With an average age of 21, Los Angeles pop-rock trio Eve 6 may be the youngest band on modern-rock radio and it doesn't bother them a bit.
"It's a little bit easier for your average alternative-rock music fan which is usually high school- and college-aged kids to relate to us, because we're basically right in the same boat," guitarist John Siebels, 20, said from a tour stop in Providence, R.I. Singer Max Collins, 21, and drummer Tony Fagenson, 22, round out the group's lineup.
On Eve 6's Horrorscope, released Tuesday, the lyrics sound as if they were lifted from a typical 21-year-old's notebook. "He knows his friends think that he's lame when he tell them he's got game" ("Sunset Bitch") and "You're the one with the jet pack strapped to your back ready to go" ("Jet Pack") are perfect frat-party conversation starters. "Promise" (RealAudio excerpt), the group's current hit single, is about feeling unsure of new relationships and vowing not to make promises to anyone.
Maturity Beyond Their Years
Though the bandmembers are barely (or not, in Siebels' case) old enough to drink in some of the clubs they perform in, many say Eve 6 display a lot of maturity on their new album.
"[Horrorscope] has a more thought-out approach to it [than their platinum 1998 self-titled debut]," Dave Marsh, a radio programmer at WHFS-FM in Washington, D.C., said. "It sounds well rehearsed and well written. Their last album was their first, so there was nothing to judge it against. The second album is always scrutinized more, so they've made logical progressions with their music and their songs."
The group's new disc is still the same Eve 6, Siebels said, "but a year and a half later a world tour later. I think we became better musicians playing five nights a week for a year and a half. We really know what's going on a lot more this time."
Eve 6 signed a record deal with RCA in 1995, two years before Siebels and Collins graduated from high school. The label took an unusual approach to the group, waiting nearly three years to record their debut, which spawned the hit singles "Inside Out" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Leech" (RealAudio excerpt).
Horrorscope, which was produced by Don Gilmore (Lit, John Doe Thing) and mixed by Tom Lord-Alge (Hole, Wallflowers), rocks harder than Eve 6, according to Dave Richards, programming director for Chicago's WKQX-FM, one of the first stations to play Eve 6's breakthrough single "Inside Out."
"Bands have to progress," Richards said. "The world is rocking a little more than it did two years ago, and [Horrorscope] certainly may have stayed on par with how music has progressed. It's also pretty consistent with what you would expect Eve 6 to do."
The Categorization Quandary
Siebels has trouble categorizing his band's music, and refers to Eve 6 as a "modern punk-rock apocalyptic heritage pop band."
"I don't know if we're more of a rock band," Siebels said. "I don't really think of us as a rock band like Creed is a rock band. But all pop-punk is, is a little bit faster version of rock 'n' roll. There's a few songs on [Horrorscope] that are faster speeds than any song on the first record, and there are a few that are more rockin'."
"Rescue" (RealAudio excerpt), which boasts a guitar-heavy intro similar to a Rush or Styx anthem, showcases Eve 6's rock heritage, while "Amphetamines" is pure Blink-182-style pop-punk. "Here's to the Night," a gloomy ballad with the chorus "Here's to the nights we felt alive/ Here's to tears you knew you'd cry," confirms yet another side to the band.
"I think we've grown a lot as people and really taken things into our own hands on this record and making sure we have a say-so," Siebels said. "We're the center of being in control. I think that we've all come into our own after getting out of high school and being on the road. We've really learned how to be a band. We're not paying our dues anymore, we're now acting as a professional band."