Six Ft Hick
He may be “more into boats these days” rather than custom cars and quiffs, but Geoff Corbett of Brissie rock legends Six Ft Hick is still very keen about this year’s Chopped Rod & Custom Festival nevertheless. So much so, in fact, that he reckons the band’s actually been rehearsing for the event – no joke.
“Yeah, we normally never rehearse because after 15 years of doing this we kind of know what we sound like and it hasn’t gotten any better, so…” Corbett laughs. “But we’re definitely having a rehearsal for this gig and we’re bringing out a bit of the older stuff. We’ll do some newer stuff too, we released a seven-inch last year and we’re working on a new record as well, so maybe we’ll pull some newer-new stuff out. Maybe not. It may not be fit for human consumption. We’re looking at putting out a release by the middle of next year because we’re heading back to Europe in June so we’re looking at recording in February.”
And if you’ve ever wondered what the golden Six Ft Hick formula is – it’s pretty simple stuff, according to Corbett. No, literally.
“Usually I won’t come up with anything to write for like six months, then all of a sudden one morning I’ll wake up at 3am and punch out like six songs before I go to work – and that’s half the record done. There you go, that’s how it works. Then we’ll go into the rehearsal studio, as much as we hate doing that, and then we’ll tweak things around a bit until they actually sound like songs. Then we’ll put them on the record. The songs that happen really quickly are always the best ones – if it takes more than two tries and it’s still not quite working, then we’ll just throw it away. The best indicator of a good song is asking yourself the question, ‘will this be too hard to play when I’m pissed?’ It is the ultimate test.”
Yep, they do love their drink – but, hey, if it works, who not stick with it? It’s loud, it’s chaotic and sometimes silly, but the band’s live shows have had the Europeans going mental for Six Ft Hick for years, with Melbourne fans not too far behind either. According to the Slovenians, it’s actually award-winning stuff.
“We filmed this doco which aired on the ABC at the start of the year, and it’s been doing the festival circuit ever since,” states Corbett. “They aired it at the Brisbane International Film Festival and The Gallery Of Modern Art and the Melbourne Underground Short Film Festival in St Kilda. It’s aired at festivals in Norway and France and Slovenia… It’s actually won the best doco in Slovenia! The central theme of the doco was the last time we toured Europe two years ago this film crew followed us the whole time for 18 shows. They just got in our faces and wanted to film us playing toilets across Europe, really… It was a good thing in the end and we were surprised that the end product was actually pretty cool! It was also very embarrassing but thanks to editing, things that could have earned us a criminal record and cost us our jobs were taken out.”
Coming at a close second after Europe, Corbett reckons the band’s biggest fan-base has always been located in Melbourne as far as our own turf is concerned. However, as much as the singer describes his native home of Brisbane as “sometimes too conservative” to get Six Foot Hick, the option of moving to Melbourne never really appealed to the guys.
“We like to keep the mystery,” laughs Corbett. “If we’d moved to Melbourne we probably would have been just another band. I think for years we traded on the fact that we were from Queensland and we’re here to fuck shit up and wreak havoc and make everyone’s lives a misery… And then leave. Being from somewhere else definitely contributed to the myth and the misconception of what this band was. Nobody would ever see us doing our day jobs or walking around Coles. Which is what we do in Brisbane.”
So while Melbourne may not be seeing the boys buying underpants at the local Target any time soon, we will be seeing a whole lot more of Six Ft Hick on our stages at least in the New Year, according to Corbett.
“Ben’s [Corbett, guitar] other band The Gentle Bens are going to Europe for a month so that will slow things down for us a bit for now, but then from December onwards we’re looking at doing more shows. When I look back on our earlier days the only thing I wish we could do more of is the shows – I still really love doing it and I can’t imagine not doing it! I guess that’s a bit scary in itself because sooner or later something’s gotta give! Hopefully not soon.”
Six Ft Hick headline a totally fucking awesome lineup of musical acts at the three-day Chopped Rod & Custom Festival, taking place in Newstead on Friday September 30 until Sunday October 2.