On the Eve of success

In the increasingly complex, post-punk world of power pop -- where irreverent attitudes are the standard and revolution is simply the sound of a record spinning -- the Los Angeles trio Eve 6 easily could have been lost in the crowd. But while many of their peers have simmered the sound's once-crisp punch down to a sing-along fuzz tailored for modern-rock radio, Eve 6 may help return the genre to its original status.

Eve 6 have been a pet project of RCA Records for several years. Though the band needed some maturing, a label representative "signed them for what they could become," says drummer Tony Fagenson, a late addition to the band. "Most record companies aren't like that." But the RCA agent found a spark in the band's palatable sound -- one that fuses the energy of Green Day and the attitude of British mod-punks The Jam.

Singer and bassist Max Collins had joined up with guitarist Jon Siebels in 1993, securing label interest even before the two had graduated from high school.

Enter Fagenson. His father, the celebrated producer Don Was, was working at the same studio as the then-drummer-less Eve 6. Fagenson was invited to audition and, having passed, joined the band in an intense period of recording under the tutelage of Don Gilmore, who had recorded Los Angeles punk-legends X.

Their sonically overdriven, self-titled CD has been gaining momentum ever since its release this past spring, and the video for "Inside Out" gained "Buzzworthy" status on MTV the week of its debut. The song's impressionistic wordplay and throat-burning melodies reflect the reality of life, love and youth.

"That's one of the reasons why I joined the band," says Fagenson. "The lyrics were both universal and uniquely brilliant."

With their first album currently selling more than 28,000 copies a week, it would be easy for the band to lose perspective. But as someone who has had first-hand knowledge of the industry for most of his young life, Fagenson's take is decidedly grounded.

"Everyone at the label and all the people at radio are really genuinely nice," he says. "You just have to realize that people aren't working for your interests, they are working for their interests. Once you figure that out, you're fine."

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