Electric avenue

Detroit’s Electric Six make their way to First Ave.

Tony Libera



WHO:Electric Six

WHEN:Wednesday, Nov. 3, 8 p.m.

WHERE:First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N



Sex, drugs, rock âÄònâÄô roll âÄî DetroitâÄôs Electric Six have it covered. Frontman Dick Valentine radiates machismo as he growls about dance, dames and drugs, with thick power chords thumping out of the stacks behind him in distorted harmony. A live Electric Six show is rock at its most riotous.

Their last trip to Minneapolis provided no shortage of amusement, from ValentineâÄôs incredible LSD-fueled performance to the throbbing mosh pit that resulted from it. Valentine has no qualms about speaking candidly about illicit drugs, describing his hexagonal vision while on acid before detailing the relation between drugs and Electric SixâÄôs music.

âÄúTheyâÄôre important in that weâÄôve seen people using drugs, weâÄôve encountered people using drugs at our shows, so we donâÄôt necessarily take the drugs ourselves, but we attempt to connect to a lot of these people based on the conversations weâÄôve had, based on their mannerisms, theyâÄôre spasms, theyâÄôre facial ticks,âÄù Valentine said. âÄúWe understand that more and more kids are using crystal meth and we look at that as âÄî we donâÄôt have an opinion on them taking crystal meth; itâÄôs not whether thatâÄôs a good or a bad thing. ItâÄôs a new cross-section of interpretation, so we try to fit our music into that cross-section to gin up more record sales.âÄù

Drugs are featured prominently throughout Electric SixâÄôs discography, along with dancing and overt sexuality, which Valentine attributes to the bandâÄôs pleasure-centric philosophy.

âÄúThe focus is on trying to make it as entertaining for ourselves, first of all; itâÄôs like a trickle-down theory, if weâÄôre entertained we feel that the entertainment will trickle down to the audience or the listener. ItâÄôs the trickle-down theory that actually works.âÄù

Some have argued that Electric SixâÄôs records are lacking in regards to lyrical content, nonsensical or devoid of any thematic depth. Valentine himself has estimated that around 90 percent of the songs are about nothing at all. But thatâÄôs a large part of the appeal for both fans and the band; the draw is simply having a good time.

 âÄúI think thatâÄôs the best way to go through not only writing an album, but to go through life,âÄù Valentine said.

Now seven studio albums in, with a considerable amount of frenetic touring in-between, one has to wonder how long Electric Six can continue to pump out staples of rock âÄònâÄô roll bravado. When given the choice between pulling back a bit and pushing the lifestyle until the wheels fall off, Valentine sounds unconcerned.

âÄúEither one of those scenarios would be appealing to us, because we do enjoy generating revenue and seeing the world, but at the same time it would be interesting to see what would happen to us as people if we maybe took a couple years off, and see how that would affect the band.âÄù

âÄúBut we donâÄôt plan anything. We just ride the wave as it comes to us.âÄù