It’s been nearly seven years since the original three members of Eve 6 played their last show together and there was little doubt as to whether the alternative rock trio would ever grace the stage again.
But a few months ago, vocalist/bassist Max Collins and drummer Tony Fagenson received a pleasantly surprising text message from the founding guitarist.
“We heard from ‘Sweet Pea’ -- Jon Siebels, as we call him,” Collins recalls. “We had lunch and decided to try out a rehearsal to see how things flowed, and it felt fantastic. We’re just stoked on it!”
Eve 6 is back together again, but the coming out party has become an even bigger occasion. The California three-piece have just signed with indie juggernaut Fearless Records and are slated to reunite with Don Gilmore -- the mega producer who helmed their 1998 platinum-selling self-titled debut album and their 2000 gold certified sophomore set “Horrorscope” -- to record their currently untitled fourth studio offering.
Signing with Fearless Records
For the trio, aligning with Fearless Records was a simple decision. Not only was the label founded on the same type of punk rock music that influenced Eve 6 in the early ’90s, but their versatile roster, distribution division and embracing character were the primary strong points that sealed the deal.
“We always made our decision regarding people to work with on how enthusiastic [they are]. Like do they ‘get it’ and believe in it, and we really felt that from Fearless,” Collins says. “We feel if we were on a major label right now, we would be lost in the shuffle. They have their eye trained on hundreds of different things, and we feel like we need attention and love.”
After all, Eve 6 have already experienced major label turmoil once before.
Fame, Success and Breaking-Up
Initially formed in 1995, Eve 6 were just like ordinary high school kids playing music with friends. A year later, however, they signed with major label RCA Records and spent the rest of their high school years prepping their self-titled debut album, which was released in 1998. Thanks to singles such as “Inside Out” and “Leech,” the effort was certified platinum.
The alternative rock trio followed up with 2000’s “Horrorscope,” where radio smashes “Promise” and “Here’s To The Night” fueled it to gold status. But when their third full-length “It’s All In Your Head” was released in 2003, it didn’t experience as much success -- despite having their single “Think Twice” make the charts.
Evidently, RCA dropped Eve 6 from the label in 2004. “It was one of those house cleaning things where our team was totally dismantled. So there’s that factor, and then there was, I think, the numbers factor,” Collins explains. “The third record sold a quarter of a million copies, which by today’s standards is nothing to sneeze at. But I think it was one of those simple arithmetic things where maybe there wasn’t as much [promotion] because we didn’t have our team in place, maybe there wasn’t quite as much love, maybe there wasn’t quite as much of a push and maybe there wasn’t quite as much success as the previous two.”
Later that summer, the band mysteriously called it quits. While a full explanation was never really given, the break-up was a mutual feelings all the members had.
“There was never any bad blood. Never,” Collins says.“We just reached a point where we needed to take a break for a bunch of reasons. I think getting dropped from the label probably didn’t help, but it was one of those things where we got the record deal in high school, we made the record a couple of months after we graduated and we didn’t stop. We were just kinda kids on this sorta crazy, whirlwind kinda ride, and we needed a minute to sorta gather ourselves and sorta process it as individuals.”
Passing The Time
Although the three took some time off from music, it wasn’t long before they crawled back. Siebels joined Monsters Are Waiting in 2005, and Collins and Fagenson formed The Sugi Tap the same year.
While both groups were building somewhat of a presence, The Sugi Tap didn’t last long. In 2007, they put the project on an indefinite hiatus and reverted back to Eve 6, and as of now, The Sugi Tap is definitely not coming back. “It’s done and over,” Collins states. “I don’t think we’ll be going back and doing a Suga Tap record. It was just sort of a necessary transition back into the band.”
Collins and Fagenson also approached Siebels about rejoining Eve 6, but Monsters Are Waiting was picking up steam and he was committed to the venture. The two understood, so they continued Eve 6 with Matt Bair was the new guitarist.
But this new incarnation of Eve 6 didn’t see too much activity. “The last couple of years have been live shows,” Collins says. “No real conventional touring. Just a lot of fly dates and stuff, and a lot of songwriting,
In late 2010, however, a change was on the rise.
Back And Stronger Than Before
Back in December 2010, Eve 6 was itching to release music again and played three label showcases -- two in New York City and one in Los Angeles. They also released a free demo of one of their new tracks, “Bad News.” But as the group was negotiating with record companies, Bair left on good terms to focus on another project.
Then, everything fell back into place. Siebels re-joined Eve 6, the group officially signed to Fearless Records and in a few weeks, they are slated to re-unite with Don Gilmore to begin recording their currently untitled fourth studio album.
“[Don’s] like a kindred spirit,” Collins says. “He’s someone that we trust and feel really comfortable with, and he’s just fun to hang out with. I mean, he’s hilarious. So we’re looking forward being kooked up with him for a couple of months. It’ll be good.”
Today, on this bright May afternoon, Eve 6 is rehearsing songs in California before they record with Gilmore in a few weeks. While the alternative rock trio have yet to hit the studio, Collins has shared several exclusive details pertaining to the effort.
First, the fourth record will not be a concept album. Second, it’s slated feature “Bad News” and “Lost & Found.” And finally, “Pick Up The Pieces” from Collins and Fagenson’s defunct project, The Sugi Tap, will be funneled into the effort.
Although it’s been over nearly eight and a half years since Eve 6 wrote their last album, they are more driven than ever before. “We demoed more this time. We really focused on the songs -- the structure, the arrangements and stuff, maybe because we had more time to do it,” Collins explains. “With the second and third record, we went in with a lot of incomplete stuff and sorta finished it in the studio. This time, we’re going in with a lot of finished material, and I’m sure some stuff will totally change and we’ll write brand new stuff in the studio. But hopefully, we matured in a good way, not in an unfortunate way as songwriters and yeah, just whatever comes with a few more years of experiences, feeling and living.”
Eve 6 is back and, from the sounds of it, the best is yet to come.
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