Eve 6 frontman Max Collins has been busy this year, as in addition to playing shows with his longtime band, the SoCal singer/songwriter has been working on his debut solo album Honey From the Ice Box.
Writing 10 tunes over a month’s time, Collins said he felt the music came out of him organically and could mark the beginnings of an extensive solo career.
To get the effort off the ground, Collins teamed up with PledgeMusic to give fans the opportunity to support him at various donation levels. The incentives include signed vinyl copies of the album, an opportunity to get a matching tattoo with Collins and a trip to Medieval Times.
Fender.com recently caught up with Collins as his PledgeMusic campaign reaches the home stretch to learn more about his project.
Fender.com: What has been going on with your upcoming solo record?
Collins: I wrote a record’s worth of songs in January, and it was clear to me that now was the time for me to make this solo record, an uncompromised effort. I write a lot, but I don’t normally write that much. It really felt like I was writing an entire record as it was happening. I just started recording without a plan, paying for it as I went. When we finished tracking the record, we played it for Brian Malouf, who signed Eve 6 and is a producer and mixer. He said, “This is great,” and then left for South by Southwest. While he was there, he met with a representative from PledgeMusic. He was really into the idea of having me work with them, and it’s been doing well so far.
Fender.com: What inspired you to pen these solo songs?
Collins: I’m really looking at this as the start of another career, in a way. I kind of feel compelled to write and make records like this, where I don’t have to trouble myself with anything that’s not pure or what doesn’t move me. That’s not to say Eve 6 stuff doesn’t [do that.] My relationship with the guys and the band is great. It’s just time for me to do it a little bit differently.
Fender.com: How was the writing process different from writing with the full band?
Collins: I think Eve 6 is a band in the truest sense of the word. I’ve always been the lyricist and primary songwriter for Eve 6, but when it comes to the arrangements and production and everything else, it’s a democratic process. Everybody’s opinion counts, and that’s a wonderful thing. Up until this the last few months, I’ve never really done an effort where everything was my call. That’s how it differs, really. The process started the same as an Eve 6 song — me sitting down with a guitar and writing a song — but I think I was more conscious of the fact that I really saw the writing process through. Often, with an Eve 6 song, especially with the second and third records, I would write a verse and a chorus and bring that to the band. We’d work that out in the rehearsal room, and I’d finish the rest of the lyrics in the studio. With this, I really saw each song through and that it was really working as a whole. I could play it through on the acoustic guitar before we went to the next step.
Fender.com: Do most things come together for you on an acoustic when you’re writing a song?
Collins: Pretty much always. The record is primarily an acoustic record, but there’s stuff going on too. It’s still a production and feels like a rock record, but there are a lot of acoustic guitars going on. Maybe it’s acoustic guitars that I’m hitting really hard [laughs].
Fender.com: What is the status of Eve 6?
Collins: We’re not doing conventional tours. It’s more like one-offs and two-offs. That’s where we’re at. We are still a working band, we’re still playing live and we’re not breaking up or anything like that. We’re certainly still busy.
Fender.com: Are you planning on playing live shows with your solo music?
Collins: I’m not sure how the touring thing is going to look like yet. But, I have a band – a couple of guys who played on the record. Brian Young from Fountains of Wayne and ? from Jesus and Mary Chain is playing drums with me live, Thomas Froggatt of She Wants Revenge is playing bass with me, and Dylan Thomas, who played guitar in the Dickies is playing guitar for me. So, it’s a cool, kind of an all-star thing in a weird way. We’re doing a show Aug. 8 at Harvard and Stone. That will be with the full band. We’re going to do a couple of warm-up gigs that we don’t tell anyone about to get comfortable. But, we’ve been rehearsing, and it’s been sounding really good.
Fender.com: One of the PledgeMusic rewards is a trip to Medieval Times. What prompted that crazy idea?
Collins: PledgeMusic had ideas that they came to us with, and one of them was to go out with me and my friends to a bar and shoot pool or whatever. I don’t drink anymore, and I felt that someone who pledged for that would feel a little gipped because it’s implied that we’re going to get drunk, you know? I had a similar approach to my bachelor party a few years ago. I’m not really interested in doing the strip club thing, and Medieval Times occurred to me as being perfectly preposterous. So, we went there on my bachelor party, and the announcer who calls the jousting and battles even called us out. “Apparently, the guys with the bachelor party here could think of nothing else to do than come to Medieval Times and watch people poke other men with sticks!” That endeared me even more to Medieval Times. When the bar thing sounded dubious to me, I went back to Medieval Times.