With the HARVEST FESTIVAL lineup freshly announced, we now know that Californian band EELS will be dropping by our Australian doorstep, alongside the hugely exciting MASSIVE ATTACK, THE DRONES, NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL and a whole lot more! In celebration of such exciting news, we thought it was time to take a look at the first official Eels record.
Frontman Mark Oliver Everett, also known as E, has always been a fan of music. Starting out by purchasing a $15 drum kit at a garage sale, the dude later introduced himself to the piano and his sister’s acoustic guitar. From here on in, it’s been songwriting, building a band and the success of twelve studio albums; the first official Eels release being Beautiful Freak.
As a result of recording his own songs on his secondhand 4-track cassette recorder, E was eventually picked up by Polydor Records. In 1992, he released his debut album titled A Man Called E under the artist name E. After opening up for Tori Amos with the album and seeing his single ‘Hello Cruel World’ reach the Top 10 Alternative charts, E released his sophomore LP Broken Toy Shop just one year later – the year he started working with Jonathan Norton, better known as Butch.
E and Polydor were no longer tied after this record, which saw the musician freely work on his following release for the next few years. Little did he know that it was this next record that would be the start of a whole new project – Eels.
One of the very first bands to sign to DreamWorks (with the late Elliott Smith next in line), Eels released their debut record Beautiful Freak. A quirky soundtrack of melancholy, pop, twisted lyricism and oblique instrumentation, the record was toured extensively and won the band the ‘Best International Breakthrough Act’ award at 1998’s BRIT Awards!
Eels‘ live show at this time consisted of E on electric piano and guitar, Butch on drums and Tommy Walters on bass.
With the success of another nine records, their latest being Wonderful, Glorious, we’re super ecstatic to announce that we’ll be seeing Eels at this year’s Harvest!
Words by Hannah Galvin.