Eve 6 goes back to the future on "Speak in Code"
It took a perfect storm of events to allow California-based pop band Eve 6 -- who scored several hits in the late-'90s and early '00s-- to return to the fold.
"Speak in Code" is the long-awaited new release from Eve 6's original members, who scored multiple top 10 singles -- such as "Inside Out," "Think Twice," "Promise," "Leech" and "Here's to the Night" -- up through 2003's "It's All in Your Head," their previous release.
"Well, I think it's been this kind of tediously slow, in hindsight, uphill sort of trudge that's been going on for the past few years," said Collins via telephone from a taxi cab.
"It's taken the time that it's taken for circumstances to allow it to happen, really -- like with [reunion of] the original lineup, the collection of songs, the right label in place, having Don Gilmore as a producer on board. We really wanted to do it right, so it's been our goal to do another Eve 6 record for awhile now. It just took a minute for things to fall into place to allow us to do it right."
Eve 6, which has sold more than 3 million albums in North America, re-enlisted the help of legendary producer Gilmore for "Speak in Code." Collins called Gilmore a "lunatic" -- in a good way -- because he keeps the process inspired and creative.
"He produced our first two records," Collins said. "He's like the fourth member in a lot of ways. He brings it out of us and makes us better than we are. It's one of those kinds of relationships. He has a way of delivering the message 'This could be better,' or 'That's not played good enough' that's inspiring as opposed to scary. It makes you sort of willing to dig deep and find it as opposed to making you closed off. That's a gift. I don't know what it is exactly, other than it's just a chemistry thing. I think there's a trust that we have with him musically and myself as a lyricist and otherwise. He's a cool dude."
Collins said the essence of the band has always been the songwriting.
"We naturally wrote pop songs and we half jokingly say that's because we can't jam," he said with a laugh. "We have to write songs. It always starts there with us. It's a matter of getting a record's worth of songs that move us enough to feel like they deserve a position on the album. We felt a debt to our fans going into this record and really wanted to give them something solid. That was our mission statement. "
Collins and drummer Tony Fagenson, the son of famed producer 0Don Was, worked on songs for the album since the skinsman returned to the band in 2007. Then there was another batch of tunes that came right before Eve 6 headed in the studio with Gilmore.
"That came from Don saying, 'What else do you need to say? You have some really good stuff. Let's see if we can get some more,'" Collins recalled.
"Some ideas really took shape in the studio. I'm the primary songwriter. It starts with my idea. I write the lyrics. Sometimes more complete than others it's a total musical collaboration. We work together to get things just right. With the older stuff, Tony did a lot of production work on the demos with parts that ended up on the record.
"The final piece of the puzzle was having Jon [Siebels, guitarist] back in the picture, lending his particular guitar stylings and rounding it out. I think we couldn't have done it without him. To state the obvious, it had to happen before we could make a proper Eve 6 record."