Sixties Future is:
Chris Couche – Lead Vocals
Mo Halliday – Bass
Adam Clukey – Guitars
Steve Tripi – Drums
Jake Malone-Brancato – Keyboards
Sixties Future is hard to describe. Even when you hear the name you’ll find yourself asking what you’re getting into. The Buffalo, NY based All-American Rock band is a little bit of self-proclaimed “dad-rock”, in a sense that they’re tipping their hats to Springsteen and Tom Petty while still letting you know that it’s 2016. They’re a band that has the edge of The National and Gaslight Anthem but remains adamant about sticking to the simple song format. Perhaps the best way to describe the five-piece outfit would be to define them by what they aren’t, and they aren’t messing around…
…Unless they’re being interviewed.
I met up with the band at their North Buffalo practice space where lead singer Chris Couche tells me early on (during one of drummer Steve Tripi’s rants about none other than Academy Award winner, actor Nicholas Cage) that “This is why we don’t do good radio”.
I disagree, I think the moments when Sixties Future are cracking joke after joke is when you see them for who they are off-stage, which is just a group of friends who’ve known each other since they were kids.
After Tripi explains to me how the band’s origin was basically the exact same as Batman’s, bassist Mo Halliday broke down the real story:
“Chris, Adam Clukey (Guitars) and I all went to high school together. Adam and I were in a band and Chris was the best drummer in the school. We hounded him non-stop to join and he was always like ‘I want to be a dentist…’ He would never commit”. Halliday nods over to the man behind the drum kit before continuing. “I kept on playing and met Steve when I joined (Buffalo based psych-rock band) Sleepy Hahas. After I left that band, Chris kept hitting me up saying he wanted to sing. I was like ‘Alright, but aren’t you a drummer’? It eventually all came together though.”
Steve Tripi was originally added on as a session drummer. He was unsure about joining another band at first, due to fatigue from many years touring around with previous groups. Tripi eventually stuck around as the group’s full time drummer though. After the band wrote some of the material for their first EP, Jake Malone-Brancato was added on for keyboards to complete the line-up.
The band recently released their debut self-titled EP via Buffalo record label, Admirable Traits Records. The four tracks that appear on the EP were recorded at GCR Studios located in downtown Buffalo with engineer Jay Zubricky. The group knew what they wanted going into the studio and knew that Zubricky was the man for the job. After all, he’s known for recording some notable local acts such as The Traditional, Pentimento, and Head North. Halliday also has prior experience with the engineer, citing some 40 plus songs he’s recorded with him in the past. “He’s a master engineer. Sounds, sounds, sounds. He knows how to mic it and also makes it so you have options,” says Halliday “You’re never lost with anything and there’s always an option to bring in a different sound if you aren’t liking what you’re hearing.” Chris Couche related to Zubricky as well, saying “When we first got in there (GCR), he knew where we were as a band, which was super young.” “and raw” Tripi chimes in. “Yeah” Couche agrees “he was a huge help.”
Sixties Future, while still hot off of this recent release, is currently gearing up for the future of the band. They are preparing to open up for The Felice Brothers (making a return trip to Buffalo) at The Tralf on February 12th. They have also already finished the recording process of their next EP (returning to the studio with Zubricky at GCR). Although it won’t be released for a little while, the band agrees that the new record will be a step furthering them into their own style. “This is us” says Halliday of the new tracks “the last EP was us figuring it out, this stuff has pedal steel on it, and there are horns.” “It’s more focused” says Clukey while nodding in agreement.
There hasn’t been much down time for the group, who have been together for just a little over a year. This past September they opened up for The Trews at Town Ballroom and ended 2015 to a packed house at DBGB. As the band is picking up speed they remain humbled by the positive feedback their music has received. According to Halliday “We went from recording our first single and not even knowing if we wanted to put it out or not, to playing our first show and getting more people than we’ve ever had telling us to keep going, to keep doing it.”
2016 will be a big year for the group and it’s still just the beginning for Sixties Future.
Lead image: Brendan O’Connor