Saturday, June 9, 2012
Symbol Six ***New Interview***
Six Symbol is a great band out of L.A. They are the second band off Posh Boy Records that I have interviewed. If you don't know the Posh Boy story it is a legendary label that started the whole Rodney on the ROQ story and got the LA scene a boost that it needed to keep bands from running from the police. Before Posh Boy, there was just police raiding punk shows. Symbol Six has released an incredible EP (Posh Boy), 7" and an album, along with being part of a bunch of great comps. Being legends themselves, they have shared the stage with a ton of great bands in L.A. I got Eric to tell their story...
Hi, Eric Von Leach -singer/songwriter for Symbol Six.
How did the band start?
That story has been documented on our Wikipedia and Webpage. I urge to go check it out at www.symbolsix.com.
How did you come up with the name?
Truth of it is we were called Gaudy Trash in early 1980’s. When we first started we wrote a song called Symbol Six. Donny suggested why we don’t make that the band name. Gaudy Trash was already wearing thin on us and we had just started out, had played a couple shows. Symbol Six just clicked and it had a spark to it and we ain’t changing it anytime soon. No overthinking to it. So when Donny suggested it we starting beating him up. Half way through we go, “Hey, that’s not a bad idea!” We continued to beat him up but we went with the idea anyway. Then we gave him a big ass Melvin(wedgie).
Who would you say are your influences?
Led Zeppelin, Sham 69, Gen X, Motorhead, a lot of the L.A. bands.
What was the punk scene like in LA?
If you weren’t there, Google it. Completely indescribable. Everything open, no rules, no restraints. Complete freedom to do whatever the fuck we wanted to do. And there was a price to be paid.
Like the time at Bacy’s Hall in 1981, the Black Flag riot in the street. Imagine, 250 L.A.P.D. officers, helicopters, and squad with cars neon lights blazing. All because of the kids of Los Angeles. L.A. punk rock had arrived! We were on the 11pm news dragging Taz across the street with my buddy. He was wasted but it looked like he had been beaten up by the cops so they used it.
Describe the song writing process...
Organic, best idea wins, everyone pushing each other.
We expect the best even if we fail and when we do, we are the best of failures.
Your first album was a self-titled EP; tell us about the EP and working with Posh Boy?
Amazing experience being very young, walking into a recording with Robbie Fields, Jay Lansford, and David Hines. We were there and it gave our first experience in a real studio. We learned so much about the recording process that we still use today. Unforgettable! It is threaded into our music writing today. We had no idea want we were doing and that was probably the best thing about the recording. The more you know sometimes the worse it can go.
By the way, I got laid because of that album the first time it was Rodney on the Roq. When Rodney said here is a brand new band from L.A., called Symbol Six, she turned her head and had a look in her eyes like I was Mick Jagger and truth be told I felt like him. Mind blowing!
How does working with Doctor Strange differ?
In his 28 years of promoting and distribution, Bill’s enthusiasm is par none and his love for early middle and late punk rock are beyond reproach. In this day and age, that’s amazing.
Your current release is 'Monsters 11’; tell us about the album...
We rehearsed for a year before we played one live show and our goal was not to rely on our past and write new stuff. We spent that whole year writing a lot of songs. Some good, some bad and some are on the shelf to be revisited later. And some went just in the trash.
We love Jimmy Sloan out of the New King Sound, a great producer, excellent experience. He had engineered The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Offspring, Wayne Kramer and Brain James, Busta Rhymes, Rod Stewart, Fishbone, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Della Reese, Phranc, The Warlocks, Greg Dulli, The Watts Prophets, Jennifer Lopez, Weezer, Scritti Politti, etc. The second we were done, we were already looking to record our next album of which we did. It’s is about 95% done!
We have been criticized about losing our “youthful vocals” and too fucking bad. I am a grown up man not a 15 year old boy. We are bigger, stronger, a faster and we’re gonna stay that way!
You recently did a re-release with Doctor Strange Records; tell us about the re-release...
That has been a long process, going on almost two years. I would like to thank Michael Essington, writer of The Last One to Die for getting that whole ball rolling. Dr. Strange just released a limited test press to the public I think 20-25 in total. The actually release should be out by the end of summer. It will include 9 never before release tracks and photos from Edward Colver. Pieces of history that cannot be forgotten.
What else have you released?
• 1982 SYMBOL SIX DEBUT EP (Posh Boy Records)
• 1987 THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHTER COMPILATION (Posh Boy Records)
• 1988 Living in Darkness SYMBOL SIX BONUS TRACKS (Posh Boy Records)
• 1991 EGO/TAXATION 7” SINGLE (Posh Boy Records)
• 1995 The Posh Boy Story (More Or Less) CD (U.K. RELEASE) (Posh Boy Records)
• 2011 SCARE AMERICA RECORDS COMPILATION (Scare America Records)
• 2012 CHAOTIC REASONING, VOLUME ONE COMPILATION (Kaos Records)
• 2012 GET FUCKED, LET'S ROCK COMPILATION (Olystis Music & Production)
• 2012 UNDERGROUND COMP - VOLUME I) COMPILATION (Suicide Kings Records)
• 2012 DR. STRANGE RECORDS RE-RELEASE POSH BOY E.P. W/ BONUS TRACKS
• 2012 UNTITLED ALBUM - SYMBOL SIX MUSIC - RELEASE DATE JULY 2012
• 2012 STENCH RADIO COMPILATION(Unrepented Records) – RELEASE DATE AUGUST 2012
Are there any plans for more releases with Doctor Strange?
We would hope so!
Who are some of the bands you have done shows with?
Social Distortion, Fear, Bad Religion, T.S.O.L., 45 Grave, Youth Brigade, Descendents, Agent Orange, Jello Biafra, shit, so many it would be easier no list the ones we haven’t played with.
Have you toured?
Yes, we did a tour last year with Soul Trash in the Northwest and Off by an Inch, had a great time. We played 16 shows in 15 days. Only one arrest and we never made it across the border into Canada.
Do you prefer small clubs or large venues?
Both! Lots a people! We prefer it to have a great sound system and lots of people who want to see the band.
Is there a favorite band you like to do shows with?
We enjoy playing with all the bands and discovering new bands. Most of them are friends of ours or become friends of ours real quick. We are all about support.
Is there a favorite place you like to do shows at?
The Great Western Forum, CBGB’s, Seriously, Fenders Ballroom – never a bad response always a great place to play! Godzilla’s was amazing.
What do you see is the future of Symbol Six?
The Great Western Forum! As far we can possibly go and reach as many people as possible!
How can people contact the band?
We have so many sites but the best is at www.symbolsix.com. We answer everyone, personally!!