Artist: EELS Video: "Peach Blossom" Highlight: "It's kind of the perfect…
- Posted on Apr 13th 2011 3:00PM by Joe Tacopino
Autumn De Wilde
"It's exciting because we've never been there, but we're all big fans of Chinese food," the artist, otherwise known as E, tells Spinner. "I just wanna go rock some people who haven't been rocked by me previously."
The Shanghai and Beijing concerts will take place June 6 and 7 and lead into a world tour. In honor of the occasion, Eels have released, 'Tremendous Dynamite, a free three-song EP at their official site. And for the tour, E might be traveling light -- as in, without his trademark beard.
"The beard at the moment is luxurious and grand, I gotta say. I really might need to get rid of it before I start traveling because it's really more trouble than it's worth," he says.
The trouble of which he speaks happened during a stay in London last July when E was relaxing in Hyde Park and was approached by police. He was vigorously questioned because someone apparently thought he was a terrorist and reported it to the authorities.
"As ridiculous as it was that I was mistaken as a terrorist, the truth is that it was actually a very scary situation and it really shook me up," E says. "I was surrounded by police and they all had guns. Big, scary-looking guns."
Thankfully, the confusion was cleared up right away.
"It didn't get to the point where they took me to a police station," he says. "They let me go back to the hotel, but I spent the whole week wondering when they were gonna bust in the door."
The indie-folk artist should be accustomed to scary situations by now, as his life has been full of them. As a child, he discovered his 51-year-old father dead of a heart attack, his sister committed suicide in 1996 and his mother died of lung cancer two years later.
"My family story is ... it's a very long healing process, I guess," he says.
The artist found an unlikely source of healing when the BBC asked him to be part of 'Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives,' a documentary about his dad, Hugh Everett III, a highly influential quantum physicist. The film, in part, explores the complex relationship between father and son.
"I feel so lucky that the documentary got made a couple years ago," E says. "In some ways, it's the single best thing that happened to me. That and writing my book probably are the things that led me to being a much happier person these days."
E's autobiography, 'Things the Grandchildren Should Know,' was published in 2008 and also helped him grapple with his past.
"I didn't think that there would be a day where I could be so at peace with it," he says about his family.
Over the past two years, Eels released a trilogy of albums, with many songs focusing on the pain of his divorce.
"I had plenty of time to make three albums and switch gears as it is," E says. "Once I got done with writing my book and that documentary, the last thing I felt like doing was writing about my family. I had enough of that."
But that doesn't mean E is done writing about his long and complicated family history.
"You never know," he says. "It's a lifetime worth of material they've given me. I feel like after everything that they put me through, the least they could do is give me some good songs."