If you don’t know Eve 6, you’re either not a ’90s rock fan or not on Twitter. The band’s 1998 song “Inside Out” — or, as bassist and lead vocalist Max Collins endearingly calls it, “heart in a blender song” — went to No. 1 (and was featured in the film Can’t Hardly Wait). Its “Here’s to the Night” was an early-aughts graduation and prom fan fave. The music video for “Tongue Tied” starred ’90s teen goddess Katie Holmes. To borrow a ’90s-inspired format: Want to feel old? The guy from Eve 6 is now a Twitter celebrity.
In December 2020, Collins seized the Eve 6 Twitter handle and emerged as a self-effacing internet personality, tweeting jokes and dirt on every once-famous rocker from “the guy from Tool” to “the guy from Third Eye Blind.” Although it’s having something of an internet renaissance, Eve 6 has had quite the run. Collins and guitarist Jon Siebels started playing together as high-school freshmen, then signed to RCA while they were still students. After graduating, they released three consecutive albums, broke up in 2004, put the pieces back together a few years later, released a fourth studio album in 2012, and have been playing together since. Now, Eve 6 is back with a new single, “Black Nova,” and a five-song EP, Grim Value (out June 25), the band’s first release in nearly a decade.
As a once-teenage fan of the band (“heart in a blender song” was my MySpace song) and a huge shitposter, I was eager to speak with Collins about his hilarious new internet persona, talk shit on Hinder and Trapt, and, of course, discuss Eve 6.
Is it true that the name Eve 6 was inspired by The X-Files?
Yeah, it is. We were called Eleventeen when we signed the deal, and our A&R guy was like, “You gotta … you know … it’s too literal. You’re teenagers, and you’re gonna call yourselves Eleventeen. That’s too much.” But yeah, we were obsessed with The X-Files at the time, and after recording that first record, every single night we’d watch an episode or two. And I saw that “Eve 6” placard on the top of the cell with that character and thought, That’s kinda cool.
I want to talk about “heart in a blender song.” Did you start calling it that, or did people start online?
I started calling it that. I mean, my mom always called it that. I always thought it was really cute. And it’s also the most ridiculous lyric in a song full of pretty ridiculous lyrics.
What did you write that song about? I don’t know if this is true, but you posted that you were a virgin when you wrote it, which is funny.
Yeah, I was, 100 percent. I mean, it’s sort of the ramblings of a teenager. It was a teenage high-school relationship, you know — there was cheating involved, my first sort of heartbreak. But the song is all over the place, so it’s hard to say it’s about one thing in particular, really. There wasn’t, like, one girl in mind.
What’s the idea behind “Black Nova” and the new EP?
We started writing and recording at the end of 2019, which basically happens simultaneously for Jon and I, and Ben Hilsinger is playing drums for us. We finished it a couple months into 2020. I’d go to Jon’s like once a week. We were like, Fuck it, let’s do the kind of roots-punk thing that we’ve always wanted to do. It was before any of this Twitter stuff happened. It was just, Let’s have fun making loud, dumb guitar rock and do it quick and do it with feeling and that’ll be that. Then I was like, Oh, we have an EP coming out soon. Maybe I’ll try to wake up the die-hard fans on Twitter. So I started posting, and I think one of the first ones I did was maybe the virgin one and that obviously went nuts.
When did you start posting a lot? I became aware of your Twitter in December of last year.
Yeah, I think it would’ve been December. I’ve been addicted to Twitter for years now. I just love reading people that I think are interesting or funny or whatever from my personal account. I just basically did a bunch of retweeting. I didn’t really put any of my thoughts up there, but I definitely consumed a lot of Twitter. But the Eve 6 Twitter renaissance was in December. I was just like, Fuck it.
Something I love that you do on Twitter is just abbreviate “the guy from” whatever band as “TGF.”
I think I just use the term so much that people were completely crystal clear on what it was the first time I did it, so I was like, This is fantastic. Saves me some time, too.
Can we do a dumb speed round where I name a band from the ’90s or aughts and you say the first thing that comes to your mind?
Let’s just start with Tool, which you posted about a lot.
The guy from Tool … I guess I’ll give him the dignity, since we’re doing press right now, of saying his name: Maynard [James Keenan]. We toured with A Perfect Circle in Canada on a festival tour in, like, 2000, and he was fine. The funny anecdote I have that involves him is we were on our bus in the back lounge, drinking, and he was telling us about how Zack de la Rocha got all of his lyric ideas from a book that Maynard had given him. I forget what book he was talking about; [it might’ve been] Marx. It was just kind of a funny brag. He seemed to have a little bit of a chip on his shoulder about it. Like, he wanted to be credited with giving the guy from Rage Against the Machine a book that he derived inspiration from. But I remember him being nice enough. I’m not a Tool fan. The Tool Fan — capital TF — is a great milieu for jokes ’cause … they’re pretty self-serious.
Um, Shifty Shellshock. What else can you say?
Oh, man. We had a substitute lyric that we would sing for that song [“Lips of an Angel”] that I can’t repeat to you. It’s not fit for prime time. But yeah, just one of those godawful songs that makes you feel like an alien in the world.
I recently rewatched the “Lips of an Angel” music video with Emmanuelle Chriqui and was like, This is a crazy moment in time. This video is crazy.
Yeah, because they were doing that, like, extra-banal Nickelback thing but adopting the aesthetic of glam? It was just all wrong. Everything about it was off.
And just a little bit off, where it’s like … the vests. What are you doing?
Totally, it’s like the uncanny-valley thing. What the fuck is going on here?
Third Eye Blind.
People think I hate the guy from Third Eye Blind [Stephan Jenkins]. I really don’t. He’s a great writer. I did a thread where I said his assholeishness is — there’s a certain generosity of spirit to it because it’s entertainment, you know? I personally enjoy that kind of thing from rock stars. Exercise your freedom to be a total dickhead as long as you’re not hurting anyone.
Love that. Vertical Horizon.
Ugh. Nicest guys in the world, most boring music conceivable. I’ve, like, taken a vow of rigorous honesty with this kind of phase, and I think at the end of the day, being a decent person counts for more. So I don’t even mean it to be derisive. I mean, I do. But you know what I mean? I think that counts more. But yeah, unlistenable.
“One Week,” their big song, was the song that “heart in a blender song” was battling with for the No. 1 song in 1998. It just kept flipping back and forth. So for me, that name very much puts me back in a time and place, like I’m sure it does for everybody, but maybe in a slightly different way.
Art [Alexakis] is a really good friend. He’s another sober guy. He almost produced the first Eve 6 record but ended up firing our A&R guy for mixing his second record. And after that, our A&R guy was like, “Fuck that, Art’s not working on your record. He fucked me over.” So there was some sort of weird tension after that. Neither party knew what exactly had happened, so we’d see them at festivals and it’d be kinda weird. And then eventually we talked about it. I talk to him all the time. Had coffee with him a couple weeks ago.
Oh, God, couple things here. The singer of Trapt [Chris Taylor Brown] told some of our crew guys that his singing voice was changing the way people sing, like he was shifting the Zeitgeist because he was such a badass; that was sort of the subtext. And they all started laughing. Like, immediately. Then they realized he wasn’t kidding. So that was at one festival that we did together. And then, probably around the same tour cycle, we did another festival with them and Filter. The Trapt guy was at a bar, and he got into a fight and got his ass kicked. Jonny Radtke, another member of Filter, and I watched it happen. Jonny, I believe, has it on tape.
I’m not sure what instrument he plays, but there’s a guy in the band named P-Nut [bassist Aaron Wills], which is fucking incredible. He’s a really good sport. Every time I tweet something about 311, he likes it. Namely, the joke that I heard from a roadie, that recently someone told me belonged to a comedian, that Australian guy [Neil Hamburger] that pretends to be someone else: “What’s the only thing worse than 911? 311.” I’ve done that joke twice now over the course of the last month and a half or so with slightly different wording, and P-Nut likes it every time. And I think that’s rad.
Good Charlotte. Fall Out Boy. Panic! at the Disco.
The Good Charlotte guys I know. We’ve done a couple tours with them. Really nice kids. Fun to make fun of on Twitter. I’m not their target demo, what can I say? When I did “Fall Out Boy greater than Panic at the Disco,” or no, “Panic at the Disco greater than Fall Out Boy,” I definitely had to field some angry stans with that one. They have tons of fans; they’re still massive bands. That’s why I get to make fun of them. I’m literally making fun of people who are more successful by orders of magnitude. With maybe the exception of Trapt, but he fuckin’, as we all know, has it comin’.
30 Seconds to Mars.
30 Seconds to Mars is the band most reviled by bands, I think, across the board. Just absolutely despised. In my opinion, rightfully so. Everything from the music, which is godawful but with this really heavy pretense of being incredible and very serious. Yeah, just terrible. It’s strange because [Jared Leto’s] obviously a great artist … I mean, actor. I really do think people like that just don’t have friends anymore in the sense that, you know, people who will tell them that they suck. You need to have friends that tell you when you suck and when you’re being a self-serious prick, or you end up like that.
Who are some of your favorite bands from that time? Or people you still keep in touch with, like Everclear?
Fountains of Wayne, I think, is one of the greatest American rock-and-roll bands of all time. People always think that I’m fucking with them when I say that. If you’re only familiar with “Stacy’s Mom,” I get how you’d have that reaction. But those guys are absolutely brilliant songwriters. Or were — Adam Schlessinger passed away from COVID [last April]. So yeah, they’re literally one of my favorite bands. I don’t listen to music that was on the radio in the ’90s. That’s just not what I listened to, with maybe the exception of them. I’m a huge Lemonheads fan. I tend to get obsessed with one thing. For the past two years for me, that’s been Sleaford Mods.
Is there anything you miss about that era musically or culturally?
Culturally, I do think for all of the absolute garbage that was on the radio in the mid-to-late ’90s, it was such a hodgepodge of shit. That part, I thought was cool. There were definitely waves where you’d have the Lilith Fair thing that happened, these little Zeitgeists. But then you were hearing Fatboy Slim, the Prodigy, and pick-your-fucking-guitar-band at the time. It wasn’t as homogenized as it feels right now. I realize how this sounds: Me, from where I sit, talking about the good old days of the ’90s, it sounds pretty predictable. That’s not really what I’m saying. But I do think if there was some good in it, it was that. That you had bands like Cake alongside Sarah McLachlan. It was all over the place.
What do you think of the current rock or alternative landscape?
I do my best to avoid that stuff because — I mean, this is where I sound like the “Get off my lawn” guy — I just find newer bands that are having any sort of commercial success absolutely boring and devoid of soul or having anything really to say. The dominant feeling I have is like, Who cares? I feel like there’s so much fucking shit going on in the world, and you don’t really hear that reflected.
There’s no real anger. You’d think at a time like this, the music would be reflective of the anger people feel.
Yeah, you would think! Maybe that’s coming. I hope, I guess. But everything is still so saccharine. It’s weird.
You’re very progressive politically, and you talk about it a lot online. Why do you talk about it?
I think [it’s] being alive right now in my particular circumstances — being a father, seeing what the cost of absolutely shitty almost-nothing health insurance is. Just looking around, taking it in, I honestly think you can scoff at meme ideology, but I do think there’s utility to it. It’s on Twitter that I found a lot of people who have informed my politics and worldview.
Didn’t people on Twitter ask you if the people who stormed the Capitol were Eve 6 fans?
No, but that’s really funny. Oh yeah, you’re reminding me — I did do a post about the guy in the bear hat.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
*Correction: This post previously stated that the Trapt singer got his ass kicked by Filter’s Jonny Radtke and another member of the band. Radtke and the other person were just witnesses to the ass-kicking. We regret the error.