by Kate Harper
Psychedelic rocker Roky Erickson hasn't released an album in 14
years, but that will change on April 20 when Anti- Records issues
True Love Cast Out All Evil, which will feature Okkervil River as his
The disc includes unreleased tracks Erickson wrote throughout his
over 40-year career. Some of them touch on "confessional" topics like
electric shock therapy and imprisonment Erickson, who has paranoid
schizophrenia, has weathered and things that he's learned from those
Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff produced True Love Cast Out All
Evil, which gestated in recordings Erickson made at home and while he
was in the Rusk State Hospital For The Criminally Insane in the late '60s.
"I feel truly lucky that I got to produce this record," Sheff says.
"When we started out, I was given 60 unreleased songs to choose from.
There were songs written during business setbacks during the [13th
Floor] Elevators' painful breakup, songs written by Roky while he was
incarcerated at Rusk, and a great deal of songs that reminded me of
the sense of optimism and romanticism that I think sustained Roky
through his worst years and ultimately reunited him, a few years ago,
with his son Jegar and his first wife Dana.
"Because we started with so many songs to choose from, the quality of
the material we ended up with was exhilarating. This is not a cynical
comeback record, a lukewarm update on an established legacy these
are the best songs Roky has ever written, unreleased due to decades
plagued by the kind of personal tragedies that would destroy someone
"This record has been the most challenging and rewarding thing I've
ever worked on, and we in Okkervil River were deeply honored to show
up decades later and help Roky carry these wonderful songs over the
No track listing for True Love Cast Out All Evil has been released yet.
Erickson founded the psychedelic rock band 13th Floor Elevators in
1965. The band had a major hit with "You're Gonna Miss Me" from their
1966 The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators debut album.
They released their Easter Everywhere sophomore album the next year.
In 1968, Erickson was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and sent
to a psychiatric hospital for involuntary shock therapy. The next
year, Erickson was arrested for marijuana possession, sentenced to 10
years imprisonment and ended up in Rusk State where he was forced
into more shock therapy and given antipsychotic drug Thorazine.
After Erickson was released from hospital in 1974, he formed hard
rock band Bleib Alien, which was later renamed to Roky Erickson And
The Aliens. After a series of inactive years in the '90s, Erickson
began releasing music again with his 1995 All That May Do My Rhyme
solo album. A documentary called You're Gonna Miss Me was also made
about his life. Erickson made a return to the stage in 2007 and later
appeared on Mogwai's Batcat EP.