Exclusive Interview with Eve 6/Fitness lead singer Max Collins- Max talks Eve 6’s 20th anniversary plans, what makes Fitness unique, and more

Max Collins has been very busy lately in the music industry switching back and forth between his 90’s rock band Eve 6 which he first got known for as well as his new band Fitness which is with Kenny Carkeet (ex member of Awolnation).  Fitness is definitely a group to check out, especially since Max and Kenny are both super talented and have work in the music industry that was definitely well received with Eve 6 and Awolnation.  However, don’t expect a duplicate of something from Eve 6 or Awolnation as it is different.  Max talks below how it is different than Eve 6.  Max also talks about how this project is different than his other recent projects which consisted of a solo album and some songs he put out with an ex member of Soul Asylum.

Eve 6 took off in 1998 with their self titled album which went to platinum and several singles from that album including the hit “Inside Out” which hit # 1 on the alternative charts and you might have heard it in some movies or TV shows.  Other singles from that album were “Leech,” “Showerhead,” “Open Road Song” which was also in a movie (Can’t Hardly Wait), and “Tounge Tied.”  Being that it is the 20th anniversary of that self titled album, Max says they have some plans to celebrate it and you can read what they are below.

Eve 6 also had a really big song on their second album “Horrorscope” with the single “Here’s To The Night” which is used as a graduation song at many schools.  One thing you will notice about the Eve 6 records are that they usually all sound different from each other while still retaining their identity.  After “Horrorscope,” they released “It’s All In Your Head” and then “Speak In Code” later in 2012 after a hiatus.

Some background info for you before you read is that Eve 6’s longtime drummer Tony recently left the band.  They recently got Fitness drummer Ben Hilzinger to drum for Eve 6 which Max also talks about.

Interview with Eve 6/Fitness frontman Max Collins

MAX: Hey Scott Its Max

AR: Hey how are you?

MAX: Good how are you man?

AR: Good.  Let’s start with Fitness.  It is kind of a supergroup as it is with you (obviously with your history with Eve 6) and Kenny Carkeet who used to be in Awolnation.  How did this musical project come about with Kenny and how did you guys decide to do this kind of music?

MAX: I met Kenny when Eve 6 and Awolnation played a radio festival together in Buffalo NY in like 2012.  We were both wearing the same T-Shirt, so I was like “Hey man you got a cool T-shirt.”  We just kind of started to talking and Public Enemy was about to go on.  We hung out that day and just got along well.  He lived in LA too and we both kind of do songwriting stuff or other artists and I was like “Yo let’s get together and work on stuff when we get back.”  That’s what we did for a couple of years.  We would just do sessions together here and there and produce some stuff together.  Then in like mid-way through 2016, he said he wanted to do his own project basically.  He wanted to stretch out creatively a little bit and not be beholden to his band or have the confines that you have when you’re producing another artist’s record and he sent me a track that turned in to be the first track we put out.  I was blown away by it and I tried to get him to let me to put a lyric and melody on it.  I did and he dug it and that’s how it began. It was originally jut going to be a way for us to follow our whimsy and not to think about anything else.  And just maybe we put some stuff up on SoundCloud, whatever.  We I think had such a good time doing that song and it just felt so good that we wanted to more and quickly became something we were passionate about and kind of became our primary focus.  As far as the sound of it, with all of the Fitness stuff, it all started with Kenny’s track I guess 99 percent of the time and I do my stuff on top of that.  His production aesthetic is the sound of business and it does sort of bring something out of me that I don’t know that I’ve ver really done before.  But I don’t even know if I’m that good at talking about that, but I kind of discovered a different, almost like a different kind of voice, literally and lyrically.  It was just an opportunity to kind of I don’t know really be creative in a way that I feel that maybe I haven’t been for a while.  To kind of get back in touch with that as in whatever that is.

AR: Cool, yeah it sounds different from Eve 6, but definitely interesting.  Besides Eve 6, you had numerous other projects.  For those that are somewhat recent, you had the album where you put out “Honey From The Ice Box” and another one I think with an ex member of Soul Asylum.  Those were both good, but Fitness seems to be the biggest and seems like it is getting you to more places.  You also seem to be getting some good exposure with radio airplay.  Besides that it is like a supergroup, what do you think is special about this project pertaining to why it is getting noticed by a decent amount of people?

MAX: I think I mean from where I sit, the music is kind of more compelling.  I think there is kind of like a colliding of worlds a little bit.  Fitness is greater than the sum of its parts.  It’s not something I could do on my own.  It’s not something Kenny could do on his own.  The other stuff I’ve done were sort of solo projects ish like writing the way I’ve always written with acoustic guitar and taking it from there.  This is a different creative process and Kenny just brings something out of me.  It’s hard to describe but I mean he’s a madman.  He’s a crazy person but like in the best way.  Got this like boundless energy and it’s just healthy like we do it for the fun of it.  We do it for they joy of it and I don’t know.  I think those things all obviously inform the music, but I don’t know I guess that’s the best I could do.

AR: It’s definitely different from Eve 6, seems different from Awolnation, and I think you can tell by the newish single “Matter Of Time.”  It’s definitely good, but different.  With that being said, how have the Eve 6 fans been reacting to the new music from Fitness?

MAX: I think its been a little polarizing.  With Eve 6 fans, there’s probably a good section of the fanbase that only listens to 90s rock.  And there’s also the cross section of people who are music fans and didn’t stop there.  And not that there’s anything wrong with having a favorite time period.  I’m not judging that and I understand it, so we definitely picked up so me fans from the Eve 6 and Awolnation fanbase.  But its like you said it is very different and judging by when I reposted stuff from the Eve 6 Facebook page or anything like that, the comments are usually kind of right down the middle.  Some people don’t get it at all and some people really dig it.  Which is probably the way it should be.

AR: With Eve 6, Tony left the band.  You now have a new drummer Ben Hilzinger.  How have the shows been going with him and how have the fans been reacting to him?

MAX: Man, they’ve been awesome.  The shows have been awesome and the reaction’s have been great.  Ben is also the drummer for Fitness.  He is just an incredible player and a great guy.  We did one rehearsal with him before the first Eve 6 show we had with him and he just like nailed all of the songs.  And he has been an Eve 6 fan since he was younger so he is familiar with the stuff.  He just kind of came in and crushed it so it’s been pretty seamless.  I think a lot of people in the audience frankly are not sure if he is a different dude.  The people who follow up closely are obviously.  There hasn’t been any pushback or anything weird, thankfully.

AR: It is the 20th anniversary of your self titled album this year.  Is anything special planned like a reissue with B Sides, a tour, or any shows being played where you will play the album in full?

MAX: Yes we are going to be doing some of that at the end of the year.  I’m not sure I’m supposed to mention that necessarily but I don’t think it would hurt.  We have a basic kind of skeleton of routing, but where are you based?  Are you Long Island?

AR: Yeah Long Island

MAX: Yeah I’m sure we are going to be getting to New York.  We are basically going to a 2 or 3 week buff tour and play all of the sings from the first record and maybe a couple of extras.

AR: Oh nice that’s cool.

MAX: And then also do likely a live recording of one of those shows and make that available.

AR: Cool a lot of stuff.  It’s been a little while since the last Eve 6 studio album, like six years.  Do you have any plans to release any new studio album anytime soon?

MAX: We talked about a couple of ideas.  We talked about the idea of doing a covers EP like a punk covers EP.  That’s something we talked about a little bit.  It wouldn’t be happening this year and I can see us doing a single here and there in the coming years.

AR: Talking about the 20th anniversary, you guys had a lot of success with that album.  It went platinum and “Inside Out” hit # 1 on the alternative charts.   Can you talk a little bit about how special of a time it was when all that started happening?

MAX: Yeah it was definitely, it was crazy.  It wasn’t supposed to happen and it happened (that kind of thing).  We definitely didn’t know what we were doing.  We were in high school when we wrote that record.  And I think even our ambitions were sort of limited.  We were just kind of being kids playing in this band having a good time.  You know the stars aligned.  It’s one of those totally unfair kind of things, but I’m grateful for it.  I think some of the songs hold up for me and people still get a kick out of hearing them live and it was a whirlwind you know.  We were literally teenagers when that first record started to go.  Definitely a crazy time and learned a lot.  I guess the fact that we are still able to have this career with the band doing 20 however many years later, it kind of blows my mind.

AR: Back to Fitness, Fitness has a lot of tour dates coming up.  I forgot to mention that.  What can fans expect from these upcoming shows? Will any covers be played and will you play any Eve 6 or Awolnation songs?  Or are you trying to keep it a totally separate thing from that?

MAX: We’re not going to do Eve 6 or Awolnation songs.  We do have a cover of a Crowded Health song that was going to make our LP.  It’s not on the LP but we plan to put it out sometime.  The live show is, I don’t even how to describe it.  We do it as a three piece, so Kenny is playing like four things at once.  Ben is playing drums, I’m just singing.  Its kind of total chaos.  Kenny looks like a pit bull guarding like a yard on stage.  He’s a madman you know.  And that brings something similar out of me, so it is definitely a high energy show.  Its heavy, I think it is heavier live than on the record.  We played a sold out show at The Roxy here in LA and that was fucking awesome.  People are starting to become aware of the band and we’re sorting to have new fans that haven’t come from Awolnation or Eve 6 that are discovering Fitness as its own thing and that’s really validating.  I’m definitely excited about the tour.

AR: I noticed about your upcoming dates is that you guys are playing KAABOO in Del Mar which has a lot of big bands.  Are you excited about this date?  It seems like it could be a good opportunity to get a good amount of exposure to a lot of new people.  Do you think you will gain a lot of new fans from this?

MAX: Definitely.  Yeah I hope so, that will be really fun.  We hooked up with APA for Fitness a few months back and they’ve been great for us and have been getting us some really cool stuff.  They are working on some other festivals and I can’t mention it yet because it’s not announcing till Sunday, but we have another really cool thing coming up really soon and yeah after the Roxy show sold out they really dug us so they were like this is a priority for us.  They were meeting with our radio promo company.  They have also been crushing.  They’re an independent radio promotion company ran by this guy Todd Severs (could be wrong about the spelling of the name) who actually broke sales for Awolnation.  So we definitely have a formidable team in place who are like believers.  So there is a lot of good energy kind of surrounding Fitness which is exciting.

AR: Okay, well that’s all I have but thank you for your time and for doing the interview.

MAX: Thank you Scott I appreciate it.  What blog is this for?

AR: AlternativeRevolution.net

MAX: Oh shit awesome dude.  Yeah I totally appreciate your time and thanks for talking to me.

AR: Sure

MAX: Cool dude, have a good one.

AR: You too

MAX: Bye man

Here are Eve 6 and Fitness’s upcoming tour dates below.

Eve 6

JUN
20
Casino Regina Show Lounge
Wednesday, 8:00PM

Regina, Canada

Tickets
RSVP
JUN
23
Soundtrack Music Festival
w/ Goo Goo Dolls, TLC, Mase
Saturday, 1:00PM

Edmonton, Canada

Tickets
RSVP
JUL
07
Ales 4 Trails Craft Beer Festival
Saturday, 5:30PM

Fort Smith, AR

Tickets
RSVP
JUL
14
Maggie’s On The River
w/ My Manic Mind, Mike Powell, Eddie Cito, Patrick Sampson, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, Groove Fetish, IllTheory, Out Chasing Lions, The Old Main, The Black River, Chris LaVancha, Harrison B, The Northmen
Saturday, 11:00AM

Watertown, NY

Tickets
RSVP
JUL
21
Rock At The Park
w/ Fuel, Sister Hazel
Saturday, 3:00PM

Lancaster, PA

Tickets
RSVP
AUG
04
The Connective Festival
w/ The Dupont Brothers
Saturday, 12:00PM

Oxford, PA

Tickets
RSVP
AUG
10
Rockin The Rivers
Friday, 12:00PM

Three Forks, MT

Tickets
RSVP
AUG
25
Burning Foot Beer Festival – 2018
Saturday, 3:00PM

Fitness

JUL
11
Gasa Gasa
Wednesday, 9:00PM

New Orleans, LA

Tickets
RSVP
JUL
13
Evening Muse
Friday, 7:30PM

Charlotte, NC

Tickets
RSVP
JUL
15
Black Cat
Sunday, 7:30PM

Washington, DC

Tickets
RSVP
JUL
17
Milkboy Philly
Tuesday, 8:00PM

Philadelphia, PA

Tickets
RSVP
JUL
19
Knitting Factory Brooklyn
Thursday, 8:00PM

Brooklyn, NY

Tickets
RSVP
JUL
22
Once Ballroom
Sunday, 8:00PM

Somerville, MA

Tickets
RSVP
JUL
24
Smiling Moose – Upstairs
Tuesday, 6:00PM

Pittsburgh, PA

Tickets
RSVP
JUL
25
Subterranean
Wednesday, 7:00PM

Chicago, IL

Tickets
RSVP
JUL
26
Turf Club
Thursday, 8:30PM

St Paul, MN

Tickets
RSVP
JUL
29
Encore at The Uptown Theater
Sunday, 8:00PM

Kansas City, MO

Tickets
RSVP
AUG
02
Three Links Deep Ellum
Thursday, 9:00PM

Dallas, TX

Tickets
RSVP
AUG
03
Paper Tiger
Friday, 9:00PM

San Antonio, TX

Tickets
RSVP
SEP
14
KAABOO
Friday, 7:00PM

Del Mar, CA

Be sure to check out Eve 6 on Spotify HERE and Fitness on Spotify HERE.

Eve 6, Fitness, and Max on social media and more:

Eve 6 Facebook

Eve 6 Twitter

Eve 6 Instagram

Eve 6 Official Website

Fitness Facebook

Fitness Twitter

Fitness Instagram

Fitness Official Website

Max Collins Twitter

Max Collins Instagram

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