Electric Six is a six-piece Detroit-based rock band consisting of Dick Valentine (vocals), Tait Nucleus? (synthesizers), Johhny Na$hinal (guitar), Da Ve (guitar), Percussion World (drums), and Smorgasboard (bass) who play a mix of rock, funk and disco.
The band’s first notorious formation comprised Valentine, Rock and Roll Indian (guitar), Surge Joebot (guitar), Disco (bass, former member of Detroit Cobras), and M (drums). Dick Valentine (real name Tyler Spencer) has always been the primary songwriter (both music and lyrics) of Electric Six, currently and under their former incarnation, when they were known as the Wildbunch. During the band’s temporary split at the end of the 1990s, Spencer formed his own band called The Dirty Shame and released one CD entitled Smog Cutter Love Story which featured, among other tracks, a first version of Fire track “Vengeance and Fashion”. The band reformed by 2001 to record and release the first release of ‘Danger! High Voltage’ and record the track ‘Dealin’ With Death N’ Stealin’ In The Name Of The Lord’ with Troy Gregory for his Sybil album.
Electric Six fuses rock and punk with the laid-back funky rhythms and falsetto vocals of disco, and a distinctly comic touch. However, they tend to reject such genre classifications as disco-metal and disco punk. They formed the band in 1996 and were initially known as The Wildbunch, eventually dropping that name due to pressure from the Bristol trip-hop collection of the same name. Throughout the latter half of the ’90s, they played about once a month at the Magic Bag in Ferndale, Magic Stick, and the now-defunct Gold Dollar in Detroit, the center of a scene that produced breakout acts like The White Stripes.
Electric Six’s 2002 breakout single “Danger! High Voltage” was an infectious dance-rock number, and Jack White from The White Stripes helped sing back up vocals to this track. White has denied this, though Spencer has confirmed it in several interviews. The single reached number 2 on the UK singles chart, and they enjoy icon status in that nation.
Their second single, “Gay Bar”, released in 2003, became a hit as well in the UK, reaching #5 in the charts and further aided the group’s growth. Curiously, in the American Radio Edit of this track, The words “Nuclear War” are censored with whip-crack sound effects. After fulfilling their recording duties (namely their debut album) three members left in June, leaving Dick Valentine, Tait Nucleus? (synthesizer), and M.