just like anywhere else…denver has it’s share of hipsters, wannabes and bullshit artists…fortunately, there are people here that…do the work…hello…last weekend I got a chance to meet one such local hero…Eric Shiveley…and see his latest work…everyone but you…which is about…doing the work…no matter what…it is an excellent primer for any wretched soul who thinks they want to make a living creating…stuff…Eric and I traded emails tonight about his film…
is there any distinction between your work as a musician and your work as a filmmaker…
It’s pretty much the same. You do things in little pieces, then put it all together and find out you’re a poor planner. So you adjust it all until it works. With songs you try to build a song around a couple pretty moments, and with movies I always heard you have your pivotal scenes, and 90% of the work is spacing those out and not boring the audience between them.
With songs, the music is the canvas, and you drop in whatever words feel natural. When I made the movie I wrote a ton of narrative, then threw out most of it once I dropped in the pretty scenery and let that tell the story.
you choose some pretty scenery…that’s got to be my favorite part of the state…
Thanks. If you live here, all you have to do is wait and have a camera.
is solitude an important part of your creative process…
I hate working alone. There’s nothing fun about it, except feeling like you accomplished something by yourself. I’d guess most painters or writers do work alone. Maybe some people enjoy the process. I don’t like any part of it except being done and playing Xbox.
the press likes to refer to you as eric shiveley…struggling artist…are you tired of that yet?
The movie pretty much shows a “struggling artist” I guess, and that’s the joke I make about myself all through it, so as long as I’m getting press I won’t complain.
But I hoped some people would see the movie and say, “Wow, great movie, too bad the guy’s a nobody and he’ll never get anywhere,” without realizing it’s the music and writing of this nobody driving the whole thing.
And the movie shows I haven’t even launched my music into the universe yet, so I really shouldn’t have gotten anywhere yet. My goal was to wait until I hopefully have an absolute knockout of an album together. That’s coming right after I finish this game of Half-Life2. And this ice cream.
what flavor…and…a motif throughout your movie is a set of rules…rule#1 is…have a plan…what’s the plan for you and EBY?
French Vanilla (it went on the apple pie I just finished).
The end of my plan was to get the movie in one really good festival. Jackson Hole is about as good as you can hope for if you’re a nobody with a two hour movie. Throw in the fact it was made with a cheap camcorder and the chances of getting in are about 0.14%
But there’s this mesmerizing hippie chick singer down here in the valley named Katey Sleeveless. My next work is doing a video for her. We’re going to film her goats and cows and chickens.
excellent…good luck with that…just one last question…one of my favorite parts of your film is when you rip into denver’s hipster culture…are there any deserving names you forgot to mention?
Oh man I can’t touch that. Of the people who are sent to an ugly brown death — their effigies anyway — I was actually very careful to pick people I’d have no problem facing in person for what they’re said or done. Nick from DeVotchKa actually talked me into removing a joke about Conor Oberst. Because Nick has met him and says he’s very genuine and nice. The stuff I left in are people who sell themselves as huge supporters of independents, but who really don’t care about anything but their bottom line. Or who shouldn’t be giving advice to anyone on how to get better.
But okay, anyone at 1190 who passed over my last album can suck my balls. They never gave it a single spin in their open programming time, and it stomped the living shit out of most of the local stuff they were playing at the time. Okay that actually felt pretty good.