RGM Introducing: We Interview 6:17 AND Alfonso Conspiracy

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide to start in music?

Nick (6:17): A few things really, I started playing guitar when I was 11 just as a hobby but it was when I discovered Nirvana and The Beatles that I really wanted to start writing music, and their lyrics really connected with me as well, especially Nirvana, so it just went from their, starting various failed attempts at bands haha. But it was when I discovered Nine Inch Nails and post-rock bands like Mogwai where 6:17 started, making me want to learn other instruments and get into production as well.

Max (Alfonso Conspiracy): I’m not really sure. I just grew up with musicians changing my nappies. And eventually I picked one of the guitars up. And then I guess I enjoyed it and realised I wanted to do that forever.

Introduce us all to you both and your musical history?

Nick: Hi I’m Nick and my solo project is 6:17. When I started it, it was always meant to be a studio project but that will change soon. I released my first EP back in 2017 called ‘The Fire Inside’ which was an instrumental post-rock/industrial EP that I did as a Uni project and was inspired by the book and film “The Road”. I then released a dark ambient track called “Barbed Heart” and an electronic/industrial cover of Radiohead’s “Like Spinning Plate’s (the first 6:17 track I sang on), before releasing my debut album “H01E5” last year, recorded during and loosely inspired by the shit show that was 2020 haha. 

Max: I’m Alfonso Conspiracy and I am a solo industrial metalcore sort of outfit. My debut album was released last year and since then I’ve been throwing out different tracks and bits, slowly building a name for myself.

What advise would you give other artists starting out?

Nick: Contrary to my project, always start by working with other musicians and/or producers, sometimes you can get stuck in your own head if you do it all on your own, making the end product take way too long to finish and making you despise it by the end haha. Plus working with other people will bring out ideas you’d never find on your own.

Max: You do you. Don’t let anything get in the way of your goals, especially other people. Keep driven to be what you want to be, whether you do it alone or with an orchestra.

What support is out there for new artists in Hull ?

Nick: Quite a lot really, there’s a few local labels, the venues are fantastic like the Adelphi, Polar Bear, Dive and Social plus many more, quite a lot of decent affordable music studios (like the one I work at Unit 45 Recordings), but I’d say one of the biggest things in Hull to support artists at the minute is The Sesh and Humber Street Sesh, the sesh is a night at the polar bear showcasing 3 local artists every week and its always packed, and Humber Street Sesh (or this year Inner City Sesh) is an annual festival ran by the sesh, it’s always superbly ran, and not many other aspiring artists have a chance at playing a festival where you’ll be seen by hundreds of people, even on the smaller stages, like you can in Hull.

Max: Drunks wanting to have an excuse to drink and throw hands in the pit every week.

Who is inspiring you at the minute on the Hull unsigned scene?

Nick: Hull’s always had a great music scene since I started going to gigs almost 10 years ago, right now my favourites are The Holy Orders, Bloodhound, Low Hummer, System Paralysis, The Cartels, Cannibal Animal, Katie Spencer, Bedsit, Unwired Society, Bill Worry, Modern Mood Swings and obviously Alfonso Conspiracy. I might have forgotten a few but there are loads of great artists.

Max: Nick is quite a lot to be honest. Never really worked with a musician like him. We clicked really well and had a blast. When making music the concept of ‘hmmm what would nick do’ pops in to my head.

What would you like to see more of in Hull?

Nick: Probably more industrial bands/projects, it seems like we are the only two.

Max: Generally nice things would be good.

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? 

Nick: Me personally no, I think the world is fucking strange enough as it is haha.

Max: What Nick said.

What useless party trick /talent do you have/? 

Nick: I can do a weirdly realistic impression of a baby crying.

Max: To be honest my life is just a collection of party tricks. One of which is my music career but it’s getting slightly out of hand now.

Tell us something about each artist that you think people would be surprised about? 

Nick: I don’t know really, probably that I’m not as much as a goth as my music sounds, if that makes sense.

Max: Hmmm…I feel like I’m quite an open book to be honest. You know what you’re getting into if you follow me or talk to me for 5 mins. And that isn’t a good thing.

Tell us a funny story from backstage?

Nick: Well we haven’t played together on stage yet, well in fact 6:17 hasn’t ever been played live, so all of that is yet to come.

Max: Not sure about back stage but I can tell you that I’m yet to play a performance without falling over something or tripping or kicking something over etc. I’m just so clumsy it’s a nightmare.

Name a four piece band made up of legends – who would be in it? (drummer, bass, lead singer etc)

Nick: This is easy for me, Dave Grohl on drums, Josh Homme on lead guitar, Trent Reznor on Bass/Piano and Thom Yorke on lead vocals, rhythm guitar/piano.

Max: Wow that’s a good one…

I’ll still refuse to die until I hear Trent Reznor and Maynard James Keenan work together. So then to, being them. I think Dave Grohl on drums honestly, his work on With Teeth and of course the countless other bands of his career makes me think he’d really bring the punk out in them. And then I’ll slap John 5 in there. That’d be a weird band but I’m here for it.

Right now, whats pissing you of the most? (Cant say the virus )

Nick: For me its that all of the worlds leaders aren’t taking climate change as seriously as it is, or at least they aren’t acting on it as quickly and as strictly as they should.

Max: Just people in general to be honest… about 95% of them anyway.

I hear you have a new project brewing, what can you tell us about it?

Nick: Well our collaborative EP “Crown” is out on the 15th October, we started collaborating for it back in February I think. It started out as just a double single but we enjoyed our writing process that much we decided to make it into a full EP.

Max: What Nick said.

Talk me through the thought process of the new music?

Nick: If you’ve heard any of our music before, you’ll recognise the lyric themes, depressing, angry and dark, sometimes all in one haha. It mixes influences, but all tracks stay in that industrial theme, just different variations of it, if that makes sense. 

Max: It’s basically just me and Nick going into a room together, and seeing what happens. This is the result. Nothing new for either of us, but we put our brains together to form something new. And it has paid off! I hope we can make more in the future.

What was the recording process like?

Nick: Well it started in one of the lockdowns, so we were just sending ideas back and forth and recording at home for the first part. King of nothing and Queen of everything was mainly done that way, but when lockdown lifted we got into the studio to complete parts of them and finish the rest off. Something Inside was personally my favourite to record, because we did that 100% together in the studio, bringing no ideas to the studio, so it was all done (other than the lyrics) there and then.

Max: To add from that, we really did get the full experience. Some tracks fully at home, some in and out of the studio, some straight in the studio. It was basically just trying to make music whilst countering a virus, lots of technical issues and yeah!

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the tunes?

Nick: Learning not to be a control freak. 6:17 is my baby and I always write everything for it, but I found it very enjoyable to work with Max. I don’t meet a lot of people who make similar music to 6:17, and I soon realised we were both on the same page ideas wise.

Max: Yeah basically. I’m not good at collaborating ideas but me and Nick really bounced off each other so it felt natural to work with him. I trust him as a musician and he trusts me, so even if we might disagree with something, we will hear it out and pretty much always agree after.

Would you change anything now its finished?

Nick: Honestly no, I think this EP is some of the best music I’ve worked on and best production work I’ve done, and I think it works really well as a piece of work. Lastly the artist that did our EP cover (Adam Arnold) did an amazing job at capturing the theme of the EP, I think it looks great. 

Max: Of course not, if I would, it wouldn’t be finished!

What are your plans for the year ahead 

Nick: Well I want to start gigging with 6:17, I’ve got a live band sorted and we’re going to start rehearsing next month, playing some tracks from all my past releases and maybe even a couple off this EP, then start recording my next album. But also I want to do a few shows with Max and maybe even play Crown in its entirety. 

Max: Lots of music. Lots of gigs. Lots of world domination.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Nick: Well I’ve just started the next series of the podcast I do at Unit 45 Recordings called “P’s In A Pod” if anyone wants to check it out. It’s me and the other producers at the studio and we talk about all things music related plus we have guests on every couple of weeks. And finally I’m in another band called Let Man Loose where I play bass, so check us out, we’re inspired by Queens Of The Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, The Beatles and much more. We’ve got a few gigs coming up this year and are planning to start recording our next EP early next year.

Max: Not really. Stay safe and don’t be a dick.