Mark Oliver Everett of Eels talks about his latest trilogy, his book, and doing things the Tom Waits way
Eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett (aka E) has been hyper-productive lately, releasing three albums as part of a trilogy in just over a year. He says each album (last year's Hombre Lobo and this year's End Times and Tomorrow Morning) are each about a distinct human emotion -- desire, loss and renewal, respectively -- that most of us have probably experienced in our lives at one time or another.
In advance of the Eels show tonight at the Ogden, we spoke with E about the new trilogy, getting mistaken for a terrorist in London, doing things the Tom Waits way (incidentally, Waits's former nanny Jesca Hoops opens the show), his book (Things the Grandchildren Should Know) and how he's having the most fun he's ever had on the road.
How's the tour been going tour so far?
It's been really fun.
It's been a few years since you last hit the road, right?
Yeah, we didn't when the last two albums came out. We usually toured at some point when each album came out. A little bit of a different situation now.
Are you playing a lot of newer material or covering the whole catalogue?
We're definitely doing a lot of new stuff, because there are three new albums since the last time we toured. It's a pretty even mix of new and old, I think.
Is it ever tough singing some of your stuff -- maybe some of the more personal tunes -- live, or more of a cathartic thing?
Some of both. You get used to it. At first it can be a little awkward. The first time you play some of the songs in a roomful of people, you get used to it.
I talked to one guy a few months ago, and he had a rule about how didn't want to write songs when he was sad or depressed or anything because he didn't want to relive that night after night.
I totally understand that. I think you just gotta buck up and do it sometimes in an effort to get some catharsis or deal with it.
When you finished the trilogy, I read how you said something like it was sewing up the stitches to keep the blood from coming out. Do you feel like you're any closer to getting any sort of...I don't want to say "closure"...but any closer to...
Definitely. I'm definitely at a point where I've spent so many years feeling the pain of the needle stitching up the wounds -- and it was all worth it, because I'm really in a good place these days. And these shows that we're doing this year are just basically one big, fat celebration.
Is it more of a celebration than previous tours, maybe having a little more fun this time around?
Yeah, I think so. I'm definitely having the most fun I ever had. It might surprise some people how much fun this is.
I was reading concert review that said you were giving out Otter Pops to some of the people in the crowd.
Well, we've been celebrating summer as part of it, even though it's now October. I'm not done with summer yet.