Award winning New Zealand based powerhouse group, SIX60 kick off their Australian tour this week. It follows their record-breaking concert last year where they became the first musical act to perform at the National Stadium of New Zealand, Eden Park, delivering the certified biggest show last year to date in the world, with more than 50,000 people in attendance. The multi-platinum selling SIX60 remain one of the biggest New Zealand groups ever, and quietly stand out as a global phenomenon. Their 2020 NZ concert tour sold more than 130,000 tickets and their 2021 tour, SIX60 Saturdays, sold in excess of 100,000 tickets. Their 2019 self-titled album reached #8 on the ARIA Albums Chart and has amassed over 26 million streams to date. Their 2015 album made history in New Zealand, breaking the record for most weeks on New Zealand’s Top 40 Albums Chart, beating Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon with 298 consecutive weeks. Hi Fi Way speaks to bassist Chris Mac about the tour.
It must be great knowing that you’ll be on a plane heading to Australia to get this tour underway?
We have been looking forward to it for so long, keep pushing dates back, everyone and every band has been doing the same thing. Our crew is excited to be travelling again and being back in Australia is one of my favourite places to be. I’m from here originally so it is nice coming home.
Showcasing this massive production must be exciting as well?
We’re not doing it by halves, if we are going to come over here and play we are going to put on our best show we can. We are literally rehearsing right up to the last second to go on stage to make sure the show is sounding and looking as good as possible.
Did your show last year at Eden Park in New Zealand to 50,000 set the benchmark for your shows moving forwards taking it to the next level? What was the excitement like at that show in particular?
It was incredible, that is such an iconic location in New Zealand, our premiere stadium. We were the first band to play there and sell it out. It was such a big moment for us, it meant a lot, we are all pretty emotional through it. The party after it lasted a long while after it.
After such an emotional high after playing that show was it hard getting your feet back on the ground?
A little bit, I think that is true for any show even if it were to five hundred people somewhere in Germany. Walking off stage it takes a little bit of time and the historic nature of that show was not lost on us. We were really proud of ourselves with what we had achieved and our crew really stepped up. Our shows are at international standard and that’s what you’ll get in Australia as well.
Does the show need to be scaled back to suit theatres on this tour?
It definitely is a challenge, but we have been around a while and we’re not strangers to playing theatres and arenas. There is a spirit of it more than a production level and we are bringing the highest level production to these places. There is a spirit in the way that you play and an energy you bring to a room. Bringing everyone together we never want it to feel like people watching us as much as we are experiencing this night together. If we can achieve that with 50,000 people we can with 5,000, it comes down to the same game.
What do you look forward to most about touring Australia?
Like I said I grew up here in Darwin and got to travel around a bit. For me it is getting back and seeing some familiar faces, watching Rage on a Saturday night and Sunday morning! Those little things are what I look forward to. I love this country and the guys have grown to love this country as well. It is almost like a second home.
Do you feel like pinching yourself sometimes with how big each tour seems to get and the upward trajectory your career is taking?
We all have moments where we go is this real? Is this happening? Are we going to wake up from a coma? Or is this going to be a fantastic dream? We’ll take this as far as it can go and keep pushing ourselves as a band, keep setting those challenges and we’re not aiming to play the same things other people play. We aim to do bigger and be the best we can.
Do you notice difference between fans around the world?
It is interesting but not really! Some places are slightly more polite, more quiet but by the end of a Six60 show they aren’t a quiet crowd. It all tends to turn out the same really, it’s a good night!
Are there plans for a new album this year?
Yeah, we’ve finished recording a new album, we recorded it in LA with Malay. We went in and wrote some of the best stuff we have ever written, we did it as a band and we wanted to make sure we were being together about it. We’re really proud of it, super excited and hopefully it is out by the end of the year, that’s the hope. It was a really unifying time of getting together. It was the most fun I’ve had in the studio. Given we wrote it as a band it had that live band feel, it doesn’t feel over produced and we were obsessed with The Beatles who were able to harness the magic in that way. It has a more mature and considered approach.
Was the documentary Six60: Til The Lights Go Out an interesting process? Would you do that again?
Not any time soon! Never say never! It is a big process doing that and opening your lives up and allowing a director come in and essentially pour our lives out, not pulling any punches. Luckily it came together well and we didn’t look like complete pricks (ha) which is always the fear! It covered all our ups and downs and I’m sure there’s more to come as that is the nature of a band.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch Six60 with Coterie on the following dates, tickets through Live Nation…