68-75 / Blog

Rockulus Maximus Q&A with Suzanne and Andrew - 68-75

Many thanks to you for dropping by and letting your curiousity drag you to this humble corner of the world wide web. Below you'll find yourself being introduced to a band that fuse soul into their raw rock'n'roll approach to music, and it's well worth a listen. We here at Rockulus Maximus are smitten with this band, and they go by the name of 68-75...

GARY: Is your band name a reference to the years "68-75" and if so, why that particular era? SUZANNE & ANDREW: Yes. That era produced so much of the music that we admire - the music we're moved by. It just seems like the music of that era, Rock, Soul, Jazz, Folk, Country...music in general, just seemed to have more substance or weight to it.

GARY: With two E.P.s sharing the analogue approach of recording and oozing soul in the performances, do you feel in hindsight that you captured what you wanted in those releases? SUZANNE & ANDREW: Thank you. We're a rock band. Still, we're pleased you can hear the soul in what we're doing. That's really what we're trying to capture. GARY: Your band hail from Atlanta, Georgia. How much of Atlanta, Georgia has influenced your music and style? SUZANNE & ANDREW: Well, yes and no. On one hand, we live in a city with a lot of cool musical history. Everyone from Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, B.B. King, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Ike and Tina, James Brown, Ray Charles played a club here called the Royal Peacock. The Allman Brothers, Wet Willie, Mother's Finest, The Georgia Satellites were all fixtures musically in Atlanta at one point. Even Steve Marriott lived in Atlanta for a bit. On the other hand, Atlanta is really more about Hip Hop and Indie music right now - which is cool, but not what we're trying do at all. We're actually more influenced by American Soul and British Rock of the late 60s and 70s than anything going on in Atlanta today. We're sort of swimming against the tide.

GARY: Which artists or bands would you ideally support on a tour and why? SUZANNE & ANDREW: We admire and feel some connection with bands and artists like: Rival Sons, Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Vintage Trouble, London Souls, The Dirt Bombs, Stonerider, Mount Carmel, Steepwater Band, Charles Bradley, Beth Hart, Heartless Bastards, Saint Jude, Buffalo Killers, Graveyard, Lee Fields, The Temperance Movement - just to name a few. GARY: What approach do 68-75 take when it comes to songwriting? SUZANNE & ANDREW: We're just trying to create the type music that we would want to listen to - music that makes us feel something. GARY: There is understandably mounting interest in what your band has released thus far, can you share anything regarding any future releases like whether it might be an E.P. or a full length album? SUZANNE & ANDREW: We've been working on writing new songs. We've already got three recorded and we'd like to record another nine or ten songs this Spring. Once we have about 12 or 13 songs recorded and mixed, we'll listen and pick the best songs and sequence. We're not sure if it will be an EP or an LP. So, however many songs we have recorded that we feel really good about, that's how many we'll release.

GARY: If anyone reading this wishes to follow your progress and keep upto date with you, where would you recommend they visit online? SUZANNE & ANDREW: We'd like to invite everyone to please check us out on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/6875rocks

A warm and hearty thanks to Suzanne and Andrew for their time tackling these questions. You heard them, they've invited you to check out their Facebook profile! ;O)

Unsung Melody

Could we be in the midst of a Rock and Roll Revival? When you look at the charts, of course you see a lot of pop acts, hip-hop acts and the likes, BUT there also seems to be a movement. A movement that includes Retro Rockers and Folk/Americana artists making a strong surge. Acts like The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Grace Potter, Mumford & Sons, Rival Sons and Leogun all have a retro element to their sound that seems to be resonating with fans of music today. For me, I hope and pray it continues. I love that classic sound. Bands like Clutch have always had those elements and they’ve been a favorite for years. Having said all of that, I want to bring another band to your attention. One that is definitely not afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves. Hell, even their name harkens back to a classic era. Let me introduce you to 68-75! Led by frontwoman Suzanne Sledge, 68-75 combines a dynamic female vocal with classic guitar tones, driving backbeats, and all the soul one could ask for. The band has shared the stage with likes of Leon Russell, Joe Bonamassa, and fellow Atlanta natives, Blackberry Smoke. Drawing from influences such as Rod Stewart and the Faces, Janis Joplin, Humble Pie, and Jeff Beck; 68-75 brings us their first EP and today, I’m here to review it in our Initial Thoughts series. As usual, I’ll hit the highlights, it’s up to you to discover the rest of the album. Please, buy it, don’t steal it. These artists don’t download their instruments for free. Believe me they cost plenty of money. Support the artists, or lose the art.

Let’s start with the album opener, Play With Fire. The groove laid down by drummer Jack Massey and bassist Steve McPeeks will keep you bopping, but the sweet guitar licks of Andrew Cylar will keep you dancing. The song is a rocker through and through, reminiscent of artists such as Jefferson Airplane and Heart. Suzanne Sledge delivers a powerful performance and really showcases what she can do. A great way to kick off the EP.

Next up is Drowning. This song is quite possibly my favorite track on the EP. Everything about it is just right. There’s no overplaying. There’s no overproduction. There’s no one trying to steal the spotlight. It’s the way music is intended. Four musicians creating something greater than the sum of the parts. Great song!

Bulletproof is the next song I want to touch on. It’s got this killer vibe, one that makes you just kinda snarl up your lip and rock out. The groove is pure blues and one of my favorite tracks on the album. This song isn’t flashy, it isn’t intended to be. It’s meant to deliver the goods, and that business my friends, is good.

Trail of the Dead is the last song I want to talk about. Like Bulletproof, the groove steals the show. With it’s upbeat tempo, killer 2nd guitar in the chorus and free for all delivery from Suzanne, this song has something for everyone.

If the fact that Andrew Cylar is not afraid of a solo, or that Suzanne Sledge has soul, or the fact that the rhythm section of Jack Massey and Steve McPeeks are terrific isn’t enough to have you check out the band; How about the fact that these guys are still available on a local level in and around the Atlanta area. Do yourself a favor and catch these cats on the way up, that way you can say….”I was a part of the Rock and Roll Revival!”

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 7 out of 10 stars.