Eve 6 Shun Sophomore Slump With Single 'Promise'

Los Angeles pop-rock trio's first single from second album hits modern rock's top 10.

Los Angeles pop-rock trio Eve 6 are shunning the sophomore album jinx with a new single that was written before their platinum debut was released.

Singer Max Collins wrote the verses to "Promise" (RealAudio excerpt), the first single from Horrorscope, due July 25, as Eve 6 were finishing their self-titled debut in 1998. That album featured the single "Inside Out" (RealAudio excerpt), which propelled them to modern rock fame.

"When we were about to do our headlining tour for our last record, we wanted to add another song in there, and this song was one of those things that came together in no time at all," Eve 6 guitarist Jon Siebels said. "We've always felt the power in ["Promise"]. It was one of those effortless songs, and sometimes those are the ones that people latch onto."

"Promise," at #8 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart, is about being unsure of new relationships and vowing not to make promises to anyone. In the chorus, Collins sings: "Promise not to try to fuck with your mind/ Promise not to mind if you go your way and I go mine/ Promise not to lie if I'm looking you straight in the eye/ Promise not to try not to let you down."

The success of "Promise" is especially sweet for the members of Eve 6, whose lineup also includes drummer Tony Fagenson, as critics were quick to label the band a one-hit wonder because none of the follow-up singles to "Inside Out" was able to garner equal airplay.

"We were nervous that it's two years later and what if timing isn't right or radio just doesn't embrace it for whatever reason — that is definitely scary," Siebels said. "But we were confident that if it got the chance it would do well."

"Promise," which was released to radio May 23, is receiving airplay because Eve 6 stuck with what they do best, according to radio programmers who are playing the song.

"The band has the ability to write catchy pop songs," said Dave Richards, programming director for Chicago's WKQX-FM, one of the first stations to play "Inside Out" in 1998. "With the world of alternative turning largely to the harder-edged stuff, they're finding success in keeping with writing good mainstream pop songs."

Richards said he worries about the sophomore album jinx with all bands, especially those with a pop flavor.

"This is not the days of Led Zeppelin, where everything they put out is a tremendous success," Richards said. "The batting average has gone down quite a bit. We worried about that with Eve 6, but they've come through with a good record."

Dave Marsh, a radio programmer at WHFS-FM in Washington, D.C., said he expects "Promise" to garner a response different from "Inside Out."

"Not to say that it won't be a hit, but just not in the same way," Marsh said. "I guess it's a similar situation to someone like Beck. He had a huge hit with 'Loser.' He still writes great songs, and his songs do extremely well, but the first hit is always special. Each subsequent hit has a different feel to it, and people react to it differently. I think it'll be the same story with Eve 6 and each hit song after 'Inside Out.' "

Eve 6 will support their upcoming album, which was produced by Don Gilmore (Lit) and mixed by Tom Lord-Alge (Wallflowers, Hole), with a co-headlining tour with the punk group Goldfinger.

Dynamite Hack, who covered N.W.A's "Boyz N tha Hood" on their recent album Superfast (May 23), will open the tour, which kicked off July 6 in Atlanta.