Live ’n’ loud: Eels won­der­ful, glo­ri­ous Mr E..........................

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY CONTENTS -

FOR al­most two decades, Eels has been the al­ter ego of song­writer, singer and mu­si­cian Mark Oliver Everett.

He be­gan his record­ing life as a solo artist known as E and chose Eels as a band name think­ing it would place those records close to his pre­vi­ous out­put in the record stores. Of course, Ea­gles and Earth, Wind & Fire would keep E and Eels apart.

While Everett may have con­sid­ered Eels as a band, the world still re­garded it as his mu­si­cal al­ter ego even as he wrote and played with an im­pres­sive roll call of col­lab­o­ra­tors in­clud­ing Grant-Lee Phillips, Peter Buck, Tom Waits and PJ Harvey’s go-to guy, John Parish.

With the line-up of his tour­ing and stu­dio mu­si­cians con­sol­i­dat­ing in re­cent years, Everett de­cided the 10th Eels al­bum Won­der­ful, Glo­ri­ous would be a band af­fair.

It will be the cen­tre­piece of their set when they tour Aus­tralia with the Har­vest Fes­ti­val in Novem­ber.

‘‘The only rea­son this al­bum was made was be­cause I had been on tour with th­ese guys for sev­eral years and told them that we should make some new mu­sic. Ev­ery­one pitched in on the song­writ­ing,’’ Everett says.

Everett may have been mo­ti­vated to seek wider ex­ter­nal creative in­put af­ter years of doc­u­ment­ing his per­sonal life in song and then in the re­veal­ing and fas­ci­nat­ing au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, Things The Grand­chil­dren Should Know, re­leased in 2008.

The al­bum Elec­tro-shock Blues also dealt with the per­sonal trauma of his fam­ily af­ter the sui­cide of his sis­ter and death of his mother from can­cer.

And he ex­plored the life and death of his fa­ther, con­tro­ver­sial physi­cist Hugh Everett, in the BBC doc­u­men­tary Par­al­lel Worlds, Par­al­lel Lives.

Maybe Everett was seek­ing to restore some of the mys­tery about his mu­sic which he had cre­ated by hav­ing an al­ter ego and may have been lost af­ter the book.

‘‘It’s hard to say if I have main­tained any mys­tery af­ter writ­ing a book which de­tailed ev­ery lit­tle em­bar­rass­ing real-life de­tail,’’ he says.

‘‘I think mys­tery is an im­por­tant part of mu­sic that has been lost.

‘‘I don’t Twit­ter what I have had for break­fast. I didn’t think that was im­por­tant to know about the artists I was in­ter­ested in when I was grow­ing up.

‘‘I didn’t want them to be my friend, I wanted to them to be the best artists and I think all this in­for­ma­tion out there takes away from the whole ex­pe­ri­ence.’’

Yet Everett is a fence-sit­ter on the ques­tion of whether the same mys­tery should ex­tend to the live show ex­pe­ri­ence. Everett ar­gues in favour of some struc­ture. ‘‘We are the kind of guys that like to see a kick-ass show that re­ally im­presses us,’’ he says.

‘‘And we want to do our own ver­sion of that so we work re­ally hard to cre­ate a struc­ture that we can throw a bunch of wild­cards at.

‘‘Again, we are only try­ing to please our­selves and if you are lucky that works for the au­di­ence.’’

Won­der­ful, Glo­ri­ous was made to be played live and sounds it. The newer ma­te­rial has that raw, played-livein-the-stu­dio sound and a loose, sexy rock feel which is dif­fer­ent for Eels.

‘‘That’s be­cause I am full of sexy en­ergy,’’ Everett jokes.

Ti­tling the al­bum Won­der­ful, Glo­ri­ous also helped keep most of the lyrics on the brighter side of life al­though Everett’s love of up­beat mu­sic jux­ta­posed with downer words re­mains at work.

‘‘You call it Won­der­ful, Glo­ri­ous and then I have to f... that up by putting a plane drop­ping bombs on the cover,’’ he says.

Isn’t the bright or­ange of the cover sup­posed to con­vey hap­pi­ness? ‘‘Well, yeah, I sup­pose so. ‘‘It’s bright or­ange but it has bombs so there’s mixed mes­sages there,’’ he says.

‘‘There are mixed mes­sages on there. If I can’t get a han­dle on my­self, why should any­one else?’’

Eels, Mas­sive At­tack, Franz Fer­di­nand, Primus!, Gold­frapp, Neu­tral Milk Ho­tel, The Drones, Black Rebel Mo­tor­cy­cle Club and more play the Har­vest Fes­ti­val, at the Bris­bane Botanic Gar­dens, on Novem­ber 17.

Mark Oliver Everett, aka E, from US rock band Eels, who head to Aus­tralia for the Har­vest Fes­ti­val.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.