Harshing with Tony of Eve 6!
How’s the tour?
Great. We’re on the “Why you got to be harshing on Eve 6 2 K 3 Tour”. Everyone is harshing on us, we just want to be left alone.
Why are they being harsh?
(Laughs) They aren’t really; we just thought it was a funny name for a tour.
When did you start recording the record?
We started working on it about two years ago. We wrote for a good eight months and then went into preproduction. The actual recording was around July of last year right up until December.
The tracks have this epic feel to them right to the simple like “Hey Montana”. How did you pick the songs?
Just the ones that moved us. We wrote thirty songs for the record and we picked the ones that stood out and made us feel. We’d know right away if we had something good. We took what grabbed our heart right away and went with them. There were some that were good but didn’t feel right and had a good line or hook but didn’t have the whole package. Whether they had a simple three chord progression like “Still Here Waiting” or epic thing like “Good Lies”.
“Friend Of Mine” has that big feeling. Were these tracks happening naturally?
Absolutely. Nothing is forced on the record. As a matter of fact the reason it came out this way is because we took time to grow as people and a band. Our plan after we finished the tour for Horrorscope was to start on the record but we realized soon after that we had to take a little time and do some soul searching. The songs are about standing on your own two feet and growing up but not really wanting to. It’s about holding on to that passion and innocence that drew you to music in the first place. The whole thing is natural, it’s about us coming together as a band.
It’s fun for me to see you guys grow because I’ve interviewed you for each record and its never the same thing each time.
We can’t do that because it’s boring to us. Also we started making records when we were eighteen and people go through a lot of changes from eighteen to twenty four. Luckily we have a medium where we can express it and that is making records.
Do you think bands that get caught up making the same albums over and over are afraid of the challenge or just don’t grow?
I think they aren’t interested in changing. I think some bands that make a couple records and are successful figure why change it if it’s working. Or all their talent has come out on the first couple records. A situation can get stale. They say everything they need to each other on the first two records and have nothing left to say. For us we are lucky that we started so young and spent the last six years trying to find ourselves. It’s all coming to a head right now. I think we are lucky.
Is there pressure to up the anti?
We put more pressure on ourselves to up the anti. That is why this record took so long because we are meticulous. We wanted it to sound natural and real and show our passion. We do get pressure from the label about releasing the record. We had to fend off that pressure of putting out the record now instead of six months when we wanted to. We try to better ourselves.
I felt that with Horrorscope you turned a corner where you grew and it seemed you’d be one of the bands that would stick around and not stuck in first gear. Do you ever look at the past and see what has happened to groups and not try to suffer the fate of others who have disappeared?
Not consciously. We are influenced by many other bands and the general fabric of music and rock ‘n’ roll. We’ve never been in a tight spot and thought ‘what would Green Day do?’ (We both laugh) We follow our instincts. We had already planned a record out and didn’t think it was true to us so we took our time and made it a labor of love. We followed our instincts and hearts because it was important for us. We were in a rut after touring off the last record and didn’t know if we could be in the band anymore. We hit rock bottom and had to figure out whether we should go our separate ways or come together and make something more powerful than we had done before and that was what happened with us.
Was the rut mostly because of being on the road so much?
Part of it, but the tour itself was a lot of fun. We started the Horrorscope tour in the beginning of 2001 up until September and I think everyone in the band through the tour was amazing. We needed a break. The root was us being stuck on the road and not being able to grow up enough and live enough. Music is where you take real life and put it through a filter and it comes out in song. If you haven’t experienced real life then you don’t have anything to write about. Max wasn’t just writing about stuff on the road. He isn’t going to write an album full of road songs so we had to live and deal with the family. We had to go and live on our own and go through the issues normal people deal with. That is how our band works. We aren’t a lifestyles band; we are a suburban band and look at the small things. These small things manifest themselves in real emotions. So we don’t have a motto that everyone follows. We just tell stories about real life so in order to do that we have to live real life a little bit. And that is why we hit a low point and came out of it.
And you can’t be like KISS and write about partying everyday.
You guys have a great fan base. Do you ever worry about them getting tired of waiting?
Well everyone is impatient now a day. I have to say our fans are pretty phenomenal. After the last week of touring they’ve been packing houses. They show us patience is a virtue. They kept the fire burning.
What is it like knowing that the record you are working on people are just waiting to hear it.
You never know if a record will do well. But it does feel good to know that you make this music and there are people who really want to hear it and will buy it. We have devoted fans and it’s the best feeling in the world.
It has to be awesome to have fans anticipating the release.
It’s great. We want people to hear what we put our hearts into.
I was curious about a few tracks. “Think Twice” reminds me of the 80’s.
Yep, for sure. I am the professed 80’s lover. That song we wrote in like an hour at my house. He had a lyrical idea and we fleshed it out. What musically defined that song is the pre-chorus with the Police sort of guitar sound. It has this dark and ominous yet bouncy song about being hurt by a girl and another guy.
I wasn’t sure if I was off on that 80’s thing or not.
No, you were right. The other two guys listen to more punk rock than I do. I love Rancid and Green Day but since my childhood I heard so much 80’s music and it ingrained in my head. I bring that stuff to the table. Through our last couple records we have some 80’s feel.
What about “Hey Montana”? It has a real folky, stripped down flavor.
That was an idea that Max had a while ago. We put it on the backburner because we had stuff we wanted to work on and we had forgotten about it. One night in the studio with about a week left to go Max just started to play it on the acoustic guitar. We were struggling with the vocals on another song and we worked on it for a couple of nights and it was there. It got caught on a wave and propelled us along and don’t know where it came from. We put piano and slide guitar on there and had a lot of fun with it. We wanted to let go of all convention with that.
I thought it was cool, I think some might see it as a huge risk, because it seemed you were flexing your musical muscles.
I think people might hear it and be taken back, but if you really listen to the words it’s a beautiful piece of music. We are really proud of that one.
“At Least We’re Dreaming” tells us that “everything is going to be alright”. That sentiment has been flowing through music for a long time, yet you guys refresh it here.
I think Max’s ultimate idea is talking about what kids are doing and even when you are at your lowest point at least you are alive and breathing, so remember that. Even when you are at your lowest there is still another day and you are still here to fight the good fight. It is one of our favorites.
“Friend Of Mine” has this epic feel and distinct sound of the Who.
Yeah it has that big “Baba O’ Riley” moment.
The Who always wrote grandiouse flavor. It seemed like maybe you were going for something bigger.
The funny thing is that we made it sound that way by taking away elements. On Horrorscope we added loops on everything, keyboards and a million guitars. This time we just put the band in the room and played with energy and passion. We wanted it to sound like a big rock record. We recorded in a studio where they recorded Back In Black and Born In The U.S.A. I think the emotional content of that song is heart wrenching.
What is it like to have a song touch someone so much that they remember it forever because it got them out of a bad spot in their life?
It’s the greatest thing in the world. That is why we do this. Everyone goes through bad things and we tell them they aren’t alone. Music and art is trying to find solace in your feelings.
+ Charlie Craine