Joshua Kessler took this photo at Elliott’s apartment

norman B

“Joshua Kessler took this photo at Elliott’s apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn, right off Fifth Avenue, as part of a feature story I was writing for Alternative Press. I showed up at his place right when they began to shoot, and I remember being greeted as if I were an old friend — which was bizarre because Elliott and I had only met once before, in a dark nightclub, two years prior to that.

 When we finally sat down to do the interview, it was almost effortless. He asked as much about me as I did about him, and I felt like it was only fair that I answer him. I wish I still had that tape. Continue reading

The record was supposed to be called “Place Pigalle”


“The record was supposed to be called “Place Pigalle”. Actually, I had two songs called “Place Pigalle”, then I removed them, then I thought I should keep at least one if I was going to use that name for the record. Then… I also had that other song called “Figure 8″ that didn’t end up on the record, either. What I liked about that title was the evocation of a skating figure where you get as close as you can to the perfect 8. I loved that idea of an endless quest for perfection.”

Elliott Smith

Nobody wants to be pinned down


“Nobody wants to be pinned down and commit to somebody’s interpretation of them. Oftentimes people are doing lyrics, but there is so much irony involved that it makes the whole thing so slippery I can’t really feel anything in connection to it. There’s certainly a place for irony, but it seems like it’s really moved up the priority list for a lot of people and it’s not one of my favorite parts of music. I’m not really into seeing a jokey band or a particularly ironic one. Just because something is witty and ironic doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good any more than something being a sickly sweet confessional makes it any good either. That sort of contrived personality doesn’t work either way.”

Elliott Smith