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Perpetually brokenhearted Eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett (or E., as he prefers) is used to exploring the darker side of life with a perfectly aged blend of experimental pop and painfully personal lyrics. The Eels' latest release, Tomorrow Morning, follows in that tradition, but acts as the chewy hope filling inside of the shit-flavored Tootsie Pop. New disc Tomorrow Morning is the final installment in a trilogy covering desire, loss and redemption. Mr. E phoned WW to discuss his newest album, his upcoming show in Portland, and the mortal dangers of having a beard.
WW: When did you know this [latest work] was going to be a trilogy?
Did you have a pretty clear idea of what you wanted this trilogy to be when you started?
So Tomorrow Morning is the redemption part?
One particular line really caught me and really seemed to sum up that feeling: "I feel my heart changing in mysterious new ways." Can you expand on that idea?
What real life events influenced that change for you?
Things The Grandchildren Should Know
Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives
So just kind of examining yourself and your past, is that right?
What was the best thing, or the most interesting thing, that you took away from making that documentary?
Why did you take this album in a more electronic direction?
I know that, at least for Blinking Lights, it seemed like you worked with a bunch of different people. But was this album collaborative at all?
Do you think your fans have an accurate idea of who you are just from your music?
Do you ever get too attached to a song just because you put so much of yourself into it?
Eels live performances are very different from what people hear on the studio albums.
So what can we expect from this tour?
On your tour is there one show or city or venue that you're really looking forward to? You don't have to say Portland.
From what I know about you, it seems like you may be fairly introverted and I was just wondering if you like the press surrounding an album or touring?
I wanted to ask you about the E Works label—that's your label?
Did that come out of an unpleasant experience with another label?
And do you still have the beard? Is there any correlation between the beard and your songwriting?
So you're putting yourself at risk for your music?