Eve 6 Chart Their Course With Big Debut

With a platinum album to their credit, the youthful L.A. pop trio are building a fanbase and planning a long career.

MILAN, Italy -- The Los Angeles trio Eve 6 may look like

slightly overripe high schoolers, with their jeans, T-shirts, tattoos.

They are, after all, teenagers.

But their experiences in the music industry seem to have made them

wise beyond their years.

Despite their mere half-decade in the business -- starting when they

were adolescents -- and a eponymous debut album that already has sold

more than a million copies, the trio have seen how fragile a career can

be. It's no wonder they are so concerned with keeping their eyes on the

future, planning for a lengthy career in a field marked by one-hit

wonders and flashes-in-the-pan.

"In America, in the last few years it's been sad because the attention

is focused more on the songs than on the artists," bassist/vocalist Max

Collins, 19, explained.

"That is why you see so many new bands sell a lot of records and then

disappear in a few years," he said. "Before, there were more artists

with a lot of fans staying with them for their whole career and growing

with them. So what we're trying to do is develop a fanbase, people that

are gonna stay with us and not with one song or one record."

Thus far, their 1998 debut album, Eve 6, has garnered airplay

via the singles "Inside Out"

(RealAudio excerpt) and "Leech," along the way earning the band

comparisons with early Elvis Costello, the Pixies and the Replacements.

The likenesses were fully on display at a recent show at Milan's

Rolling Stone disco, where Eve 6 played to the curiosity of assembled

fans by showcasing tracks from their album.

"I actually saw one of their videos on MTV and I read in a paper that

they would play for free, so I came to see what they were like,"

explained club-goer Dorina Gelmi, 29.

What they were like changed depending upon the song. While their set

opener, "How Much Longer," was a pop-punk, Green Day sound-alike, other

pieces, like "Jesus Nitelite" (RealAudio excerpt),

had a mature, modern-rock veneer.

At least one fan seemed to like what she heard. "They play rock but

still inspire tenderness," Gelmi said at the end of the show.

Eve 6 came together in 1993 when Collins and guitarist Jon Siebels, 18,

met in high school and began playing in clubs in the L.A. area. At the

time, they found inspiration in such pop-punk

groups as Screeching Weasel and Bad Religion, Collins explained.

But during the recording of the album, their sound started evolving.

"We began to put more emphasis on the lyrics and melodies, like the

Pixies, Elvis Costello and Elliott Smith. We rediscovered Tom Petty,"

Collins said.

"We recorded some songs for a radio show called 'Radio Asylum' and we

got signed shortly after that, with the understanding that we would

not be recording until we graduated from high school," he said. "They

gave us some money to get some studio experience and stuff like that."

Drummer Tony Fagenson, 19, joined the band two years ago, about six

months before the group began recording its debut.

As Fagenson explained it, the band took its name from an episode of

"The X Files." "We used to watch it when we got home from the studios,"

he said. "There was this episode called 'Eve,' in which the government

makes clones of human beings, eight 'Eves' and eight 'Adams.' And Eve

number 6 was this crazy woman in a mental hospital, a strange character"

Eve 6's relative youth has provided cause for concern -- but not

because of the ages of the members.

"The audience in Germany, where we just played, was incredibly

demanding," Siebels said. "If you didn't play for at least 70 to 75

minutes, they got mad. We only have one album, and it's under 40

minutes. Our show lasts about an hour -- depending on how long we stay

backstage before the encore."