Eels are Mark Oliver Everett and the musicians he happens to be working with at any given moment. He released two solo albums under the name E, A Man Called E in 1992 and Broken Toy Shop the following year. The Eels debut album, Beautiful Freak, was released in 1996.
Mark is a complex individual, and a talented musician and writer. A large part of Eels music has focused on Mark’s struggles with his personal demons and the pain that resulted from dealing with family tragedies—including the death of his parents (his father was Hugh Everett, the physicist who created the many-worlds theory) and his sister’s suicide.
“I’m not trying to dazzle anyone with versatility or anything. I just do what’s in my heart basically.”
Mark Oliver Everett
Mark isn’t averse to occasionally tormenting his live audiences. During one tour, the audience was treated to an opening performance by “MC Honky,” Mark’s alter ego, who is to Mark what Tony Clifton was to Andy Kaufman. An actor stood on the stage with a pipe in his mouth while recorded sounds played that had only a passing relationship with music. This went on for some 45 minutes.
On another tour, Mark’s pre-show torment consisted of showing a 50-minute Russian animated children’s film of talking clay animals (in Russian with no subtitles). The volume was turned way up to prevent the audience from ignoring the film.After being subjected to these two assaults, I decided to stop attending the band’s gigs.
The video presented above is for Novocaine for the Soul, the first single off Beautiful Freak. Great song, great video. I still have no idea how they did the effects for the video. I figure they used a crane and harnesses. But how did they do the shot of the guy standing on the wall?
I e-mailed the director, Mark Romanek, and asked if he’d say a few words about the making of the video for this blog, but he never replied. Hey, I’m just a guy with a little blog and he’s an important music video director.
A new Eels album, Hombre Lobo (Wolf Man), is due out in June.