Phil Elverum’s music (currently under the Mount Eerie moniker, previously of The Microphones) is hauntingly beautiful; switching from amazingly dense sound-scapes to sparse acoustic and vocals without the slightest bump. The last full length from Elverum, Mount Eerie, received beaming reviews and was the epitaph for The Microphones handle. Under the new name there have been two EPs (seven new songs from mount eerie and two songs) released on an extremely limited basis. The first full length from Mount Eerie is scheduled to be released sometime in August. I recently sat down with Phil (well we sat at our respective computers anyway) for a brief email interview about the new album, No Flashlight, and the future plans of Mount Eerie.
RMR: Is No Flashlight finished yet?
PE: Yes, it's been done for a while. The cover is very elaborate and it's
being printed right now.
RMR: There were brief rumors about a mount eerie black mountain music project, supposedly a death metal album; can we expect some sort of drastic departure on No Flashlight?
PE: No Flashlight is not a death metal album, but it has moments. It is a drastic departure, but I don't know if it will sound drastic to everyone. I thought I was making a record with a really direct message
but everyone who hears it says how complex my brain is getting.
I still am planning on doing a big dark heavy album, soon. It takes
RMR: Is the album mostly your work or was their collaboration?
PE: It is almost all me.
RMR: Anything else you’d like to share about the upcoming album?
PE: It has the world's largest record cover. 3.5 feet by 5 feet. I am not
bragging about the packaging because the actual music isn't good
enough. The cover is covered in in-depth explanations and footnotes of
everything on the record. It's a very involved project. Also, it
comes with a CD of the same thing so you can listen to it wherever.
RMR: Do you have any favorite songs that you have written? How do you view your past work?
PE: Whatever song I just wrote is my favorite one. I grow out of songs
pretty quickly. I feel alienated from my past work because my ideas
change, and my working style changes.
RMR: Seems like you’re taking a summer vacation of sorts from touring. There is a smattering of dates on your pwelverumandsun site. Any plans for a nationwide tour this summer or will that wait till after the album release?
PE: I am touring less these days because of many reasons.
1. As a record label I am preparing 4 or 5 or 6 new albums for
release, and this takes lots of work.
2. I have recently moved into a house and it is a very good feeling.
I have never lived in a house before. Not like this.
3. There is a war going on over oil, and also the world is melting
because of exhaust, so my previous inclination to drive everywhere and
play everywhere all the time is being reconsidered. I am going to try
to play shows more deliberately, making each one a very special event.
I should not expect to tour the country every year, and people
shouldn't expect it either. I mean, what if it was the 1800's, like it
will be soon?
RMR: are you focusing on making music this summer or are you doing other things as well? Any vacation plans?
PE: My home town, Anacortes Wash., is the best place to be in the summer
because of the good swimming lakes. I try not to leave during the
summer because of the swimming. I don't really take vacations because
I don't have the kind of life that I would take a vacation from. When
I travel I set up shows wherever I am going, so it's not considered
RMR: here is the super typical question, but I got to ask it: what are you listening to right now? Any new bands or albums out there that people should be listening too?
PE: Thanksgiving, Brigitte Fontaine, Mary Water, Julie Doiron , CBC radio, Kelp Monthly
RMR: Ok, time for the lightning round / Tiger Beat section of the interview:
RMR: Favorite time of day to make music?
RMR: Least favorite day of the week?
PE: I usually don't know what day it is.
RMR: west side is the best side?
PE: it is.
RMR: cellular phone: manic menace or misunderstood magic?
PE: I personally am not into cell phones.
RMR: fabric of choice?
PE: soft white canvas
RMR: what’s your favorite artist on the billboard charts right now?
PE: I really love Sade, but I don't think she's on the charts at the moment.
RMR: Well that should about do it. Thanks very much for taking time out to answer some questions Phil.
PE: yes, thank you, bye
P.W. Elverum & Sun
Mount Eerie – 7 songs