GRAMMYs On The Road At SXSW With Eve 6 And Blackalicious

Backstage with Eve 6 and Blackalicious at the conference's 26th annual installment
  • Photo: Lisa Johnson
    Eve 6
  • Photo: Rick Diamond/
March 28, 2012 -- 4:47 pm PDT

The Recording Academy Texas Chapter played host for GRAMMYs On The Road At South by Southwest during the conference's 26th annual installment from March 9–18 in Austin, Texas. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists participating during the music portion of the conference, including punk/pop group Eve 6 and rap act Blackalicious.

Eve 6 discussed the band's evolution, social media, favorite GRAMMY moments, and their forthcoming album, Speak In Code, among other topics.

"We kind of never really stopped," said vocalist/bassist Max Collins. "We took on slightly different forms here and there with different bands and projects, and then had the realization that we are Eve 6 and there's this tremendously awesome and valuable fan base out there that's interested in hearing what we do. So why are we calling ourselves these weird other band names when we can just be Eve 6?"

Eve 6 were formed in Southern California in 1995 by Collins and guitarist Jon Siebels. The group added drummer Tony Fagenson and, after graduating from high school, released their self-titled debut album in 1998. The album climbed to No. 33 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum on the strength of the hit single "Inside Out." Horrorscope followed in 2000 and peaked at No. 34 on the Billboard 200 thanks in part to the teen anthem "Here's To The Night." The trio released It's All In Your Head in 2003 before parting ways. The band reformed in 2011 and will release their first album in nine years, Speak In Code, on April 24.

Blackalicious' discussed music mentors, musical influences, current projects they're working on, their career goals, and biggest career moments, among other topics.

"Throughout our career we've always been about building on a foundation," said Blackalicious' Chief Xcel. "For us [that's] making classic hip-hop that just builds on all of our influences."

Formed in Davis, Calif., by Gift of Gab (Timothy Parker) and Chief Xcel (Xavier Mosley) in the early '90s, Blackalicious' sound features the "positive" side of hip-hop, with lyrics that are often spiritual and uplifting showcases. In 1994 the duo released their debut single "Swan Lake" on Solesides Records, garnering attention from the underground rap community. In 1995 Blackalicious released their first EP, Melodica, followed by a second EP, A2G, in 1999. The following year the group released their full-length debut album, Nia. Blazing Arrow followed in 2002 and featured guest appearances by Ben Harper, Rage Against The Machine's Zack de la Rocha, the Roots' ?uestlove and the late Gil Scott-Heron. The album peaked at No. 49 on the Billboard 200. Their most recent release, 2005's The Craft, peaked at No. 5 on Billboard's Independent Albums chart and featured a guest appearance by GRAMMY-nominated artist Marsha Ambrosius. Blackalicious are currently working on a new album, scheduled for release in November.

Come back to tomorrow for more exclusive backstage interviews from GRAMMYs On The Road At SXSW.

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