SIX BY SIX is the new trio consisting of Canadian guitarist Ian Crichton (Saga), British drummer Nigel Glockler (Saxon), and American multi-instrumentalist & vocalist Robert Berry (Hush / 3 ) . An interesting combo, with progressive and metal backgrounds. As a fan of early Saga and in later years Saxon (and years ago I interviewed Robert Berry for something), so I am keen to hear this. As with Saga, what is first noticeable is the distinctive guitar sound of Crichton from song to song. But where Crichton’s guitar usually shares the songs or is overshadowed by keyboards in Saga – that is not the case here. This is a ‘heavy’ guitar album, not ‘metal’, just a big sound, heavy rock, and progressive, with some fine vocal arrangements. Fave picks are melodic rockers “The Upside Of Down” and “Save The Night”. Plenty of solid tracks here like “The Last Words On Earth” (awesome big organ intro), and more progressive cuts like “Casino” and “Battle Of A Lifetime”, and the short ballad “Live Forever”. A cool sounding album, well worth checking out. The album is due out August19 (CD & LP!), and there will also be a graphic novel – The Journey Internal to be published on September 30th 2022, as a companion. *check out the bio/press release below …
The term six by six can conjure various images. It could be something of large and impressive stature or perhaps the dimensions of a newly discovered space on the planet. For some, it may be the exponential potential of those numbers. For others, it might bring to mind the rhythmic pulse of sound waves.
Now, for the initiated, for those in the know, SiX by SiX is perhaps all of those things. It’s also the name for an exciting new band. It’s a sizable collaboration filling a massive sonic space and driven by three renowned and diverse musicians of international origin. The anticipation is palpable as the group is about to release its eponymous debut album on the InsideOutMusic label, part of Sony.
SiX by SiX is composed of three hugely accomplished and highly acclaimed, musicians hailing from disparate corners of the globe and each with the pedigree to back up the claim. They are guitarist Ian Crichton from the acclaimed Canadian prog rockers Saga, recognized as one of the top rock players in North America, powerhouse drummer Nigel Glockler of English heavy metal masters Saxon, and U.S. based Robert Berry, perhaps best known for his association with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer in their group ‘3’ on bass, keyboards and vocals.
The roots of SiX by SiX can be traced back decades to a time when Glockler and Berry were together as part of Yes guitarist Steve Howe’s continuation of the band GTR. Then there’s the Asia connection, where Crichton and Glockler contributed to sessions and recordings, while Berry was the link for his guitarist friend Pat Thrall joining that band. Time marches on, paths cross and fate brings these three musicians together, born from a conversation with an industry insider in the UK who connected Ian Crichton in the Toronto area with Robert Berry outside San Francisco, who in turn reached Glockler at his home on the south coast of England.
While the chemistry of the band transcends audio speakers and their sound is distinctly their own, comparisons to other power trios past and present will likely be inevitable. SiX by SiX boldly say, “Bring it on!” Certainly, discerning listeners will hear an expansive guitar-driven pallet, paired sonically with the unique flavor of the Crichton/Berry songwriting collaboration. If you don’t already know Ian, Nigel, or Robert individually or collectively as SiX by SiX, you’ll likely know them soon. Management is in place; the record company has assembled an enthusiastic support team and a tour is in the works. All in all, the SiX by SiX equation adds up to winning numbers. And that’s good news for everybody.
SiX By SiX
“SiX By SiX”
Playing time: 46 min 48 sec
1. Yearning to Fly
3. Reason to Feel Calm Again
4. The Upside of Down
6. Live Forever
7. The Last Words on Earth
8. Skyfall 9. Battle of a Lifetime
10. Save the Night
About The Journey Internal :
THE JOURNEY INTERNAL, A Graphic Novel is based on the songs of SiX By SiX, and is the result of a collaboration between the band and renowned Chicago-based artist J.C. Baez. It will be available for purchase through www.StNicksPicks.com for customers in North America and through Burning Shed www.burningshed.com worldwide.
Though not conceived as a concept album, the band and the artist have woven the songs into a compelling tale of one man’s adventures and struggles. THE JOURNEY INTERNAL is a poignant and captivating story of his quest to find beauty and peace. Drawn in dramatic graphic detail, it chronicles the journey of Reign searching for sunlight in a very dark world. Following him from the highest highs to the lowest lows. The pages turn from battles of fire to demons in dungeons, from the confines of Reign’s inner mind to the realities encountered on the streets. From his solitude in battle to finding inspiration from a dream not yet realized.
Ian Crichton comments: “This graphic novel is amazing. The way that J.C Baez has blended the lyrics and captured the emotion of each song into a visually stunning graphic interpretation is simply amazing.
Nigel Glockler comments: “One word sums up this incredible visual feast: stunning!!!
Robert Berry comments: “When J.C. approached us we were intrigued to see what he would come up with based on our songs. The results are masterful.”
J.C. Baez, a Chicago-based artist has collaborated with Jon Anderson of Yes, Steve Hackett of Genesis, and Walter Koenig, of Star Trek fame, and now Six By Six.
J.C. Baez comments: “I am fortunate to be working with Ian, Nigel, and Robert, bringing their amazing musical ideas into the visual realm. The process has been very much a collaboration and I’ve been made to feel like part of the Six By Six family. This story is dynamic and exciting and I’m thrilled to work on this graphic novel which is in the vein of Genesis’s ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and other classic albums.”
SiX By SiX, featuring Ian Crichton, Nigel Glockler & Robert Berry, launch third single ‘China’
With the release of the record only two weeks away, the band are releasing one final track prior to fans getting to hear the album in full. Watch the video for ‘China’ now here: https://youtu.be/stTEYLiTYWQ
Robert Berry comments: “The song China came about differently than most of our songs. Ian had sent me a very cool finger picking type riff, which was playing repeatedly in my head as I tried to go to sleep one night. Earlier that evening the television news ran a story about China, including the appalling oppression of the Uyghur Muslims. I couldn’t get that out of my head either. I have many Chinese friends who do not agree with what the government of China is doing. Suddenly, inspired by Ian’s finger picking, this heavy riff came to mind. Then, as I paired it with the news story, the lyric just poured out. Born from anger and disbelief but also with respect for my Chinese friends, this song came to me in one big flash. When Ian heard the basic writing demo he immediately headed into new territory with the guitar solo. It’s angry, edgy, and totally psychotic in nature – a perfect fit! And of course we all must say ‘goodnight’ and good riddance to any government that treats its people so harshly.”