Pop Quiz: Mark Kozelek

Aidin Vaziri | Mark Kozelek frequently has his back turned to the camera in publicity photographs. So it’s a little surprising to find the somber San Francisco singer-songwriter (and leader of the rock bands Sun Kil Moon and the Red House Painters) become the willing subject of the new behind-the-scenes documentary, “On Tour.” Actually, he doesn’t give that much away. In the film, shot entirely in high-contrast black and white, the lonely backstage antics are mostly sacrificed for stunning reinterpretations of songs covering the past 19 years of his career, performed on a nylon-string acoustic guitar in various churches and hotel rooms during the past year.Kozelek spoke to us about the DVD, released on his own Caldo Verde label on Tuesday, shortly before departing for his latest journey.

Mark Kozelek
Q: After 20 years of keeping things mysterious, why let people behind the scenes now?
A: Midlife crisis. I just wanted to document a tour before I physically can’t do one anymore.
Q: What do you think your fans are going to learn about you after watching the documentary?
A: That I spend a lot of time in coach and can’t figure out European vending machines.
Q: Like your album covers and promo photos, “On Tour” is shot in black and white. What do you have against color?
A: If your budget only allows for a roadie to do the camera work, then go with black and white.
Q: Is this one of those tour documentaries like Wilco and Radiohead where you just complain all the time?
A: No, it just shows me kicking ass on the guitar and blowing people’s minds.
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