Over the past eighteen months a plethora of UK pop punk bands have come to fruition, showing us Brits are capable of giving those Stateside a run for their money. With the likes of Neck Deep and more recently Roam and As It Is making moves across the Atlantic, there is now an abundance of UK cropping up, looking to follow them in their footsteps. Brighton quintet Six Time Champion are just one of those bands and having received plenty of praise for their recent ‘Expecting Honesty’ EP, they’re certainly on the right track.
Since forming in late 2013 following a alcohol-influenced night for vocalist James, the quintet have honed their sound with ‘Expecting Honesty’. Tracks like ‘Happiness In Emptiness’ and ‘Running Dry’ prove to be hard hitting and give the band a heavy edge compared to your typical run-of-the-mill pop punk band. Whereas ‘Dragging My Feet’ highlights the bands lyrical sincerity.
The five piece are currently writing new material which promises to expand on their versatility whilst trying to play as many shows as possible.
We caught up with drummer Rich Titheradge from the band to find out how Six Time Champion (STC) came to be, their aspirations, the current UK pop punk scene and more.
Already Heard: Can we have your name and role in Six Time Champion?
Rich: Hi, My name’s Rich and I play Drums.
AH: Let’s start with an easy question; how did the band come together? I hear it’s a funny story that involves James (Dagg – vocalist) and alcohol?
Rich: Haha yeah, basically myself and Simon (Glover – Guitar) played in a hardcore band together but we wrote some pop punk for fun on the side. When that band ended in 2013, we decided to work on the pop punk side of stuff and see what we could do with it. We didn’t really know anyone that played that was into that style of music, so we looked on a few of those musician finder type websites to see if there was anyone out there. It turns out that whilst he was drunk at a party, James was talking about being in a band and decided to put an advert on the “Join My Band” website? Apparently he did it for a laugh and didn’t really think anything of it, But I messaged him with a few demos etc. and it went from there really. Will (Smithers – Guitar) and Steve (Isted – Bass) are a couple of James’ close friends and they weren’t in bands either so they got involved as well. Considering how drunk and rowdy nights out end up when we’re all together, its quite fitting that this all started as a result of booze.
AH: Moving on you released your second EP, ‘Expecting Honesty’ at the back end of 2014 and it seems to be receiving positive reviews so far. For those who haven’t heard it yet, what should they know about it?
Rich: Yeah the reviews and feedback from fans has been awesome, it’s always a bit daunting putting something that you’ve worked hard on out into the world for people to hear and judge, but the response has been amazing. We’ve definitely got a rougher more aggressive edge to our sound which doesn’t seem to be too common at the moment. The songs on this EP especially are a lot more raw in places so if you’re into other heavier styles of music as well as pop punk, you’ll probably be into it. I guess we’re a good pop punk band to listen to if you’re a bit pissed off? (laughs)
AH: STC are one of many UK pop punk bands aiming to follow in the footsteps of bands like Neck Deep. Why should casual listeners care more about STC than other up and coming bands in the genre?
Rich: There’s so many good new bands coming out of the UK at the moment, it’s awesome to be part of such a thriving scene. Again I think it’ll probably come down to the fact that we sound little different to a lot of the bands in our scene. The fact that our stuff is a little more aggressive might mean that we’re not quite as marketable as some other bands, but it does mean we have room to be a lot more versatile with the music we write. I think our newer material is going to have quite a range of stuff going on, once we get into writing properly again later this year.
AH: From reading various reviews, it’s been noticed the EP has a mix of pop punk and hardcore. Who do you consider as your influences?
Rich: It’s a pretty broad mix throughout the band which I think helps keeps things fresh when it comes to song writing. I’m really into hardcore and bands like Dead Swans, American Nightmare, Stick To Your Guns etc. are key ones for me personally, James is massively into stuff like Balance & Composure and Gnarwolves and we all love bands like A Day To Remember, Such Gold, Set Your Goals etc. So it’s a proper mix of styles. Everyone kind of brings their own personal influence into STC and we’ve always just written stuff without thinking too much about what it sounds like, if we enjoy playing it then that’s all that matters to us really.
AH: In terms of the bands lyrics, there seems to be a sense of honesty and bitterness throughout the EP. Can you tell us about the bands songwriting process and what influences it?
Rich: Yeah honesty is obviously a big part of this record, and from a lyrical perspective everything is very personal to James. He’s definitely used these songs to get stuff off his chest I think and one of the things that we’ve noticed is that people seem to find their own meanings in the songs and relate to them which is awesome. In terms of our actual song writing process, we spent a good six months piecing these together individually as well as together in the practice room, we recorded a few demos at various points and tested them out live at shows as well, making changes along the way to ensure they’d sound as good in a live environment as they do on record. Pretty much all the songs on this record are quite high energy tracks and that’s because we wanted to make sure that our live show was as fun as possible for both us and the people that come and watch us.
AH: With the likes of Neck Deep, Roam, and As It Is making strides for UK bands over in America, what’s the next major goal for STC?
Rich: It’s pretty incredible what those bands have done to raise the profile of the UK scene. I think if we can even do half of what those bands have done we’d be really happy! In terms of our next goal, it probably has to be touring. We’re still very much a small DIY band at the moment in terms of booking everything for ourselves and we’re only really just starting to do tours instead of one off shows, our main aim is to really step that up this year and hit the road as much as we can.
AH: Like I mentioned earlier, the UK pop punk scene has grown greatly in recent years. What bands would you like to recommend to our readers?
Rich: There’s so many awesome bands coming out of the UK scene right now. I can’t recommend Trash Boat and Homebound enough. We did a short run of shows with those guys last year, it was a lot of fun and awesome to watch their sets each night. Light You Up and Boston Manor are also going to do really well this year and it’s worth keeping an eye on Montrose as well!
AH: Now the EP has been out for a few weeks and with it being a new year, what can we expect to see from Six Time Champion in 2015?
Rich: Our aim for this year is to play as many shows as we possibly can really. We have a couple of short tours booked for February and March and we’re in the process of sorting a couple of full UK runs over the summer. As a band we’re always writing new stuff and we already have a fair amount of ideas in terms of new material, but we’re not really sure what we’ll be doing with any of it yet.
AH: Do you have any final words to share with the Already Heard readers?
Rich: Just a big thanks to anyone that’s taken the time to check us out really! We massively appreciate the support and hopefully we’ll see you at a show!
‘Expecting Honesty’ by Six Time Champion is out now.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)