Chris Mills Tells It Like It Is: The World’s Largest Catsup Bottle

Heavy Years: 2000-2010 (Ernest Jenning) is the latest release from Brooklyn-by-way-of-Chicago singer/songwriter Chris Mills. The 14-track retrospective compiles songs from his last four albums, along with two new tracks recorded with DJ Oktopus (Dalek). Mills is currently on the road supporting Heavy Years, and he will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with him.

Mills: I used to talk a lot of trash about my hometown. But Collinsville, Ill., isn’t actually all that bad. It’s relatively safe. The friends I still have there and people I still know are all pretty awesome. The school system wasn’t that great, but it got me where I am today. I’m sure that its proportion of less-than-progressive gun-toters is not that far above or below the national average for towns of its size and general geographic location. But regardless of my feelings about growing up there, Collinsville does have one amazing, magical thing that no place else in the world has: The World’s Largest Catsup Bottle. It was built in 1949 as a water tower for the Brooks Catsup factory, and for the majority of my youth, it was just a rusty, dilapidated shadow of what I imagined it once might have been. But in 1995, the local community rallied together to stave off the tower’s impending demolition and managed to restore the giant condiment container to its former glory. I think it has even been declared a historic landmark or something.

Video after the jump.