If you head over to the venerable All Music Guide online database and enter the name Electric Six, you’ll find the following “themes” attributed to the Detroit sextet: “Cool & Cocky,” “Guys Night Out,” “TGIF,” and, of course, “Party Time.” Those are fitting topics for a group that blends cock rock, disco, and new wave with hilariously absurd lyrics.
“Wait, what was that third one again?” asks E6 frontman Dick Valentine.
“Oh … yeah,” he says. “I can see that because, you know, I live for Friday, but ‘Guys Night Out,’ yeah, that sums it up. Our crowd is skewing more and more to, like, aggro-meathead dude, and I love it when those guys wanna bro down with us after the show, and then they realize that we’re just these scrawny guys in our 30s with sinus problems that don’t want anything to do with their lifestyle.”
Paying too much attention to the six men behind the Electric curtain might shatter the myths of mayhem and depravity. But such classics as “Gay Bar,” “Vibrator” and “Danger! High Voltage” in E6’s high-volume live show can always be depended upon to rock you to the depths of debauchery… and crack you the hell up too. Valentine’s tongue is so firmly planted in his cheek that it’s a wonder he can sing at all; though, it probably explains the fieeee-yahhs, deh-yah-VILLs, and hayyy-ILLs that bellow from his maw. Still, these guys are no stooges or pure novelty act. Their great songs, solid musicianship, and the ability to toe the line between parody and sincerity make them, in spirit, more like Kiss or the Supersuckers than Spinal Tap or Tenacious D.
“Yeah, it’s not some big joke, but we also don’t sit around in the van and go, ‘Hey, read me those lyrics to “Gay Bar” again. What do you guys think about them?'” Valentine notes. “I don’t know if any band sits around and thinks about what they do too much. I mean, we hung out with one of the guys from Radiohead one night, and he was smoking hash out of a Pepsi can.
So basically, the important thing in life is to have a good time and to make it to the show in a timely manner.”