Excerpted from the magazine for Billboard.com.
It has been four years between Sixpence None The Richer's breakout third and most recent fourth albums and four years since the band's last major tour. This long time-out period does not worry the group as it swings back into the touring life this month.
In keeping with the band's name, lead singer Leigh Nash explains, "We're not going out so much to make money. We just need to go out there and do it again. We really need to build our fan base back."
Construction started on the endeavor Feb. 2 at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colo. The tour will then wind through 20 shows priced between $18 and $25 before wrapping Feb. 28 at the Canal Club in Richmond, Va. Sixpence is looking to keep its live comeback manageable and will not hit any West Coast venues at this point. Nash says that sticking with vans and trailers for the trek makes it tricky to slot cross-country dates within the four-week stretch.
"We're definitely rusty," she admits of the band's touring layoff since 1999, but Nash feels that after some intense pre-gig rehearsing, "things are starting to get whipped back into shape. The main thing that we're looking forward to is getting back into the live groove. It's been such a long time. We need to get back together and learn to play again."
Sixpence, which broke out as a contemporary Christian act, smashed into the mainstream music scene with the single "Kiss Me," which peaked at No. 2 on The Billboard Hot 100. Its eponymous 1997 album, which included the track, sold 561,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan, reaching No. 89 on The Billboard 200.
The signs were pointing to the band continuing the momentum for its follow-up album, "Divine Discontent." But its release was tripped up by record-company complications, as Sixpence's original label, Squint, went bankrupt, and Warner Bros. bought the group's subsequent label, Word.
After about a two-year delay, "Divine Discontent" finally hit stores Oct. 29, 2002, on Reprise/Warner. Since its release, the set has sold 33,000 copies in the U.S., peaking at No. 154 on The Billboard 200.
"We were so wrapped up wondering and waiting for the record to come out that touring was not on our minds so much," Nash says, feeling some regret that the band may have been off its fans' minds for too long. "Basically, some people who are in bands are great business people, and they know how to scheme to make more money. We just want to go out and play music. It's not laziness; our minds just don't work that way. We're just focused on the music side of things."
Nash says she hopes the February shows, which are primarily at clubs and theaters, will lead to a bigger tour with another co-headlining band later this year.
Here are Sixpence None The Richer's remaining tour dates:
Feb. 14: Cleveland (Odeon Concert Club)
Feb. 15: Chicago (House Of Blues)
Feb. 16: Nashville (Exit / In)
Feb. 18: Norfolk, Va. (The NorVa)
Feb. 19: Alexandria, Va. (The Birchmere)
Feb. 20: New York (Bottom Line)
Feb. 21: Providence, R.I. (Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel)
Feb. 23: Boston (Paradise Rock Club)
Feb. 24: Philadelphia (Theatre Of Living Arts)
Feb. 26: Charlotte, N.C. (Tremont Music Hall)
Feb. 27: Blacksburg, Va. (Lyric Theatre)
Feb. 28: Richmond, Va. (Canal Club)
Excerpted from the Feb. 15, 2003, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the Billboard.com members section.
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