An Interview with
Guitarist, Eric Griffin (ex-Murderdolls/The Dreaming) & Lead Vocalist/Guitarist, Starlin Cross
(Photo by Allie Jorgen)
of the LA based Rock band
'Six Days ‘Til Sunday'
that took place on 4th May 2014.
Interview by Glenn Milligan
Glenn: How did the band come to be?
Starlin: Devlin 9 (Drummer)
and I met through some mutual friends probably a couple of years ago
and I played him some songs. He really dug what he heard so I heard
he was a great drummer so we decided to start working together and we
got a bunch of songs that became the album ‘Predetermined’.
Once we had those songs we were like, ‘We need to get this out
there and play it for some people’ and Eric and Malice (D’Priest
– Bassist) were the two we always thought would be great for the
band. So we approached them and were lucky enough to get them and we’re
thrilled with the line-up and it’s been awesome ever since.
Glenn: Where did the name ‘Six Days ‘Til Sunday’ come from because it’s a genius name?
Starlin: The name of the band is… well you have uniting of six which is basically the devils number in the eye of Sunday which is the Lords day. Six Days ‘Til Sunday is basically the measure between good and evil and everything in between.
Glenn: Excellent. I met Starlin back in January at The Rainbow and he gave OZZFestAmy and I a CD each which we checked out & loved the album.
Starlin: I remember that. It was awesome.
Glenn: Yeah we were just sat there and you turned up.
Starlin: Yeah it was Devlin and I, I believe.
Glenn: Yeah awesome. What are your musical and vocal influences and how did they influence you as individuals in the band and how have you incorporated these influences into the bands style?
Eric: Well for me it started off with early Motley (Crue) and Kiss and then everything from Iron Maiden to old Ozzy (Osbourne) to Slayer and then as time progressed I started getting into electronic music and industrial stuff and Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson and some other mediums but mostly I’m a Metal kid.
Starlin: We have very similar backgrounds as far as the music goes. Definitely love all the things he just said and for me, (David) Bowie was also a big influence. I love his voice and I love his delivery of the way he does his thing. So yeah – always been into Rock & Metal. I listen to all kinds of stuff and I think when we started doing this album we really didn’t have a set sound to what we were gonna go for. We just let it come out organically. So the sum of what you hear is pretty much 100% what we sound like and there was nothing contrived about it or anything like that. It’s just that all our influences kinda came out.
(Photos by Wendy Yang Kinkaid & Gianni A. Neiviller)
Glenn: I know when I listened to it I thought it’s got like a dark Murderdoll sound and it’s got like a Marilyn Manson and there are all sorts of styles that are coming out that are meshing together and working really well.
Starlin: Yeah Devlin comes from a Black Metal background but he wanted to do something a little bit more melodic and he’s never been a real big fan of the Black Metal kinda singers. Meshing all the metal guitars plus his style of Black Metal drumming and melodic vocals is…
Eric: Yeah I think believe it or not his drum style is what makes our music a little bit more contemporary. There’s a lot of post Industrial and Metal influences on there but the machine gun ballistic drumming is something that hasn’t been combined this way and I think kids are gonna eat it like candy.
Starlin: It’s really awesome because it has a new emotional element – a little bit more fire for the part.
Glenn: Yeah definitely. Eric what would you say your best moments were and your highlights when you were in The Murderdolls. I remember seeing The Murderdolls back when you were at Donington back in 2003.
Eric: Well Donington was definitely one of the highlights. I dreamed about playing that since I was a little kid. It used to be called the ‘Monsters Of Rock’ and it was like one of the greatest days of my life. You know, Iron Maiden headlined and we were about to go on the road with them for two months right after that and 40,000 people a night – it was a football stadium every day. I grew up on ‘Live After Death’ and standing on that stage and looking up and seeing the Eddie tapestries and running on their risers and their runways during sound-check and playing Steve Harris’s bass. That was definitely one of the highlights for me but that whole time.. it was… it was an epic adventure and very lucky to have done that and I really miss the UK. I hope we get to get over there with this project really soon. It’s a lot of fun and you guys really know a lot about Rock ‘n’ Roll over there.
(Photo by Nevan Arkay)
Glenn: Yeah. I have asked this question to every member of the Murderdolls although I’ve not talked to Joey (Jordison) yet but it’s always a similar sort of answer. They absolutely loved the fact that they were at Donington and it meant so much too them in the UK and the bands that were playing there and everything else.
Eric: Well the UK jumped on board before anybody with that band. The UK was really the first market that really latched on to what we were doing. I think at the time over here in the (United) States radio and MTV X I think it was called at the time was really doing Nu-Metal and everybody had short spiky hair and was tune way low and we kinda did this Rock ‘N’ Roll thing with some Kiss and Motley Crue thrown in there and some Misfits and the UK got it first and we appreciated that. I still appreciate that. I really hope we get to get over there soon.
Glenn: Yeah. How was your time when you were playing with Johnny Haro in The Dreaming?
Eric: I played with them maybe a year or a year and half ago. I’ve been good friends with most of the members of that band for quite some time and I was out touring with Genitorturers and they called. I’m not sure if that was the right band for me and I’m not sure if I was the right guitar player for them but they just signed with Metropolis and I couldn’t be happier for them. It’s the right label for them and I definitely wish them the best.
Glenn: You’ve stated in your CD Inlay that there are no pre-programmed drums on the album at all. Would you say over there that there’s still a big stigma about pre-programmed drums and such like?
Starlin: I think for the Black Metal drummers, I think a lot of them get a lot of flak for whether or not they actually play what they play or if they you know, sampled the drums or sampled the kick and made it go as fast as possible so I think that’s more of Devlin’s like… he just wanted people to know that he actually… he plays that sh*t and he plays it live.. you’ll hear it.
Glenn: Yeah I was listening to the CD again this afternoon and I thought, ‘wow if that’s played real then that’s major because if you’ve not listened to it properly or read that you’d think, ‘oh that’s triggers – there’s no way that’s real’ but obviously it’s totally real or you wouldn’t say that.
Eric: I’ll tell you what’s difficult is trying to get him to play slow.
Starlin: yeah I know that stuff’s all completely real – he’s an amazing drummer.
Glenn: Yeah that’s awesome. What would you say the highlights for recording and writing the album were?
Starlin: Well it was really a kind of a therapeutic experience just to sit down and be completely honest with everything. Like I told you, we had no contrived sound and no contrived subject matter going into it. It just kinda came out organically and naturally. We tried to be as completely honest on… there’s a number of different subjects on the album. We just tried to be completely honest and it was great. It was kinda like, you know.. releasing your demons.
Glenn: What influence the title? I know there’s a song called ‘Predetermined’ but why did you decide to call the album ‘Predetermined’?
Starlin: Well basically if you see the album cover it depicts the apocalyptic end and at one point I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who’s very religious and we were kind of debating… debating free will and some parts of different religions and stuff like that and I posed a question, ‘If we totally have free will then the end can’t be predetermined or else free will is just a lie.
I think that we should be able to make our own future if we honestly have free will and there’s so many people today that even now there are people that are just so focussed on the apocalypse and the end of the world. I mean it’s been something that has been on the mind of humanity since time immemorial.
I think the problem is, is that you believe that’s that’s a predetermined end then you become complacent. You don’t do anything to change that and also subconsciously on some level I believe you actually make yourself a fulfilling prophecy. So that’s where the subject matter for ‘Predetermined’ came from.
Eric: If the end of the story is already set in stone what’s the point of writing the book? What’s the point of living the movie?
Starlin: If I tell you that no matter what you do it’s gonna end this way then it kind of… kind of makes it seem like everything you do is actually worth nothing and I think that’s what’s there.
(Photos by Mick McDonald & Sergio Mazzotta)
Glenn: Makes sense. Yeah. What songs mean the most to you on the album and why?
Eric: For me particularly, I like ‘All We Are’. I think it’s just a brink of statement on the human condition and I think everyone can find something in their lives to latch onto in the lyrics to that one. As far as musically I like ‘A Bullet For Your Thoughts’ – it’s just heavy, fast and fun to play.
Starlin: For me, I love ‘Disease’. It was a kind of song that set the tone for the album and actually this was never meant to be a concept album but once that song came into play we kinda had the beginning of a story and it just kinda played out that way after that. Also ‘Killer Like You’ means a lot to me. That was a confession for sure. It was basically about a true story and it was nice to put that down musically.
Glenn: You’ve got a couple of covers on there – ‘Cry For Love’ by Iggy Pop & Steve Jones and also ‘Hallelujah’ – the old Leonard Cohen classic. What made you choose those?
Starlin: They were songs that I just connected to. I’ve always loved the song ‘Cry For Love’ and I’ve always wanted to do a cover of it. I mean, I think it’s just very contemporary. I think it’s one of those timeless songs that kinda moves through the ages and is always valid and I just wanted us to do our version of it. As far as ‘Hallelujah’ goes… that song… when I heard that song I connected to it. Instantly, I though like that was me. It was describing how I felt when I heard it. I was really… I always wanted to do a version of it and it’s really cool because when I first brought it up some of the guys were like, “You wanna do what?”. It was like, “I wanna do ‘Hallelujah’ and they were like “Cool – do it”.
Eric: I was sceptical on that one but I’ve warmed up to it quite a bit.
(Photo on right by Misty Lake)
Glenn: What gigs have you done so far that have stood out and what have you got coming future wise?
Eric: Well our debut show at the Whisky was actually quite good. I’ve done a lot of first shows with a lot of different bands and usually they are pretty rocky. They are usually not the best shows but everything just came together for this one and we kind of hit the ground running. Hopefully by Summer we’ll be on tour and bringing it all over the country here at first.
Glenn: Did you get many people in for the Whisky? Was it quite a good turn-out?
Eric: Yeah it wasn’t too bad. It was a very, very strong first show.
Starlin: Yeah and our fans our great. A bunch of them came out to support us. Well actually we’re doing another one on June 21st at the Whisky and now we have some plans for that one so it should be a really excellent show and also basically trying to put together a tour with the right package and stuff to get us out there.
(Photo by Gianna A. Neilviller)
Glenn: That’s cool. Excellent. What made you decide to self release the album as opposed to go with a label or something like that?
Eric: Well the record was done, first of all so we’re in a time when it’s pretty, I’m not gonna say easy but there’s a lot more opportunities to distribute and promote what you are doing. Everything that we’re doing is still in flux. We’re still putting our business team together and you know, who knows what we are going to do with the record in the future like the near future but we had something that needed to be out there and we just kinda went ahead and did it and we’ll see what happens from here.
Glenn: So what are your thoughts of the Hollywood scene overall and how would you say it has changed over the years?
Eric: Well I think when I first moved here there was kind of a ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Renaissance’ going on. It was something that was really special and I think I’m very lucky to have come here at the time that I did. Just like anything, the more popular something gets there’s always that core of people who kind of understand it and get it and then there’s a lot of people that kinda jump on board for not maybe the best reasons – maybe because it seems cool at the time and I think there’s a little bit of that going on right now. Post-Murderdolls I saw a giant change in the scenery image-wise. Everybody has got eyeliner and Motley Crue hair and tattoos and everybody looks cool and everybody’s doing a great job of copying everyone else’s make-up and making sure that they got that part of the end together but I think what’s important is that people don’t forget that image is something that comes out of the music and not vice-versa.
Starlin: Yeah and it’s important to be original and be yourself and I think sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of that for some people out here.
Eric: Yeah when we were younger, the thing that you wanted to do is that you wanted your band to do something that no-one else was doing and you wanted to be different. You wanted to stand out because you wanted to get noticed. Now it seems there’s a lot of ‘monkey see, monkey do’. That being said I mean I couldn’t be happier that rock ‘n’ roll is so popular and it’s such a strong state in the world but it’s very much church for me. I just wanna remind people that it is about the songs and the music and the image has won it back and people should do it for the right reasons.
Glenn: Yeah I’ve noticed that in the Rainbow and I’ve been going there since November 2009 and it’s like you said. Everyone looked like you guys or looked like Nikki Sixx or Tommy Lee or something and it was like, ‘Oh for Gods sake has anyone got their own look here or did they steal it from everyone elses images.’ What I found as well was that so many people, you get talking to them and they’ll say, ‘Oh I’m in so and so band and we’re… so and so, so and so’ and I tell them what I do and to send me a Cd or something and they are like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah’ and then you never hear from them again. You think, 'God you are so full of it – amazing’.
Starlin: Hahaha – I’ve seen a lot of that happen. I’ve seen a lot of that. People will go out and they will go through it and all that and you never hear a thing from them.
Glenn: Yeah it makes me laugh. I mean it was a real breath of fresh air when you yourself Starlin came up and got talking and gave myself and OZZFestAmy a CD I thought, ‘This guy’s for real’. So I looked and thought, well if he is working with Eric Griffin, then you guys have obviously got something about you because Eric’s not gonna work with every Tom, Dick and Harry is he really?
Starlin: I’m very lucky to have Eric – he’s amazing.
Glenn: How do you guys get on outside the band? Do you all socialise as well?
Eric: Like I said, Starlin’s one of my best friends. We go way back and I think before I got involved in this I think I was really frustrated with kind of the personality types that go along with playing in bands and it became clear to me how important it was to be in a band with people who I genuinely liked and who genuinely liked me. So yeah, we get along great. We all have a lot going on in our lives and busy schedules but we talk everyday. When we do get together we get along fantastic.
Starlin: Yeah we have a great time together. It’s really.. it’s really nice in this band that everybody has their sh*t together. I think there’s a mutual respect between all of us and that…
Eric: …goes a long way.
Starlin: Goes a long way. Yes. So we have a good time together. Of course there’s always gonna be… we’re all very passionate about what we do but we have a great time together.
Eric: I’ve been in a few situations where there wasn’t such a mutual respect and I hope to never be in one of those situations again.
Glenn: Yeah. What are you guys most looking forward to for the band?
Starling: Yeah touring. Getting out there and playing for as many people as possible. I mean, we’re all performers, we all love performing and it’s I think one of the main reasons why we all do this.
Eric: The most is looking forward to taking this band to the UK. I’m totally serious about that. Eric: Actually I think this band would go really well in Europe. Musically in Japan too.
Glenn: I know our website is massive in China. I don’t know why, We get over a hundred hits from there per day at times and we get hits from Japan and Finland and all sorts of places like this.
Eric: I look forward to going to China.
Starlin: They blog you guys or something.
Glenn: Yeah it’s funny stuff. So that’s definitely what’s next. What would you say you are most proud of so far?
Starlin: For me, I’m most proud of this album. I mean it’s a completely honest and…. and when I listen to that album I’m like it’s something I like to listen to if I hadn’t been a part of writing it myself. It really makes me happy to listen to it and to get it out there to people. I’m very proud of the album.
Eric: I’m most proud that I’m still alive (laughs).
(Photo by Gianna A. Neilviller)
Eric: No, I’m most proud that I’m still alive and I’m still playing music and still doing what I love to do because it’s not always easy.
Glenn: Yeah. Are there any particular songs on the album that are the hardest to play or did it all come really natural?
Eric: Well Starlin’s one of my favourite guitar players in the world. He plays live on a lot of material as well and he’s a shredder and a half. So we do some harmony solos and some stuff that definitely hasn’t been done in quite some time as far as some of the real fast stuff so he’s keeping me on my toes for sure.
Starlin: I’m lucky enough to only have to play like 2 live right now and those two are pretty easy. So I’m lucky. ‘Heretic’ will be probably the hardest one to play live.
Glenn: Got ya. Do you have any vocal warm-up styles that you use or do you just go straight in and sing live? What’s your key to it all?
Starlin: You know I don’t do a whole lot of warm-ups. I’ve found that the only thing that really helps is to play with a live band as much as possible and sing with them because…
Eric: He keeps his throat well lubricated.
Starlin: Yes (Laughs). No just playing over and over again with a live band because sitting in the recording studio, it’s a totally different ball game when you’re playing with a live band, you gotta remember, don’t compete for volume because you are gonna lose and you are just gonna blow your voice out. It’s a matter of just playing with a live band and keeping relaxed and singing at the volume you should be and all that.
Eric: Starlin – he sings surprisingly well... live.
Glenn: You sound like you were surprised by that.
Eric: Yeah. He goes and he gets it.
(Concert Photos by Gianna A. Neilviller)
Glenn: Awesome. How long did it take to actually record the album? Was it pretty quick? Obviously you master it as well but what was the process like? Did it take long at all?
Starlin: It wasn’t quick. It took a while to be honest with you because it was basically… first it was just Devlin and I working together. Some songs started with drum beat, some started with guitar riffs, some started with vocal melodies and some started with just a lyrical concept which had ran the gambit on all of that. Yes definitely. I think it took us about a year or so to get all the songs together
Starlin: The next one will be quicker because we have these guys with their input and stuff and we really can’t wait to start writing with them as well.
Glenn: It forms so well. It’s like it’s got that perfect sound that it sounds like it was all recorded within about two or three days because it just sounds, you know? It’s all the same vibe, same groove, same atmospheres so you must have got all the settings exactly the same all the way through as it works.
Eric: I think that’s a sign of a well-crafted cohesive record. Thank you.
Starlin: Yeah thank you very much.
Glenn: Not a problem.
Starlin: Thank You for that review by the way.
Glenn: It was pure honesty. I enjoyed it. It was a good album. It’s the sort of album you can’t just play once, you’ve got to play it a couple of times and really absorb it otherwise you are gonna miss things.
Eric: I agree 100%. When I first heard it, it was interesting but as I listened to it repeatedly, you know it sucks you in. I think the best record take a few listens to really get into all the levels that are happening and I think that those are the types of records that have longevity. I think songs and music and records, there are exceptions to this but a lot of times when something hits you right away, maybe sometimes you get bored of it quickly. When it takes some time and effort to really dive in to what’s happening.
Glenn: I mean I get sent so much stuff and I was surprised. OZZFestAmy was saying how good it was and when I played it I noticed how good it was and I played it again and it was like, ‘This album has really got something’ because there’s so many ten a penny bands out there and this is not… there is no way you guys are a ten a penny band. There’s a lot of sound and a lot of creativity and a lot of longevity to it all.
Starlin: Thanks Man.
Glenn: Not a problem. What would you say you’d like to say to the readership that are going to be reading this interview?
Eric: I’d just like everyone to go and check out ‘Six Days ‘Til Sunday’ and give it a good listen. It may be different from some things you’ve heard me involved with before and some things that maybe you’re going I don’t know what to… but good music, good metal – check it out. Come see us play, buy a record, buy a t-shirt and thank you for checking us out. You know, because it does take effort to explore music and listen and I personally and I know we all personally really appreciate when people show an interest because it sounds clichéd but we can’t do this by ourselves.
Starlin: Absolutely not.
Glenn: I know when Wednesday 13 has played at the Corporation in Sheffield he packs the place and he gets the young girls screaming. You go in the photo-pit and it’s like ‘Oh sh*t’. You’ve not got plugs in to dull the sound of the band, you’ve got plugs in because of the screaming of the girls – it’s like ‘Beatlemania’ in there! So if you guys can match that, you’re onto something.
Eric: Yeah it’s good times.
Glenn: Yeah. Do you know what got me on the album, all the album is like pretty full on but when you get to ‘Hallelujah’ you think it’s gonna be a really balls-out song and when you get to it, it’s like… it’s a ballad. You’ve not changed it at all. Did you do that purposely and think ‘Right we are just gonna go the normal way of doing it and we’re gonna surprise people here?’
Starlin: Yeah. I mean ‘Bullet..’ is a depiction of the apocalypse so ‘Hallelujah’ is in that sense a kind of last transmission of humanity going out into space at the end of it all and I think it sums up humanity perfectly. I thought it would probably be a bit of a surprise but it definitely fits.
Glenn: Yeah completely. I know I am talking a bit in advance but do you have another set of songs ready for another album whenever that’s ready?
Eric: Erm… we have little bits and pieces of things but I don’t know if we have any completed songs yet.
Starlin: There are no completed songs for the next album yet but we have some ideas. It’s gonna be amazing. I’m happy to have these two guys on board because everybody has…we all have a mutual respect. Everybody is awesome at what they do so all of us together, I’m sure we are gonna create something amazing.
Glenn: Yeah. I just wanna thank you, especially Starlin for coming in that night to the Rainbow.
Starlin: I wanna thank you. You know, you never know when you hand somebody a CD if it’s going right in the trashcan so thank you.
Eric: A 10 out of 10 review as well.
Starlin: It was very nice to meet you and thank you for listening man and thank you for everything.
Glenn: I hope to get to see you guys in concert when I am next over there.
Eric: We’re trying to do a few shows here and there to get kind of a live show tightened up and then taking it on the road.
Glenn: Right I’ll let you guys get off but this has been a pleasure.
Starlin: Yeah been a pleasure.
Eric: It’s been a pleasure for me too.
Glenn: See you in a few weeks time.
Eric: Thank You. Cheers.
Starlin: Cool. Looking forward to it man.
Be sure to check out their website: www.sixdaystilsunday.com and order that incredible 'Predetermined' album!