/FEATURED ARTIST: SIX TIME LOSERS
Six Time Losers, a country trio based in Orlando, Florida, released their second LP in May of this year. From its laid-back title, The Way It Goes, to its twangy vocals and drawn-out leads, the album is exactly the type of music Six Time Losers set out to make: classic country. We connected with the band and gave them the soundparlor 10, and here's what they had to say, along with a taste of their work:
from left: Lester McFly, Butch Wisdom, Otis Lee Miller.
the soundparlor 10: an interview with Six Time Losers
where are you from, where did you grow up, and where do you spend most of your time these days?
Butch Wisdom: I am from Webster, FL and grew up there. To be honest, when I'm not ripping out air conditioners with Lester, I'm at home playing Madden and listening to music.
Otis Lee Miller: I was born in the hills of western New York. But, we moved to Clermont, FL when I was two. I left when I was 17, and spent 8 years traveling nearly everywhere in the Western Hemisphere for some period of time. But, like a lot of people, I ended up back home, in Lake County, Florida. I've lived there since 2010.
Lester McFly: Born in southern Ill, grew up in Clermont, and now live in Orlando.
was there a specific event, moment, or song that first got you "into" music?
Butch: I heard "Comedown" by Bush on a ride at the local fair when I was 10. Up to that point, I had only really listened to Top 40 Country and gospel music. I guess I had never really heard rock and roll before. It made me feel different than other music that I had heard and I guess opened my mind to the possibility that I could make people feel that same way if I just had a guitar.
Otis: Not really. My family has always been very into music. None of them are actually musicians, but all huge music fans. My stepfather grew up in Hollywood, CA in the 60s. He has all kinds of great stories about hanging with Jim Morrison, The Allman Brothers, and a bunch of other cool cats, back in the day.
Lester: Nope...Grandfathered in, my family had a touring gospel group, The Family Heirs, since before I was born, and I have been in it in some way, shape, or form my entire life.
who were your biggest musical influences growing up?
Butch: Growing up in church and going to various church camps, youth rallies, etc., especially in the South, Southern Gospel, blue grass, and traditional country music were things that I was exposed to early and often. There never seemed to be a shortage of guys with old guitars and Skoal rings sitting on tailgates in the church parking lots I frequented. Looking back now it's hard to say some of those guys weren't my biggest influences.
Otis: My mom is really into Southern rock, and classic country. So, that's mainly what I heard growing up. And, being a child of the 90s, I also listened to a lot of Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, etc.
Lester: SRV, Skynyrd, Slayer, Metallica (pre black album, of course...), Zakk Wylde, Andy Timmons, Yngwie Malmsteen.
what bands are "those bands" that you're listening to right now?
Butch: I believe one's sanity is sacred, so I steer clear of mainstream country radio. I'm definitely listening to a lot of Fifth on the Floor, Homemade Wine, Matt Woods...just good old country music by some really talented young guys.
Otis: As far as new music goes, some of my favorites right now are: Fifth on The Floor, Hellbound Glory, American Aquarium, Joey Allcorn.
Lester: Clutch, Black Label Society, Alabama Thunderpussy.
what instruments do you play, and how long have you been playing?
Butch: I've been playing guitar since I was 10. And again, growing up in church, there was always a piano around, so I've been tinkering with that since about the same time...but the guitar is definitely home.
Otis: I have dabbled in a quite a few instruments over the years. But, my main instrument has always been bass. I've been taking that somewhat seriously for about 13 years now.
Lester: I've played guitar for 20 years, bass for 15.
into what genre would you say your music fits? (and feel free to invent a new one if necessary)
Butch: That's a tough question. And mainly because the answer is so simple. This band plays pure, unadulterated, country music. But to say it "fits" into today's genre of "country" would be to say something I don't truly believe. All I know is that there are too many artists who, like ourselves, truly appreciate and have a desire to further the great tradition of American country music and feel that the necessary vehicle to provide the great fans of the genre with a product of some integrity, has...well...run off into a ditch somewhere.
Otis: I just call it Country. But that means something different to me than it does to most people these days. Most people would probably classify us as Alt-Country, I guess.
Lester: Pearl Jam B-Sides/pop country.
to what extent have you recorded and produced your music? any complete albums? any previous experience with the recording industry?
Butch: The Way It Goes is the second full-length album for Six Time Losers.
Otis: We have released two full-lengths and an EP with Six Time Losers. The two full length albums were recorded, mixed, and produced entirely by us. We had some help on the engineering side with our self-titled EP. But we were heavily involved in that recording process as well. I have a degree in Recording Arts, and have worked as both a live and studio engineer for the last 11 years or so. And, Lester and I have been on the road playing music together pretty much since the day I got my driver's license. Butch went to the next high school over from us. And we managed to pick him up somewhere along the way.
Lester: I have been recording stuff since about 2000, I've been in multiple touring acts in various genres, with EPs, several full length albums, and countless side projects and solo albums. Studios have ranged from shit garage 4-tracks to full on Dreamworks production. Once I recorded a metal EP in Chris Kirkpatrick's basement studio with some guy named Q tip.
what is the ultimate goal that you've set for your musical career?
Butch: Going back to a previous point, I just really love country music and the fraternal aspect of it. I've always felt like country music was a part of me and I owed it to myself to become a part of it. There's not really a country song that hasn't been written. We just all put our own spins on each other's stuff, I guess. But that's what makes it great. I don't think anyone cares. It's just country. As far as goals, I've seen the country with my band. I've opened for David Allan Coe. I've had people tell me that our songs meant something to them or helped them in some small way. To be honest, I can't really conceive any further achievements that would seem either realistic or more rewarding. My goal is just to serve the song, I guess. Serve the music.
Otis: I would love to be able to support myself playing 100 shows a year. Playing 200 shows a year is a tough way to live. And, until you "make it," that's usually what you have to do to make a living playing music.
Lester: A full-on professional studio setup in house...and/or to be able to make a sustainable living playing.
what are some of the immediate challenges you face in the pursuit of that goal?
Butch: I guess with my goal being to serve the music and to protect the integrity of said music, my biggest challenge is to not get lazy. It's very easy for me to make things rhyme and put a nice bow on it and serve it up to the 12 to 18 demographic, but I've got to sleep at night, you know?
Otis: There is a lot of great music out there, that is getting little to no mainstream coverage these days. We are just one of the many underground country bands hoping to gain notoriety. Hopefully we'll be one of the lucky few who happen to find themselves in the right place at the right time somewhere along the way.
do you have any shows, tours, albums, or other musical ventures happening in the next 6-12 months?
Otis: We have a few great Orlando area shows coming up to close out this year: September 28th with Neil Alday & Further South, October 21st with Bill Kirchen (Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen), and November 17th with American Aquarium. We are also planning a short Southeast tour in December, and a longer one in March.
if there's anything else you'd like us to know, go ahead and spill your guts below.
Lester: I heard they serve beer on the sun. ♪