knew Mike from previous projects, and pitched our music to him to see if he’d be interested. The following week we got word that Mike really enjoyed what he’d heard and would love to have us on board with them for the tour. Having support from someone like Mike Portnoy is definitely a huge plus for any band in our position”.

How did the tour support and cruise work out for you guys, did they go well?

“Both the tour and the cruise went really well. Mike, Billy (Sheehan) and Richie (Kotzen) are all amazing musicians and a really great bunch of guys. We all definitely learned lots of things just watching them play every night and just being around them watching their professionalism. It raised the bar for us and increased the level of how we needed to perform night in and night out”.

What's next for The SixxiS?

“Hopefully more and more touring and also some festivals. We hope to make our shows bigger musically with more instruments added to the mix. We should be back in the studio at the end of 2015 to record a new album. We already have lots of good ideas for new songs”.


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