The Eve 6 Guy Interviewed John Hinckley Jr.
Well, here’s one of those things that feels like an internet algorithm dreamt it up. John Hinckley Jr., the man who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan in order to impress Jodie Foster in 1981, has been trying to get a music career off the ground for years. In 2020, a court ruled he could post music under his own name, and recently he was trying to book a tour — he was meant to play shows in Chicago and Hamden, Connecticut, as well as Brooklyn’s Market Hotel. Each was eventually cancelled, with Market Hotel sharing a lengthy statement behind their decision last week. When Hinckley gives interviews, he only wants to talk about his music, so in a new piece with Input, he digs in at length. And of course Input paired him with Eve 6’s Max Collins, who has built his own strange afterlife as a very online person prone to self-reflexive and self-deprecating humor.
There’s some precedent here. When Hinckley was allowed to start using socials, every now and then he’d share what music he was listening to. In October, he tweeted that he’d been listening to “Rhiannon Giddens, Swans, Colter Wall, Iris DeMent, Car Seat Headrest, Eve6, The Petersens, Ty Segall.” Collins responded and said they should do a song together. Apparently, Collins also tried to book an Eve 6 show with Hinckley, but was unable to find a venue that would put it on.
Now, the premise of an interview with Collins and Hinckley may come across as a stunt akin to the Market Hotel booking. But it seems Collins’ interest in Hinckley, and affinity for his music, is earnest. At the beginning of the conversation, moderator and Input editor Mark Yarm remarks on how Collins is “genuinely a fan” of Hinckley’s music. “There’s a through line of hope to John’s songs,” Collins says. “There’s a sadness and a kind of longing that amplifies and gives authenticity to the hopeful sentiment. I believe him when he’s singing about this stuff, and the positive stuff — the hope stuff — feels like it was hard-won for him.”
Much of the article is Collins interviewing Hinckley about his songwriting process, the nature of his music, etc. Eventually they also discuss the show cancellations, and the fact that Hinckley had called this the “Redemption Tour,” but Hinckley starts to shut things down when Yarm presses him on his history more. You can read the whole interview here.