Eels – “I Want To Protect You”

Dropping by this week is Eels with “I Want To Project You,” a previously unreleased tune from Useless Trinkets: B-Sides, Soundtracks, Rarities And Unreleased. Useless? No way. On top of it being a catchy little gem, main man E gave us his thoughts behind the song’s chivalrous statement of intent.

This track’s previously unreleased. When did you write it? Was it intended for a specific release?
It came about sometime soon after the Blinking Lights album was done, I think. Just one of those things where you’re inspired by a feeling you have, regardless of the fact that you just finished an album and don’t need any more songs.

As far as the narrative, who are you singing about here? Who did you have in mind?
I was thinking about someone I knew and was noticing a new but very strong feeling in myself: the urge to protect. Suddenly I found myself feeling like a mama bear ready to rip the eyes out of a predatory… um… what eats bears? One of those.

The swagger’s undercut by the opening: “I’m not much of a man, but still I am a man.” There’s this sense of gender-based duty to project, but at the end you have the band chime in …. Is the song intended to be read as tongue in cheek?
I was aware of the possible reaction that it could be thought of as sort of sexist in the politically correct world, so I felt I needed to emasculate myself enough to note that, indeed, although I am a man, I’m not really much of one. However, you will note that I compared myself to a female of the bear species as recently as the last answer in this interview. It’s not meant to be tongue in cheek. It’s from the heart, but I guess I was a little embarrassed about admitting I felt this way, so I may have made it seem a little light hearted. But know this: I do want to protect you.

Tags: Eels