Interview with Lauren Harris and Olly Smith – Six Hour Sundown – September 2011

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Planetmosh interviewed Lauren and Olly from Six Hour Sundown shortly after they came off stage after supporting The Treatment at their album launch show at The Borderline in London on 6th September.

Planetmosh: You formerly toured and released an album as Lauren Harris then as the Lauren Harris band, why the name change to Six hour sundown?

Lauren: Its not really a name change it kind of like a new band, a whole new thing.  It kind of turned into a band when I was out as a solo artist anyway because all of us became so close and we started writing songs together and stuff, and then we decided to drop the name completely and perform properly as a band

Planetmosh: Is the name change a way of breaking the association with your Dad’s band?

Lauren: Errm Wow, you know I didnt really think about that and nobody’s asked me that yet.  No it wasn’t done specifically for that reason, it was just done because now it is a band so we wanted a band name so we could put our stamp on it, you know I’m not the only one in the band, there’s four of us altogether so we just wanted to make it a bit more equal and yeah that’s it really.

Planetmosh: Where did the name “Six Hour Sundown” come from?

Lauren: We were talking amongst friends and just laughing and having a drink and stuff, and you know when somebody says “Oh I fancy a drink” and it’s like one o’clock in the afternoon or something, and you’re like “really, you’re going to start drinking now?” then someone said “it’s five o’clock somewhere in the world”, so that’s kind of
Olly: But we didnt go for five
Lauren: No we went for six, because six is a cooler number, and six is my birthday, and it kind of led on from there, six hour, six hour sunday.
Olly: And its good imagery as well, and it leaves it a bit open as well, leaves you to imagine  a bit.
Planetmosh: It also doesn’t tie you in to anything specific like some names do
Olly: Yeah that’s somethign we were keen to avoid, making sure it wasn’t going to pigeonhole us, and some names do that, but normally those names do that for a reason.
Planetmosh: What in your view is the biggest difference between Six hour sundown and the Lauren Harris band?

Olly: Much more now
Lauren: Yeah its much more current – the songs are more current.  What we were doing before was almost a different genre really.  I think now its a lot more rocky, more melodic rock, whereas before it was much more pop orientated rock, so I think that’s really the main difference, and of course now there’s a band feel to it which I think gives it a completely different feel anyway.

Planetmosh: Your info page says you have a mini album due out in the summer.  When is it likely to be released and what can we expect from it?

Lauren: Oh we didn’t specify it was summer 2012.
Olly: We didn’t say which summer (laughing).
Lauren: No it’s just the way things have gone, you know time just flies away with you, and now we’ve got new management on board to look after us, so now we’re planning ahead and planning to release a single or EP type type of thing early next year, probably February, and then we’ll release the album in the summer to coincide with the festivals and that kind of stuff.
Olly: I think it’s important for us to get ourselves out there and kind of hone our craft a bit as well – do some more gigs as six hour sundown as its a whole new band, and we’ve only really done a handful of shows, so maybe go out towards the end of the year, try and get a support slot, kind of build ourselves up that way and then as Lauren says, release stuff next year
Planetmosh: You’ve only done  ahandful of shows…but one of them was Sonisphere.
Olly: Yeah we’re pretty luck that one of those happened to be Sonisphere. Very lucky.
Planetmosh: Any more touring plans before the EP comes out?

Lauren: Definitely, we definitely want to get out there and do some touring.  Like Olly said, nothing is set in stone at the moment so we can’t give anything away, but we definitely will be.
Planetmosh: What bands have influenced Six Hour Sundown’s sound ?

Lauren: We all kind of come from really different backgrounds music-wise, so there’s a little bit of all that thrown into a pot really.  My influences kind of start in classic rock, but I’ve been listening to a lot more current bands – I love Foo Fighters, I meant hey’re just straight up rock.
Olly: I think that’s something we all have in common regardless of where we come from musically.  I come from quite a heavy metal background you know, my favourite band’s always been Metallica but I dont think that comes in to it because I love the Foo fighters as well, and something we try to do, and it happened fairly organically is just to be rock without being pigeonholed too much, so its not some trend, its not classic rock, its not new melodic rock, we like to think its just good old fashioned rock music with good vocals on top – that’s how I see it.
Planetmosh: You toured extensively under the name “Lauren Harris band” with lots of large acts including Iron Maiden, how did it feel to play to audiences of that magnitude?

Lauren:  Insane to be honest.  It was just incredible, I can’t really put it into words. Olly was out with us, in 2009 wand we went back to South America and I think the second time round we played to the biggest audience we did, in Sao Paolo, and when we were on stage there were probably around 45000 people there which you just can’t descibe, it’s just absolutely unbelievable
Olly: It was amazing for me because it’s what I’ve always dreamt of my whole life, from the age of 13 when I had a Metallica poster on my wall, I can still picture the poster in my head with that crowd, and I always wanted to be able to look out at something like that, and of course at that stage they weren’t our crowd – hopefully one day they will be, but to look out and see them clapping along to your songs was amazing.

Planetmosh: After playing huge venues, how does it feel playing tiny venues such as the Borderline ?

Olly: A gig’s a gig.
Lauren: You know what, it doesn’t matter how big or small, you still give it 100%, and what we’re tring to do is build up something right from the ground up again so we are going to play those venues and it feels really good because we feel really really good about what we’re doing now, where we are, and how we’ve all progressed, evolved both as people and musicians.
Planetmosh: What sort of reactions have you had so far?

Lauren: We’ve had really positive reactions from people really, across the board. Everyone says they like the new stuff, its more rocky and more current, just getting great responses from people really.
Planetmosh: Did you find it hard supporting Iron Maiden as their fans tend to be very loyal and some support bands have had a bad reaction in the past – I seem to remember Trivium having a bottle of urine thrown at them.

Lauren: Yeah I know, I think anyone that goes out on tour with Iron Maiden has a job on their hands, because Maiden fans only want to see Maiden and you just have to try and win people over, thats all you can do.  Some people have a good reaction, some people have a bad reaction.
Olly: I won’t lie, I think it helped having the family connection – they maybe gave us a chance whereas some bands don’t get that chance.  I understand what it’s like to go and see your favourite band and not wanting to sit through something that you don’t necessarily enjoy, I do understand that.
Planetmosh:  I can’t understand people who aren’t willing to give the support bands a chance – I’ve found some great bands who were supporting the band I’d gone to see.

Olly: Yeah I agree, but I think that sometimes people think that if the support bands finished earlier then the main band would be on earlier and play for longer, but if the support bands came off after five minutes the main band wouldnt come on much earlier.
Planetmosh: Or they may come on earlier but they’ll just finish earlier.
Olly: Exactly, it’s still going to be exactly the same setlist whatever happens, people forget that.  Maybe they should give that out on a leaflet at the shows – “No matter how much you hate the support bands, if they go off early then you’re still not going to se Iron Maiden any earlier”
Planetmosh: It just means a longer gap with no music.
Lauren: Exactly.

Planetmosh: Where did you meet Tom & Mitch?

Lauren: Tom I know because he lives in my home town and through people knew each other, and Ritchie knew him and put him forward, and Mitch.
Olly: We discovered we were looking around for a bass player, looking on websites and all those ways you look for people apparently these days and then we had a couple of auditions with him and it all went really well
Lauren: That’s it
Planetmosh: Ok thank’s very much for your time
Lauren: Thankyou

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.