Backstage News, Front Row Pics

The SixxiS ~ A Band That Defies Description



The SixxiS, conceived in 2006 in the brilliantly enigmatic (or is that enigmatically brilliant?) mind of lead singer Vladdy Iskhakov, draw from a wide range of musical influences including classic, jazz and rock for the core of their music but then swath it in a coat of powerful, heavy, seductive and emotional sound that results in a style reminiscent of Rush, Muse, Soundgarden, System of a Down, Kings X and Alice In Chains ~ so although Vladdy Iskhakov, Mark Golden, Josh Baker, Paul Sorah, and Cameron Allen (the latter two instrumentalists are relatively new additions) list their genre as just “rock,” don’t be fooled ~ it is much, more complex than that one word would suggest, and once you’ve heard them, it makes perfect sense that the mainstream did not welcome ~ or likely understand ~ this band that was quite clear on its own identity but confounded the average listener. Needless to say, until they completely abandoned the idea of breaking into the mainstream, it was a bumpy, frustrating road.

On their European tour with Spock's Beard

On their European tour with Spock’s Beard

And may we just interject a “Thank goodness!” here in reaction to what amounted to giving the finger to “predictable” and “radio-friendly, something that will appeal to the masses,” because whether in 2006 or 2015, when the music scene or simply our individual tastes get nice and complacent, we need a good kick in the ass…or brain…or ears…to get us interested in the interesting again…and The SixxiS have always sped right past plain old interesting and waved at it from their rearview mirror as they headed towards exceptional and inimitable. It’s no surprise that they’ve been invited to share the stage with an eclectic mix of bands including Kings X, Big Elf, Periphery, Animals as Leaders, Devin Townsend Project, MSPS, Adrian Belew Power Trio, Riverside, Winger, Buckcherry, The Memorials, The Adrian Belew Power Trio, and The Winery Dogs (whose Mike Portnoy, a FlashWounds favorite, handpicked them to join the Progressive Nation At Sea 2014 progressive rock cruise), immediately earning the respect of their peers and catching the attention of three time Grammy winner David Bottrill, known for his work with Tool, King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, Silverchair, Stone Sour and many more. The members’ musical backgrounds allow them to toy with time signatures and syncopation, to grasp the magnetism of robust dynamics, and to focus on the individual mastery of each respective instrument while remaining a cohesive whole ~ no small feat. Their lyrics, messages of a soul crying out for spiritual awakening and awareness, demand attention from an audience, as does the blending of haunting melodies, soaring vocal harmonies, distorted guitars, and a truly “powerhouse” rhythm section of drums and bass ~ and the band’s ability to put on fantastic electric performances as well as equally impressive acoustic shows. 


Photo by Jessica Dickens

Photo by Jessica Dickens

Now arguably, many bands are greater than the sum of their parts, and so can be said of The SixxiS (and, although I’ll need to confirm my guess with a higher source, as they formed officially on 6/6/06, I’m assuming that’s the origin of their name…stay tuned for confirmation), but in the best sense of the phrase, as each “part” is an incredibly talented musician and performer, unique and unforgettable.  And when they’re together, the chemistry and shared joy they all take in creating music is palpable, even in its recorded state ~ and what a perfect segue to good news that is twofold:  A) the band is currently touring with Ministry on the From Beer to EternaTour, so you CAN see them live, and B) there’s no need to take my word for how well their sound translates from stage to studio because you can grab the band’s latest album, Hollow Shrine, out digitally May 1 via Glassville Records and produced by Bottrill, on iTunes


Don’t miss out on hearing what The SixxiS have to offer ~ grab a copy of the album and also try to make it to one of the tour stops (find a full list here).  We’ll be bringing you live photo coverage from the May 18 show, but you need to experience that crackle in the air for yourself.


The 6s live


Vladdy says without a trace of affect or false humility that The SixxiS “…play music for the sake of music…” and that “It’s all about relating the emotions, and we all agree on that. It’s that kind of musicianship, that kind of chemistry, that lightning in a bottle type of element that makes us who we are.”  And it’s so refreshing to come across a band who acknowledges that it’s their talent combined with that “either you have it or you don’t” dynamic that defines them ~ and to know that they make the absolute most out of both.

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