Scarfies Come Home

Scarfies Come Home

An interview with Six60 bassist Chris Mac is one of the easiest 20 minutes a music journalist can ask for. Sure I asked him the important stuff, but considering how nervous I was about calling a member of Six60 (I messed up the phone number three times, my hands were shaking so much), the yarn I had with him was really just your average Friday lunchtime chat.

Interrupting him mid-rehearsal, we talked about what Six60 have been up to and what their plans are for the future. After spending summer touring various “hot spots” (“well, they turned out to be cold because it was always raining”) and festivals around New Zealand with Mt Eden Dubstep, they’re coming to Dunedin on March 30 and 31 for their last appearance in the city before heading overseas.

Chris described their summer tour as just a lot of fun (even in the rain). “Mt Eden Dubstep are a cool bunch of guys that put on a good show, and it felt like a family just hanging out for the summer.” His highlights? “Rhythm and Vines was a whole lot of fun. Tauranga, The Mount – all of it was pretty incredible. We were just amazed at the crowds and just so shocked that there were so many people there. We really were surprised at the turn-outs.”

Their two shows in Dunedin are their first since late last year, and at the time of going to print, Saturday night had already sold out. Chris said the band are really excited about coming home again. “I think the last time we played down there was around exam time … we had such a good crowd … but we’re excited to be down at the start of the year! Everyone’s fresh … not stressed out, and people are ready to just let loose and have fun.”

And of course they’re playing in the city where it all began. “It’s always so much fun thinking like … it’s Dunedin. It used to be like a backyard party and now it’s all these other friends who are coming to watch us and it’s fun.” Both gigs are at Sammy’s, and tickets for Friday’s show are selling fast. Chris described the venue as a different place to play, because he likes the history and heritage of it. But he said his favourite spot was Union Hall because it was special to the band: “it’s such a University place and it’s so historic for us so, that was always a big thing for us.”

Once the summer tour is over, the boys are headed overseas to tour Australia, Europe and the USA. If you follow Six60 on Facebook and Twitter you will have seen their posts asking where they should tour internationally – but does that make a difference when they’re picking places to tour overseas? “Entirely. There’s a bunch of shows that we’ve booked in the US based entirely on the feedback we got from Facebook and Twitter … we just went where we were requested. Hopefully it will translate to seeing some people at the shows!”

And after the tour? The success of Six60’s self-titled album at the end of 2011 – it debuted at number one and was certified gold in its first week – has many people asking when we can expect more music. Chris didn’t disappoint: “We’re writing for the next album already, and there’s some really exciting stuff coming out for that. So I think we’ll be recording near the end of the year. Hopefully a whole new album, which may not be out until 2013.”

And then I asked that same age-old question, I had to know; Marmite or Vegemite? “Aaah! Well it depends upon the vehicle! It totally does. Like if I’m doing it with cheese, then it’s gotta be Vegemite, but if it’s on Vogels then you have to go Marmite, so it’s totally about the vehicle. I grew up in Australia on Vegemite and it’s only since I came to New Zealand that I’ve learnt to embrace Marmite,” he said. So we have a man who swings both ways on the Marmite/Vegemite debate – that’s a first.

Six60 are playing at Sammy’s on March 30 and 31. Saturday night has already sold out and Friday is going the same way so if you want to go you’re going to have to get your tickets ASAP.
This article first appeared in Issue 5, 2012.
Posted 4:26pm Sunday 25th March 2012 by Lauren Wootton.