Pop: Wandering star

From the early days of his former band American Music Club right through to his present third solo album, Mark Eitzel has been an eternal songwriting misfit. His achey tunes and impassioned and complex lyrics rarely fit pop conventions and, as well as inspiring devotion from followers, sometimes songs stir up uncomfortable times for Eitzel. Take the story behind the title of the new album: Caught In A Trap And I Can't Back Out Cause I Love You Too Much Baby. On the surface, it is just a snatch from Presley's "Suspicious Minds", but there's more to it than that. "What happened was I had just stopped doing these incredibly long tours with a couple of major-label bands in America and every night I was confronted by completely indifferent audiences and I had no time to myself," he explains. "I almost had a nervous breakdown after that. So that record is to do with every specific thing. Every night I got onstage and thought, `I'm caught in a trap'."

Although the album is only surfacing now, it pre-dates Eitzel's 1997 album with REM's Peter Buck, called West, a record which followed a more direct, upbeat songwriting approach. The chemistry worked well and helped move Eitzel out of the pigeonhole marked "melancholic". He says a common misconception about him is "that I'm this completely maniacal depressed person. If a writer writes a certain kind of book, nobody says, `Just take the fucking Prozac!'" You said it was a bitter record, though - so in what way? "I'm bitter that some of my friends just can't recover from their heroin addiction, so I am left without certain friends. I try to make albums that are completely hopeful, but in a real way, in a way you can use. I say, you know what? This is how bad it can be, here it is, here's the reflection. So when people say this is `melancholic' bullshit well, I try to save people's lives, that's what I do."

Playing live, Eitzel can be an unpredictable experience: "It depends on the crowd and how much liquor I've drunk." But one thing's for sure, in 10 years' time, this awkward, agitated, but loveable tunesmith will still be fired up. "I can't stop. I have already written 20 songs for the next album, and covered another album with Peter Buck. I constantly travel, have no roots, and just live for this."

Camden Dingwalls, NW1 (0171-267 1577) 19 Feb

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Website Editor

    £15 - £17 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently r...

    Year 1 Teacher

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: The Job An inner city Birmingham sc...

    Year 2 Teacher - Maternity cover

    £120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Year 2 maternity cover, startin...

    KS1 Teacher

    £95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments