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Published on September 17th, 2021 | by Darren Paltrowitz


SIX60’s Matiu Walters & Chris Mac On October 2021’s U.S. Gigs, New Zealand’s Music Scene & More

History-making award-winning New Zealand quintet SIX60 — as comprised of singer/guitarist Matiu Walters, lead guitarist Ji Fraser, keyboardist/sampler Marlon Gerbes, bassist Chris Mac and drummer Eli Paewai — notably stirs rock, reggae, funk and pop together with a twist of kiwi roots music and Maori instrumentation. Invoking this spirit and Kiwi roots, its latest studio-recorded music also showcases traditional Maori instruments such as Pūtātara and Pūkāe (stone and long trumpets), Bone Kōauao(Bone Flute) and Karanga Weka (Stone Flute). The group’s 2011 full-length SIX60 (I. The Gold Album) reached #1 on the charts in New Zealand, eventually going septuple-platinum. SIX60 (II. The Colours Album) saw SIX60 reclaim the top spot on the New Zealand charts in 2015 and go quintuple-platinum. To date, SIX60 has scored 44 platinum singles and over 200 million streams.

In 2020, SIX60 became “the planet’s biggest touring band,” per NME, when New Zealand’s success at containing COVID-19 better than most of the world let SIX60 tour throughout the pandemic. In turn, SIX60 technically sold more live event tickets than the rest of the world combined. Complex, The Guardian, CNN, Billboard, Pollstar and the BBC all covered these developments. 2 years prior to that in 2018, SIX60 had played its biggest show to date, selling out Western Springs Stadium in New Zealand and becoming the first New Zealand act to sell 50,000 tickets to a show at that stadium; the quintet repeated the same feat in 2020, showing its widespread success to be long-term yet organic.

Now, SIX60 has its eyes set on the United States with its largest U.S. gigs to date scheduled for next month: October 9, 2021 at Los Angeles’ Fonda Theater and October 14, 2021 at New York City’s Webster Hall. To learn more about this, I had the pleasure of speaking with Matiu Walters and Chris Mac via Zoom, as embedded below. Beyond their upcoming U.S. gigs, we also discussed SIX60’s early influences, New Zealand’s music scene, future plans, television, and plenty more. More on SIX60 — including its tour dates after next month’s U.S. run — can be found by clicking here, here and here.

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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