“A lot of people are kind of depressed. I’m happy some of the time, and some of the time I’m not.”
– Elliott Smith in 1998, as told to Barney Hoskyns
We came across a really lost special tape for this episode of Blank on Blank: Elliott Smith interviewed in 1998 by Barney Hoskyns. It’s a little eerie hearing him now more than 10 years after his death, but it’s also kind of soothing to hear his signature comfort and discomfort bubbling beneath the surface. It’s kind of like his timeless collection of music. Smith died under mysterious circumstances in 2003 at the age of 34.
In this animated film Elliott Smith talks about feeling like a freak in high school, how he initially didn’t feel confident singing in the style that became his signature voice, what he said when people compared him to Paul Simon, writing about people with addictions, the internal chaos that people face, and how his music isn’t happy or sad. “I couldn’t say what it is”
Enjoy, everybody. RIP, Elliott.
ELLIOTT SMITH QUOTES
“There’s a bunch of Elvis Costello records that made all the difference between feeling like a total freak and feeling like … only a freak. A freak among other freaks”
“I’ve been doing four-track songs by myself since I was like a teenager, where I’d sing in a way that I … I just didn’t think other people would like it, so I didn’t play it for them but eventually I got over that, which I’m happy that I did.”
“People would be like, “Paul Simon.” I’d be like, “I don’t feel like I’m anything like Paul Simon.”
“Certain songs just feel a way that’s hard to put into words and it’s not happy and it’s also not really sad but I couldn’t say what it is”
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