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Despite finding a smattering of critical acclaim with three solo records between 1985 and 1993, it was 1996’s Beautiful Freak that put Everett on the map.
Not only was it the first album released under the EELS banner, it was also the debut from newly founded major label DreamWorks, and it contained a monster hit or two that E had penned and recorded all on his own in his basement.
“There wasn’t much going into the studio on that one, most of what ended up on that record had been recorded over several years by myself in my basement. There were probably three songs at the end that we re-did as a band for the record.
“It had been several years that I had been recording those songs and then we put together the live version of EELS and started playing around LA. It was apparent that we were a good live act and suddenly all of the record companies were interested in us.
"I was most interested in this new company DreamWorks because it had been started by people I really respected - Mo Ostin and Lenny Waronker who were the Warner Bros guys during Warner Bros’ heyday when they signed Prince and Jimi Hendrix and countless legends. They were known as being artist friendly.
“At the time I was a little worried about putting what were essentially basement demos out on a major label record. Hopefully it gave it some sort of charm. When I came up with Novocaine For The Soul I remember thinking it was something new and exciting.
"But I didn’t have any idea it would go anywhere. Writing and recording My Beloved Monster took about 30 minutes. If you’d told me it would be in a movie called Shrek one day I would have said, ‘What’s that?!’ I don’t know if we’ve ever done a concert where we didn’t play some version of My Beloved Monster. It’s always fun to play.”