Stephen Kellogg needs a change of pace. He's fronted the country-tinged rock band Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers for nearly a decade, and time has started to slip away. Kellogg's most concerned about his bandmates, who leave their loved ones for weeks at a time during epic tours of the U.S. and Europe. Last month, he announced that the band will go on hiatus at the end of the year. For him, it's a chance to cut a solo album; for them, it's an invitation to see what lies beyond tour buses, greasy spoons and hotel rooms.
I recently chatted with Kellogg, who put the band's career in perspective and dropped some hints about his solo work.
How will the solo record be different from a Sixers record?
We were all laughing about it earlier, like, "This is one heck of a solo record. We're all on it." The thing that's different is that I get to take my favorite of everyone's ideas and work with that. [Bassist] Kit [Karlson] and I are producing it together. It's the first time we've been in charge of producing our own record.
Who do you look up to, production-wise?
Sheryl Crow. She's cool and forward-thinking and has a real sense of the roots of music, where it comes from. From what I've read, she's encountered a fair amount of resistance along the way, and she's not afraid to take out things that aren't working. She's made some phenomenal records.
Have you met her?
No, but I'd love to. I'd play in her band. [Laughs.]
If you got to put three Sixers songs in a time capsule, which ones would you choose?
"Fourth of July" because you hope your story of what you did while you were here will live on. I feel like that's the story of me and this band, and I'd like to think our lives had weight - that they mattered.
"Milwaukee" because that's our anthem to friendship, one of the things I value most in life. It's also our biggest live song.
And finally, "Satisfied Man," because if it all ended tomorrow, that's what I'd be.