EELS frontman E: 'Rocking is our hooker cocaine'

The EELS frontman on touring, culture, guns and punctuality

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Take note, One Direction. For a band that released their tenth studio album earlier this year (the aptly titled Wonderful, Glorious) EELS show no signs of giving anything less than 110%.

Wonderful, Glorious is a slick, thunderous album; frank, powerful and unusually uplifting in places (singer ‘E’ is known for addressing heavy themes in his music through his trademark growl).

After announcing extra dates to their autumn tour, Esquire contacted E (real name Mark Oliver Everett) to ask about his personal style (of which, apparently, there is none), his thoughts about hitting the road and his unusual song-writing partnership with a certain Jim Carrey.

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How important is it to dress well when you’re on stage?
"We like to put on a show. You have to "bring it." We don't intend to waste anyone's time, so we put a little thought into what we're wearing. Sometimes."

Who is the best-dressed musician you know?
"Tom Waits."

And the worst?
"Me."

At festivals bands are usually late on stage. Do you have any idea why they are so late?
"We are known for being the most punctual band in rock. While the other bands are busy snorting cocaine off hooker's asses, we are warming up and dying to get out there and rock. Rocking is our hooker cocaine."

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What’s the best gig memory you have where you’ve been playing?
"Almost every night is a great night. I couldn't choose between thousands of great nights."

What is your fondest gig memory when you were in the crowd?
"I'm never in the crowd. Being at a rock festival is the last thing on Earth I'd ever do if I wasn't up on the stage trying to make things rock."

What things inspire you culturally when you’re making a record?
"Usually just life in general and what's going on around me."


When you’re in other cities, what do you like to do during the day?
"I don't get a lot of time to visit, but I am looking forward to squeezing in a tour of John Lennon's house in Liverpool. He's my all time favorite artist, so that will be exciting for me."

What was the last album you bought?
"Michael Kiwanuka's album [Home Again]. It's great. He's really good."

In March you did a parody song called ‘Cold Dead Hands’ with Jim Carrey on comedy website Funny Or Die. How did that whole project come about?  What did you think of the reaction to it?
"I know him a little and he said he'd written a funny anti-gun song and wanted to know if i could produce it for him. I had some free time and it's a cause I believe in so I said sure. He's a really good singer. Did all the vocals himself, and they are really intricate, full-ranging parts. I loved the reaction to it. It's always fun to upset right wing America."

Would you work on another parody-based song like that again?
"It was fun. I didn't think of it as a parody, because it's really saying something. It's not a parody of some other song. He's making a point. I'd do that again."

EELS new single Kinda Fuzzy, taken from their tenth studio album ‘Wonderful, Glorious’ is out now. For details of their autumn tour click here.

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