Six Parts to a fantastic show

Natalie Pillsbury

The Six Parts Seven after what was apparently a pretty brutal band practice. The band returns to Kent after a two-year absence tonight.

Credit: Beth Rankin

The Six Parts Seven, a band that formed in Kent, has a sound that’s difficult to explain.

When asked to describe his band, guitarist Allen Karpinski laughed a bit nervously and said it’s a lot to ask someone about their own music.

“It’s an experience,” Karpinski said. “Reflective of whatever a person brings to it, like most instrumental music.”

The Six Parts Seven is playing at The Outpost tonight with Akron bands Houseguest and Your Friend.

The group has been in its current lineup of two guitars, bass and drums since 1997, Karpinski said.

Members consist of Allen Karpinski, guitar; Tim Gerak, guitar; Mike Tolan, senior Spanish major, bass; and Jay Karpinksi, drums.

The Six Parts Seven is known traditionally for its highly organized, clear and perfectionist sound, but the band’s direction has recently evolved.

“We’re moving away from so much planning and designation,” Karpinski said.

He describes this change as inevitable, “It’s something that feels natural.”

Tonight’s show will be their first in Kent in about two years.

Kent’s local music scene was strong in the early ’90s, but has since dissipated with bands and enthusiasts moving away, Karpinski said.

However, he sees growth in Akron’s scene and has hopes for a revival of interest in Kent.

“That’s why we agreed to do the show at The Outpost,” Karpinski said. “We want to get more Kent State students to come to shows.”

The Six Parts Seven has toured the country several times and has connections in Seattle, where their label, Suicide Squeeze, originates.

Karpinski said that the band may tour this summer and possibly plan a European tour for fall, but nothing is certain.

The band released a full-length album titled Everywhere and Right Here in late August.

“I’m amazed that people buy (our music),” Karpinski said. “I’m happy if it elicits any response, good or bad.”

He did admit that Everywhere and Right Here has received an extremely positive response, although he said that not many people have heard it.

This new release differs because of the integration of a vibraphone with the core band.

Adding this new instrument brought out a more improvisational side of The Six Parts Seven.

“We walked in and wrote music in the studio, which was a new thing,” Karpinski said.

The band plans on recording another full length album on Suicide Squeeze, and they may record near Seattle in a studio called Bear Creek, which is basically an empty house secluded in the mountains.

“We’d like to have the studio experience,” Karpinski said. “We could go in for a week or two weeks and record the whole album.”

Their experience working with Suicide Squeeze has been good, unlike some previous experiences with record labels, according to Karpinski.

Their label has prompted not so much a change in The Six Parts Seven’s music, but in their motivation and inspiration.

As for tonight’s show at The Outpost, the mix of bands appeals to a variety of tastes. In contrast to the melodic and intricate sound of The Six Parts Seven, Akron’s Houseguest is a “total party band,” according to Karpinski.

“They usually end the night with everyone drunk on stage singing along,” he said.

Your Friend, also an Akron band, pulls from influences such as Neutral Milk Hotel and Fiery Furnaces.

For more information regarding the show, visit

Contact libraries and information sciences reporter Natalie Pillsbury at [email protected].