Six60's American dream
To say it's been a big year for Six60 is something of an understatement.
Just look at the stats: their debut album knocked Adele off the NZ Charts and doubled the NZ sales of Foo Fighters on iTunes, four out of five singles have gone platinum (at least), and they have played to thousands of people with sold out shows here, over the Tasman and in the UK.
With numbers like that behind you, surely it would be pretty easy to just coast by and enjoy the view. But for Eli Paewai, Chris Mac, Ji Fraser, Marlon Gerbes and Matiu Walters, they know they are on the verge of something even bigger.
"It's been a whirlwind... [and] it would be very easy for us to sit back and ride it out and continue to do what we have done. But to say we are content with where we are at the moment would be a lie," says singer and guitarist Walters.
"We are always trying to push the bar, we're always trying to create stuff new and different ways to entertain our supporters, and I think we've got the makings of something really great here...we are trying to create history, pretty much."
The five-piece are starting to think about a second album - which they say could go in any musical direction - but almost a year on from the release of their first, there is still one last nut to crack come October.
"We always felt like our music would translate well in America. But we are not kidding ourselves, we know that it's a tough place...this is our first time there and we are expecting to turn up and play to ten people and just do our thing," says bassist Mac.
Walters says without the expectation of a home crowd the band will have the chance to experiment and try something different over ten US and Canadian dates.
"[There] we are the underdog again, and I'm actually really excited about that fact because we can just get in there and rock out."
But once the band has won over North America it will be back to Auckland for a one-off show unlike anything they have done before.
Split into three parts, their first ever performance in a seated venue will feature the Six60 fans know and love, a special orchestral arrangement with the APO, and an acoustic set.
The band has loved working with the orchestra, even being brought to (happy) tears on occasion, but it's the acoustic set that has got them fired up.
While Six60 are known for their huge, energetic sound on stage, they say they have been forced to leave a number of songs off the set list because they are just a bit too gentle and not quite right for big club gigs. Now they have the chance to perform them just they way they were intended.
"If we are really going to be critical, despite all the success we've had in the past year, a band coming up the way we have and playing the venues that we do, while we are all obviously up for a good time, and we love the high energy shows we play, but we haven't had the opportunity to play quite a lot of the songs on the album," says Walters.
"So now we've got this beautiful room, an all-seated venue - something that is completely new to us - and I'm really, really excited that this is 100 per cent about the music and about the show."
Six60 with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
November 17 - ASB Theatre, Auckland
Tickets on sale from August 27 from Buy Tickets
- © Fairfax NZ News
Has Home and Away jumped the shark? (spoiler)
Which is the best band?Related story: (See story)