Scaling Mount Eerie

Mount Eerie (formerly known as The Microphones) is a musical project led by frontman Phil Elverum who has been releasing CDs since ’98 and playing guitar since ’94. Using creative songwriting and stellar production to create the feel of his new album, he will be making a stop at Caffe Paradiso on Saturday, Oct. 25.

buzz: You have a book of your photography published under the band’s name, which you said presented closure to your Mount Eerie sound cycle. How do you think the two artistic means overlap?

Phil Elverum: They’re very closely related. I think my music is pretty visual, and I’ve always been taking these pictures, but no one knows about them. These are photos from the last 10 years, so they’re the visual counterparts to my musical work. I’ve just had all these images in my mind when I’m recording this music.

buzz: How different is Mount Eerie from your other band, The Microphones, or other previous projects?

PE: I’m older and wiser. That’s pretty much it.

buzz: In Mount Eerie, you say that you die, are eaten by vultures and discover the face of the universe. What made you establish that kind of story line, and why is it important to the album?

PE: That’s the story of the album, which is kind of, I don’t want to say opera, but it’s a story where everything flows into the next thing. That was just sort of a weird autobiographical story that I came out with as a self-mythology. It was metaphors for what was going on in my life.

buzz: You have a pretty extensive tour list taking you from Syracuse, New York, to Austin, Texas, and you have played in Copenhagen and Japan. What made you want to stop in Urbana, Illinois?

PE: Somebody wrote to me from here. I’m on this tour where I’m trying to play everywhere I can play. It was possible to play there, so I wanted to. I like playing in smaller towns.

buzz: What can the crowd expect to see from you on Saturday?

PE: I usually don’t play songs that everyone knows; I usually just play new songs. It’s pretty frustrating for people, so maybe the crowd can expect to be frustrated. I’m showing movies, too, on this tour, so I’m projecting those.

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