Eve 6 at Tempe Music Festival

By: Aja Viafora

Eve 6 rocked their hits and tried out a few new songs for the audience at Tempe Music Festival on Saturday at Tempe Beach Park. Their set lasted over and hour and featured hits such as “Inside Out” and “Here’s to the Night.” The band just recently started touring again with a new addition to the band. Guitarist Matt Bair joined vocalist and bassist Max Collins and drummer Tony Fagenson.

To see some shots of Eve 6 rockin' out at Tempe Music Festival, check out our slide show: Eve 6 at Tempe Music Festival.

Fagenson took time out before the concert to reveal his thoughts on playing Tempe Music Festival and his appreciation for Phoenician ladies.

New Times: How many times have you performed in Arizona and is this your first time performing at Tempe Beach Park?

Fagenson: We have played in Phoenix in Ariz. many, many times. I don’t know if we’ve actually played this part of Tempe on the water like this, it’s never seemed this beautiful before. You know we actually just played Tempe about two months ago at Tempe Market Place.

NT: How do you like Phoenix? F: Phoenix is pretty close to home for us. We’re from L.A. so we come here a lot and we always love it. It helps that girls and weather are both pretty here. Some shows are like off the hook and amazing and others the crowd just isn’t that into it, but in general I’d say they’ve always been pretty good shows here.

NT: What size crowd do you normally play for? F: Over they years it’s gone anywhere from five people in the opening bands to, you know, we played to a festival of over 100,000 people in Atlanta. So it’s all over the place. Our headlining shows we are playing from 500-1000 people every night. We’ve really kind of run the gamut.

NT: How do you feel about the other bands performing at Tempe Music Festival. I know Fergie is in a different genre than the other bands. How do you feel about that? F: I mean, Fergie’s great. I’m a Black Eyed Peas Fan. I’m actually pretty pumped about seeing the Gin Blossoms. They were like the soundtrack from high school for me. They’re great song writers and have great songs. I’d just like to hear those songs and see them rocking today.

NT: What caused Eve 6 to disband in 2004? F: In 2004 we disbanded not knowing if we were going to come back again. It was just sort of time, you know? We had started when we were all really young in high school like15,16,17 years old and it sort of happened really quickly from there. John and Max actually started it in high school and I came in around that time and we did three records. We toured all over the place. We had lots of great experiences. We’re one of the lucky bands to sort of break through and make a career of it. And in 2004, we felt we had just run our course and we wanted to try different things. We hadn’t had any adult experiences. We had been doing it since we were so young and we needed to grow a little bit. So we went our separate ways and did different projects.

I had a side project for a little while called the Sugi Tap. We had started an Eve 6 page to keep it alive and we sort of realized we were getting such a good response of people saying ‘hey when are you guys coming back’ that we decided, what the hell, let’s be Eve 6 again. John, our original guitar player, decided to not come back with us but it was ok. We’re playing with our new best friend Matt who’s doing a great job.

We’re just getting our feet wet now and honestly the reaction has been phenomenal, better even than we could have expected. We’re happy to do it.

NT: How does it feel to be Eve 6 again and be touring again? Do you pick it up easily again? F: It feels good. You know we’re a three piece and one [person] isn’t with us anymore so already that’s a big difference. But Matt is doing really good and we’re just having a blast. Max and I have taken some of the songs we’ve written for the side project and are kind of incorporating them into the Eve 6 material and all the while we’re doing lots of song writing at home.

NT: How is your relationship with John now? Are things weird? Are you still friends? Has he seen you guys perform yet? F: We’re still friends. He actually hasn’t seen us perform. He’s producing bands, he’s got a studio he started up in L.A. and he’s got some really cool bands there so yeah it’s good. No, yeah, things are really cool between us all.

We should be getting some new music out by early 2009, we hope. We are just in the creative process now.

NT: How was the transition from kids to famous rock stars? Did Eve 6 turn out the way that you wanted it to? F: I’m sort of the guy that’s always pushing for more you know? [I’m] always pushing the envelope and being excited about what we’ve done, but always looking to continue it and do more. But, you know, I’m extremely happy. We got so lucky and we are extremely privileged to be able to do this; to go up there everyday, sit on some instruments and make music and make people smile while we are doing it. And people know your songs and stuff, that’s a great, great feeling. I think that’s partly why we wanted to come back and do it again. There were people out there who were expressing how much they wanted to hear us play and to have someone wanting that from you is a wonderful thing. There’s really no complaints. We’re really excited about this new sort of version 2.0 and getting back out there.

NT: How is your new music going to be different? F: It’s a little different, we are bringing in a little from [the side project]. When we make a song it kind of comes out how it is, you know? It’s not too thought up in advance, how we are going to make it sound like. Because at least for us, it always tends to sound kind of forced if we do that. It’s better if we are just having a good time being creative, working hard and not using the left brain too much. In the side project we are brining some other instrumentation in, you know keyboards and pianos and things. It’s still going to rock. Don’t worry rock fans.

NT: What’s your favorite song from the past albums? F: I really like “Think Twice” which is on our third record. I love “Open Road Song” which is on our first record. Every show it’s kind of a different song, we say “Oh! We really played that one well today,” so that’s now my favorite song. Depending on how little or much we messed it up.

NT: Are there any recent funny road trip stories? F: Oh, there are tons of funny road trip stories. They are already starting, man. Let’s see, we went to Alaska in January. We’d never been there. It was freezing cold and I didn’t know what kind of wild life we were going to see. You know I figured they were cities like any other city, but in Anchorage at about midnight we were driving somewhere in our van and there was a big moose like asleep in the road basically. And we took some pictures of it.

You just have to live it. The road’s a strange place. We have a ton of inside jokes. You know, we’re a bunch of dudes riding around in a van. What are we going to do? We have to pass the time.

NT: When you are on the road do you have any favorite munchies? F: Well, the new thing for 2008 has definitely been Cliff Bars which I know is not as impressive as like Cheetos. They actually taste really good and you don’t feel like total dog shit after you are done eating. They give you energy.

NT: If you could tour with any band living or alive who would it be? F: You know that’s a tough question. I’m a huge Beatles fan, I think that would be just great. The Police, Led Zeppelin [are] reuniting. I love those bands but I think it would be really great to see John, George, Paul and Ringo play again in some other universe. Yeah, [laughs] that’d be a cool tour to be on “The Beatles with Eve 6.” I think a band that kind of fits with our music that I’m actually a fan of, I dig their tunes is All American Rejects, I think that would be a cool tour.

NT: How has being in a band affected your relationships? F: Badly. You know, there’s nothing really good about that. It’s certainly easier to meet people, it’s maybe not as easy to meet people that you are going to care about as a friend or a personal close relationship. We come across many, many great, wonderful people at every show. Our fans are amazing. We try to go meet them. It’s a different taste of life when you are on the road. You’re moving day to day, things are going really fast. You’re being stimulated all the time. You’re the center of attention all the time.

NT: How often do you get to see your families and do you guys have girlfriends? F: Max, our singer is happily married for almost a year now. I do not have a girlfriend at the moment and Matt, our young guitar player does have a girlfriend. So I am single. Yeah, we get to see our families a lot. We had three years where we weren’t touring. It’s a healthy balance. I feel bad for people that don’t live in the same town as their families because it does kind of feel good to be able to reset yourself and keep an air or normalcy.

NT: Do you prefer the limelight? F: You know what, honestly, I like being able to do both. The grass is always greener, and just when I’m on the road and getting lonely and missing my friends, we get to go home for awhile. It’s a great life, I won’t lie. We get to do what we love. We’re blessed.

NT: Do you guys have any side hobbies? F: Max likes to swim a lot for fitness, I like to jog. See, these are very boring hobbies. I’m not much of an athlete so I’m trying to figure out what kind of cool sport I want to get into whether its like fencing or golf, ping pong…foosball…I like playing tennis every now and again…

NT: Do you have a personal fashion statement? F: Yes, sexy comfort. [Laughs] I just made that up. But I’m feeling rather sexy right now and I’m quite comfortable, so… It’s a lovely day the sun is shining, people are showing a lot of skin and I’m glad about that. Feel sexy, feel comfortable everyone, you deserve it.

NT: Do your managers dress you? F: They tried that once and we locked them out. We shut the door in the process.

For more on Eve 6, check out their myspace.