Among all the interviews we did at Hellfest, the one with French metallers 6h33 was one of the funniest. The band’s background isn’t very common, like wearing masks on stage or not having drums and their music mixes a lot of styles. We sat down with Rorschach (vocals) and Baltrou (tech) to learn more about the band and its music.
Your last album “Deadly Scenes” was released in 2015. Should we expect a new album soon ?
Rorschach : Yeah, we’re working on a new album. Last year, we unveiled the whole show and all the visual elements we wanted to have on stage. Once we were done, we though we had the 6h33 concept, so we had to make a new album and we needed to work hard on this. We went into studio and we started to write some stuff, and record the first songs, like vocal parts this summer. Regarding the forthcoming album, we don’t have any release date but we’re working hard on this and we have much fun doing it. It’s on the way.
Do you plan to work again with some other artists as you did with Arno Strobl ?
Rorschach : It was a bit special with Arno Strobl, because he replaced the former singer when he left until I joined the band. When I joined, it was more about a being a guest. We had a lot of fun but it was more about doing it on one album. In this case, we are thinking about featuring one or two artists we would like to work with. We don’t really know, for now, because we are still working on it, but we expect much from this. So, yeah, we would like to collaborate with at least one artist. We will figure out who’s interested. No plan for now.
Why do you want to work with artists who are not a part of the band ?
Rorschach : There is no plan. In general, it is … we make choices in our lives. There’s a mood, you have to make a choice. You chose to work with some people or not. So, you meet different people when you are on your way, and we team up with people who work well and we want to work with. For example, Baltrou is the number one 6h33 fan from the beginning. We met someday and we instantly became friends. In the end, he can do anything. He joined the team, and helped us so many times. He knows about screens, lights, animations we have in our shows, how the show works, …
Rorschach : We just meet people. We also met a light-tech someday. We didn’t hired her, but she became a part of the band because she brings so much with the atmosphere with all the lights on stage. So, we meet people and some these people are really interested in what we do. We’re not close-minded. When we feel that the magic happens with somebody that we have some fun and happy with this people, we team up. It’s not complicated, you know. We also have a female singer on Deadly Scenes, Bénédicte, and she will be back on our next album because she is a super good singer. We really love her and it works well. She is not in the band but she sings on a lot of songs.
You obviously don’t have any limit regarding music styles. Do you really mind about having no style or is it just a natural thing that comes when you write songs ?
Rorschach : We don’t think about it. We don’t think about anything expect doing things right, you know ? First of all, Nico does all the songwriting. All of this comes from his tortued mind. Then, he works with Howakhan Ituha, the keyboard player who wears a V for Vendetta mask on stage and they work on arrangements and drum programming. They work together on the music and I do the lyrics. We work well all together. The way we write songs is a bit special. Sometimes, Nico sends me some vocal lines with melodies he has in mind, very good melodies, and I have to make my lyrics fit on these. It’s a bit special but it works out, even if I don’t know why.
Is it just fun or just a mess ?
Rorschach : It’s not a mess because it would mean that we don’t control anything. We have to be very focused on our music because of all the drums and computer parts. We can’t make it go out of control but it can be a bit messy because we want it … and we keep it under control. We love to do mess but it’s a kind of serious mess. The answer is within the question.
You offer a very rich experience on stage. Do you write songs having what you want to do on stage or do you write music first and figure out what to do on stage then ?
Rorschach : Music drives everything. The concept comes from the music. I usually bring it and we talk together between us three then with the rest of the band. Nico is a very big inspiration for me and we figure out what we can bring on screen then.Everything comes from the music.
What are your views on the French metal/rock scene ?
Rorschach : The problem is that rock is kinda dead in France. Sorry to say that. Maybe bands like Shaka Ponk, that’s rock … electro/rock. We don’t have many known bands, mainstream rock bands. What is rock in France ? Band like Kyo or BB Brunes ? No One Is Innoncent are still around, they do what I call rock music, they do it great, they are around for a long time but it’s also a part of the problem : they are in the business for a long time. They are bankable. They work well.
Rorschach : Same for the metal scene : we have a lot of very good bands that are around for a while and they try to help other bands as much as possible. The real problem is the media. We don’t have any support. I was watching the 20.000 channels that you have on cable TV and none of them is a metal channel. Metal is such a big thing …
Rorschach : There are so many metal styles and it’s popular elsewhere. There is something wrong in the system, in the business. So, metal and rock music in France, for me, it’s bands like Lofofora, Black Bomb A, Loudblast, Gojira and Tagada Jones. These guys have become legends in the scene and they are around for a while. Then, there are newcoming bands like us. There are quite a few. like Malemort that opened one of the stages this morning. The guys played with us, they even opened for us last year and they are good friends.
Rorschach : There are tons of good bands and some newcoming ones. The metal scene is alive. Something is happening. Regarding rock music, it’s complicated. We are both a rock and a metal band in the end. We are influenced by so many bands. But, true rock, with a simple energy, rock ala Foo Fighters or old Skunk Anansie stuff, we don’t have rock bands like these. I can’t find any, and it pisses me off because I love this kind of music.
You all wear masks on stage, and it brings a kind of freedom. Have you ever thought about playing without any mask, screens and lights, with only raw energy ?
Rorschach : We love masks, it’s special. You don’t have inhibitions anymore but people can’t see the expressions you make with your face so you have express feelings with gestures so, you have to do big gestures, very theatrical. It works pretty well with the concept that we have.
Rorschach : Four guys sweating on stage, I fucking love this but it doesn’t match what we do. What we do with the band, it’s also about the visual experience. When I listen to our stuff, I have many things coming to my mind so I can’t just jump on stage with a t-shirt shorts, and do my shit. It doesn’t match. So, it’s never been about dropping masks. We often question ourselves about our musical carreers, wearing masks, not having drums on stage and we ask oursleves : “What if …”. We think about it and finally we think it’s a really shitty idea to drops masks.
Do you have any other bands outside of 6h33 ?
Rorschach : Howahkan Ituha, the one who wears the V For Vendetta mask, has his own studio and he works with people who who write songs and soundtracks for movies. He is starting his own business. The other guys don’t work in music, and 6h33 takes a lot of time so we don’t have time for other bands.
Rorschach : I am a full-time musician, and I play in a cover band. I also toured with a band called Melted Space. I toured with them about two years ago in Europe. Their singer wasn’t available for the tour so I replaced him. Stuff like these, collaborations with some other artists and some things that will never come out. 6h33 takes all our free time and all the time we can put into it. It’s a lot of work as we do everything by ourselves with our friends and the team. We have to do it this way.
Important question … 6:33AM or 6:33PM ?
Rorschach : AM! People have a ton of funny explanations. Some people think it’s about the 6.33 thing in the Bible. It’s not a secret anymore and I was not yet in the band. They were all drunk … what a nice start, isn’t it ? They were all drunk and they all played in different bands. They had a show and they were like : “Fuck, shouldn’t we break all the rules …”, “What if we start a crazy band without any limit?”, “OK!”, “Yeah!”, “Let’s do it”, you know, the way you start a band and say “Fuck, yeah!”. And they said : “If we ever remember this tomorrow, what would be the band name ?”. It was 6:33AM, nothing more. So, they guys said : “If we remember about the band name tomorrow and we think it’s still cool …”. Voilà!
Rorschach : I had tons of bands. You try to find a cool band name for a decade. You argue with your musicians, it has to make sense, blah blah … bullshit ! The good point is that we are often first in stores because figures are before letters and everybody remembers about the band name!
Baltrou, what is the worst story or the worst you have to say about the band since you go on tour with them ? We want a true story !
Baltrou : They played once a show in Belgium, Zizi was in the band at this time and he was the keyboard player. So, they played a show in Belgiumand they ended dead drunk … you don’t need too many details but the former keyboard player was like : “Fuck, I’m gonna pee on all those waffles”. It was a festival and on the next day, everybody ate waffles. So, he peed on all the waffles and then … W.O.A.W ! I was like : “Fuck that guy” … and today, he is here at Hellfest ! Worst story ever !
Rorschach : I’ve been told about this one since I joined the band but I wasn’t there when it happened. It’s now a part of the band’s story.
Extra question : who ate the waffles ?
Baltrou : I wasn’t there …
Rorschach : Me neither!
Baltrou : Not the band, for sure ! They are not stupid enough. I don’t think he wanted to taste his own piss, even dead tired. Customers ate the waffles on the next day. The guy who had to sell the waffles was quite nervous. He suspected something had happened, they smelled strange. There was a guy that noticed that my friends standed next to the waffle table the day before so he pointed them and said : “These guys, I saw them yesterday”. Fuck that guy ! So, the seller came to the guys and they said they took some waffles because they were hungry and the gave a little money … and they lied, of course … but the guy sold them and people ate them.
The last words are for you ! Anything to your fans ?
Rorschach : Wooohoo, we have fans ! Thank you guys, it was cool ! Thanks to the girls, too ! We love what you do and we are here because of you. Thank you guys for interviewing us. We have a lot of fun. We feel we do interesting stuff among the music business and the metal scene, so we feel fine.
Baltrou : Being their number one fan, I hope they will soon play at Hellfest. Maybe it can work, if we can trick someone … sharing the stage with Mike Patton, it would be great !