“He is someone who I just think was meant to live in another time, when being a musician didn’t mean having to be seen. There is a reason that people—and I include myself in this—there’s a reason people are drawn to sound, because there’s something you can’t quite take about the straight, visceral world.
He just didn’t want to be looked at. But that’s part of being a musician at this point. I think with most artists of our generation you embrace it, and you make it part of what you’re doing, and I’ve tried to do that as much as possible. But I still think about this all the time. And for these songs [on Knives], the reasons I would lock myself in a dark room and play the piano was not because I wanted everyone to look at me. Quite the contrary. And that’s what I hear in Elliott Smith’s music. He created this different place that is using different senses. And he did it, but he didn’t want to be here for it. I just feel really fucked up about his death.”