Jon Siebels, guitarist of the band Eve 6, performing at the Troubadour, on Sept. 10, 2016. West Hollywood, Calif. Photo by Amy Au

Max Collins, singer and bassist of the band Eve 6, performing at the Troubadour, on Sept. 10, 2016. West Hollywood, Calif. Photo by Amy Au

Band member of Eve 6, (left to right) Jon Siebels, Tony Fagenson, Max Collins, performing at the Troubadour, West Hollywood, Calif. Photo by Amy Au

Band members of Eve 6, (left to right) Jon Siebels, Tony Fagenson, Max Collins, performing at the Troubadour, West Hollywood, Calif. Photo by Amy Au

Jon Siebels, guitarist of the band Eve 6, and Max Collins, singer and bassist of the band Eve 6, performing at the Troubadour, on Sept. 10, 2016. West Hollywood, Calif. Photo by Amy Au

Jon Siebels at the piano in his studio, downtown Los Angeles, on Oct. 8, 2016. Photo by Amy Au

Jon Siebels at the piano in his studio, downtown Los Angeles, on Oct. 8, 2016. Photo by Amy Au

Jon Siebels playing the guitar in his studio, downtown Los Angeles, on Oct. 8, 2016. Photo by Amy Au

Jon Siebels playing the guitar in his studio, downtown Los Angeles, on Oct. 8, 2016. Photo by Amy Au

Jon Siebels playing the guitar in his studio, downtown Los Angeles, on Oct. 8, 2016. Photo by Amy Au

Jon Siebels at his studio, downtown Los Angeles, on Oct. 8, 2016. Photo by Amy Au

Jon Siebels at his studio, downtown Los Angeles, on Oct. 8, 2016. Photo by Amy Au

Jon Siebels demonstrating the consel in his studio, downtown Los Angeles, on Oct. 8, 2016. Photo by Amy Au

Jon Siebels at his studio, downtown Los Angeles, on Oct. 8, 2016. Photo by Amy Au

Jon Siebels at his studio, downtown Los Angeles, on Oct. 8, 2016. Photo by Amy Au

 Amy Au

Laying down a beat

Laying down a beat
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 The mass of fans, packed into the Troubadour in West Hollywood, chant “Eve6, Eve6!” with religious fervor. Later, the opening notes of “Inside Out” are played, driving the crowd to scream and shout. As the lead vocalist sings into the mic, the fans echo the lyrics with mounting enthusiasm.


Q: When did you start writing music?
Jon Siebels: I started writing songs right around the time when I first started bands, which was really about seventh or eighth grade.  At that time, it was like getting together with guys and coming up with a guitar riff and playing it over and over again. Once I was in high school, I started working on actual songs with people, mainly Max [of Eve 6], actually.

Q: What do you do for inspiration? Do you go outside and walk around?
JS: I think that just being around people definitely helps. The one cool thing about Downtown LA, and as far as LA goes, it’s just so diverse. It‘s everything from the bums to the banker, and everything in between.

Q: What do you write first? Lyrics or music?
JS: For a lot of bands, a lot of times, it’s music first. It really is always different, but sometimes I will write, like make music and put down a beat and chord progression. Sometimes we sit down with an acoustic guitar and just come up with something.

Q: How do you come up with the lyrics?
JS: Sometimes we’ll even sort of mumble sing over that [music] and then we start to form a concept. A lot of the times, especially with other people, it’s a matter of just sitting around and chatting about things and then you kind of get on a subject that you’re, ‘OK, cool,’ let’s go down that direction. Sometimes it is totally abstract. Sometimes lyrics can be more of a vibe. But, generally I have some sort of an idea of a concept of what a song is about, or a subject, or an actual situation because, even it doesn’t come out seeming like that to the listener, at least you have sort of a path to head down.

Q: How do you know when a song is finished?
JS: It is never finished. You just have to call it a day. You have to just learn when the things you are doing are not making it any better. And I see people get stuck on this all the time, especially artists when it’s their own stuff. You’re always going to look back on something you did, and be like, ‘I wish we would have done this differently.’ You always will. Part of being productive is learning when to be, ‘This matters, but this doesn’t matter. This is something that I‘ve got in my head, that is bothering me, or that I hear, that could be different.’ That’s not going to change the way anyone else perceives the song. In some ways, the more you start to go around in circles, the more you water it down. It’s something you have to learn. For me that came when I was working with other producers, as well as producing for other artists.

 

Q: When did you start writing music?

Jon Siebels: I started writing songs right around the time when I first started bands, which was really about seventh or eighth grade.  At that time, it was like getting together with guys and coming up with a guitar riff and playing it over and over again. Once I was in high school, I started working on actual songs with people, mainly Max [of Eve 6], actually.

Q: What do you do for inspiration? Do you go outside and walk around?

JS: I think that just being around people definitely helps. The one cool thing about Downtown LA, and as far as LA goes, it’s just so diverse. It‘s everything from the bums to the banker, and everything in between.

Q: What do you write first? Lyrics or music?

JS: For a lot of bands, a lot of times, it’s music first. It really is always different, but sometimes I will write, like make music and put down a beat and chord progression. Sometimes we sit down with an acoustic guitar and just come up with something.

Q: How do you come up with the lyrics?

JS: Sometimes we’ll even sort of mumble sing over that [music] and then we start to form a concept. A lot of the times, especially with other people, it’s a matter of just sitting around and chatting about things and then you kind of get on a subject that you’re, ‘OK, cool,’ let’s go down that direction. Sometimes it is totally abstract. Sometimes lyrics can be more of a vibe. But, generally I have some sort of an idea of a concept of what a song is about, or a subject, or an actual situation because, even it doesn’t come out seeming like that to the listener, at least you have sort of a path to head down.

Q: How do you know when a song is finished?

JS: It is never finished. You just have to call it a day. You have to just learn when the things you are doing are not making it any better. And I see people get stuck on this all the time, especially artists when it’s their own stuff. You’re always going to look back on something you did, and be like, ‘I wish we would have done this differently.’ You always will. Part of being productive is learning when to be, ‘This matters, but this doesn’t matter. This is something that I‘ve got in my head, that is bothering me, or that I hear, that could be different.’ That’s not going to change the way anyone else perceives the song. In some ways, the more you start to go around in circles, the more you water it down. It’s something you have to learn. For me that came when I was working with other producers, as well as producing for other artists.

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