Indigenous | Album

Six60 release new album - Castle St

One of New Zealand's biggest bands, Six60, is on the road again following the release of their fourth studio album Castle St.

Singer Matiu Walters says the album has been heavily influenced by their journey into Te Ao Māori with the Waiata Anthems albums.

But where does a band that has done it all, go? Home.

"It's almost like a back-to-basics thing for us. How the album was made was just the five of us together in a room, very similar to how it was for the first gold album Back in 660 Castle St."

"I think we've really nailed this, the balance between this kind of lo-fi and hi-fi or like this ruggedness and something that's really polished. We've always been striving for finding that balance, and the music, we're so proud of it, man. It has those juxtapositions that we've always desired."

Castle St is their first album since Covid-19 struck, and the lockdowns became an advantage. Drummer Eli Paewai says it allowed the band to sit down and really think about how they wanted the album to sound.

Digging deeper

"It was just one of those situations last time where we could only send a couple of guys to America to record them. But this time, was one of those situations where we all found ourselves there and it was really fun to be able to put your own kind of flavour."

The band's hit Don't Forget Your Roots featured on Waiata Anthems. It was an opportunity for the band to start to delve a bit deeper into what that actually meant.

Marlon Gerbes, guitarist and keyboard for the band says there was trepidation at first for the band members because of how little they knew about the language.

"Initially with the band, you get a bit whakamā about not really reconnecting in a te reo Māori sense, and then when you grow up you realise 'oh it's always been there', and it's just realising and just channelling it. Mana is something I really love."

Walters gives credit to those that helped them connect to the language and culture.

"I have to give a lot of credit to Dame Hinewehi Mohi and Sir Tīmoti Kāretū for, in a way, giving us the permission to express that part of us. Three of us are Māori and didn't grow up with the language."

The new Six60 album Castle St arrives tomorrow.