By Matt Mattei - mmattei@timesleader.com

Alt-rockers Down to Six to release new EP at The Other Side in Wilkes-Barre

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Down To Six from left: John Novak, James Yamrus, Nick Blockus and Mike Kapolka.
Submitted photos
Down To Six will release their four song EP “Shine” at The Other Side on Nov. 27.
Submitted photos

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    WILKES-BARRE — Alt-rockers, Down To Six, have put out quite a bit of original music in the last year. They are not yet a full calendar turn from releasing a full length record titled “Atlantic,” and now they have a new four-song EP called “Shine” to share with eager listeners.

    The band will hold an album release at 9 p.m. Nov. 27 at Bart & Urby’s and The Other Side in Wilkes-Barre. They will be joined by special guests Aaron Fink, A Fire With Friends and Emberá to celebrate the launch of “Shine.” For a $3 cover charge, patrons will receive a free Pabst Blue Ribbon draft.

    John Novak, songwriter and front man for Down To Six talked about putting out “Atlantic” last December and how the creative focus was a bit different with the new four-song effort. The Wilkes-Barre native said the full-length album was concerned with song structure, thoughtful bridges and composition, where the new EP hones in on sonic experimentation.

    “Atlantic” featured the heavy guitar and drum elements of alternative rock in tunes like “If I Return” and “Divided” but took a punky turn with “Blindsight” showing versatility and creative perspective.

    “The last one, we kind of put a lot of time into having … I don’t want to say more … songwriter kind of songs, but some of the other songs had a little more structure to them,” Novak said. “These are a little more straight forward. At the same time, there’s also still a lot of ambience and dynamics. That’s the kind of thing we try to go for.”

    Although influences vary among band members, Novak mentioned Shellac, Thrice and Weezer as influences. Rounding out the lineup of Down To Six are Kingston’s James Yamrus on drums, Wyoming’s Nick Blockus on bass and Dallas’ Mike Kapolka on lead guitar.

    Novak addressed having the support of other local musicians during their premier.

    “James Barret from Emberá … he’s been playing out for about as long as I can remember, playing up in Scranton, he’s been in some sort of band that we’ve played with. He’s just a really good kid, writes really cool songs, puts a lot of work into it, and so we’ve always tried to keep some sort of relationship with him.”

    Barrett’s group, which released its own self titled EP in August, will be in house to support and play alongside a band for which they have admiration.

    “The first time I met John … I remember being blown away by how good he was on guitar,” Barrett said. “He had a song called “Blindsight,” and that was the song that stuck with me.”

    Novak said the setlist during the release will include the entire “Shine” EP as well as original performances off “Atlantic,” but he noted they might work in a cover or two.

    “We did a Halloween release this year, just for fun, and we covered a song by Shellac, and we were thinking about probably pulling that out for the show, so just kind of a little weird stuff,” Novak said.

    Follow Down To Six on Facebook at www.facebook.com/downtosixpa and Bandcamp at https://downtosix.bandcamp.com/.

    Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or mmattei@timesleader.com

    Alt-rockers to release new EP at The Other Side

    By Matt Mattei

    mmattei@timesleader.com

    Down To Six from left: John Novak, James Yamrus, Nick Blockus and Mike Kapolka.
    http://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_DownToSixBand.jpgDown To Six from left: John Novak, James Yamrus, Nick Blockus and Mike Kapolka. Submitted photos

    Down To Six will release their four song EP “Shine” at The Other Side on Nov. 27.
    http://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_ShineEP.jpgDown To Six will release their four song EP “Shine” at The Other Side on Nov. 27. Submitted photos

    Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or mmattei@timesleader.com