Ahead of his Australian and New Zealand tour starting tonight, we had a little chat to Phil Elverum, the man behind Mount Eerie as well as a slew of other bands such as Microphones.
For those not acquainted with Mount Eerie's spookily ethereal tones, go forth and listen! Thou shalt not be disappointed.
Who have you never met but would love to?
I have had the good fortune to meet a few artists who I've admired for a long time. It is complicated. I am glad to have met them and know them for real, but at the same time there is some magic that is lost in the mythologised version dissolving. I wonder if I wouldn't prefer to preserve the false imagined version and continue experiencing the music/art in that way.
What else are you working on right now aside from music?
I am doing a bunch of design stuff for some reissues of my older Microphones albums on vinyl. That's still music, I guess! I also spend much of my life fulfilling website orders and going to the post office, and also assembling records. It's all related to music.
When did music stop being a hobby and became a career?
It has never been either hobby or career. Working on making these weird things has always been a thing that I did. When I was a kid it was drawing, then making movies, then music, painting, taking pictures, etc. I'm just fortunate to not need another job for the last 13 years or so, but I'd be doing it anyway.
Where do you live? Please tell us about your home.
I live in a house in Anacortes, Washington. It's a normal house. 100 years old, but well maintained. There are many books in it, plus a cat and a woman. It's in town and we don't drive around usually. Everything is close enough to walk.
Why do you like mucking around with lo-fi instruments and recording methods?
I just use the tools that I have. I am not interested in spending insane amounts of money to have a brief, stressed-out week in a 'real' studio, just to make an album that sounds 'real' (translation: boring). I love recording and exploring the edges of what 'good' sounds like. Why must a snare drum always sound like a snare drum?
Mount Eerie is touring around the country this week, playing tonight in Perth, tomorrow in Brisbane, the 25th in Sydney, the 26th in Melbourne and the 27th in Hobart. He is then doing an extensive tour of New Zealand from February 1st to 10th. More details here.