by Jenny Minard
BBC Berkshire reporter
Six Nation State's Gerry is ready to rock again
Local legends Six Nation State are back and sounding better than ever in time for a one-off gig in Reading.
The band who are currently in the recording studio were left in the lurch after indie label Jeepster went bust.
But they are ready to rock again at The Rising Sun Arts Centre, on Saturday, 19 December, says singer Gerry.
"We started doing stuff on our own and it's been amazing," Gerry says. "I've been recording, writing and playing with the guys again.
"It's gone back to how it used to be when we started playing together so it's really good fun.
"I was really glad to get out of the contract. It liberated us and we can be the band we wanted to be again.
"Everyone needs to be managed and it's not like I'm bitter about it, or regret what we did. We got enough money to go out and record and tour which was amazing.
"But when you're signed into a label which you've entered on the basis that you've got control, well the real control lies with the person who holds the financial strings.
"It's very difficult to be who you want to be when you're a signed band - ultimately their goal is pushing you down a route which they believe that you can be successful in. So you have to play the game and play accordingly otherwise you're pulled in two different directions."
But the four-piece band has used their money wisely, by creating their own recording studio. They have been able to set to work on a second album.
And now Gerry thinks the band is less constricted. "We were pushed into a pop route. Trying to produce music perfect for the radio, which is great - we're all into the pop bands, but at the same time we just wanted to be ourselves, which now we definitely are," he said.
Second time round Gerry said that of course the album will be different.
"Every band has to progress and move on, and get better. No-one wants to re-hash it.
"What everyone wants is to see you moving onwards and progressing and become a better band, being better song writers, being better performers and generally being more of a band.
"Blur and The Beatles are perfect examples of bands that just got better and better as they were together and you have to strive to that because otherwise there is no point doing it if you're not making music which stimulates you and stimulates other people."
Six Nation State recorded their first album in Latvia and toured all over the world - clocking up more than 300 gigs in one year which Gerry admits was 'amazing'. So you would think they would find it 'old hat' by now.
"You do get used to them but we've had occasions where I've been half throwing up because I've been so nervous. Old hat suggests getting complacent," Gerry says.
"The point is you've got to think 'this could kill my career, or make my career'."
The run of bad luck did not end there for Six Nation State. Gerry explains: "We went through a lot. All our equipment burned in a fire, working on the album came to a stand still and our bassist left.
"We had a nightmare end of year but we've moved on from that. That's why we keep reverting back, that it's really fun again.
"When a guitar that you've had since a child and everything that our record company bought for us to be a band goes missing, literally at the drop of a hat, you step back. It's a really dark place for a musician - to be lost.
"It's difficult to write songs when you're constantly worrying - when you've not even got your guitar to play. It's a horrible feeling.
"And then we moved into a studio and we moved away from the whole live thing - to concentrate on becoming writers and better recording artists and that's what we've done."
And it seems the tables are turning for the band with the album scheduled for release next year.
"In the last year we've really developed ourselves as song writers. The new material reflects that and our attitude towards music and attitude to making it and capturing it.
"I think that life experience is what makes and affects your writing and definitely for myself gives you the time to sit back and reflect upon things."
The band play Reading on Saturday, 19 December and Gerry says they cannot wait.
"We lived in Reading for a long time and then moved, but we have a nice following so coming back we're doing my favourite venue to play.
"It's full of vibe. It's a beautiful place and cannot wait to do it. I know it's going to be the usual crazy show."
Club Velocity presents A Christmas Party - Six Nation State, Sixty Watt Bayonets and Midi Midis, The Rising Sun Arts Centre, Silver Street, doors 8pm. Tickets cost £6 on the door, £5 in advance from www.wegottickets.com
All ages welcome but identification will be asked for at the bar.