It was a hard record for him

“It was a hard record for him, and he was so proud of these songs. He was adamant about doing it away from DreamWorks and the rigid studio system, doing it on his own, and that’s a lot to take on in addition to battling all his own personal demons. He was very up and down, and there were times when I didn’t know if he was going to be able to finish it. I would knock on his door and say, ‘Hey, what’s going on, let’s get something done today.’ Just to keep his hopes up.
To me, “From a Basement on the Hill” sounds like he no longer had any use for rules. It begins and ends with a question mark. It’s weird and dark and doesn’t sound finished, even though it was. He wasn’t afraid to mess it all up.”

Aaron Espinoza

When I first met him it was magical


“When I first met him it was magical. He just had that thing you’re attracted to. Magnetic. There was sides of him that were very reclusive, but if he let you in, it was a pretty good feeling. He would talk about dying. But it was never about suicide – it was about drugs. He always said he could never kill himself. For a lot of people, it wasn’t a surprise. But for me, it didn’t make sense at all.”

Aaron Espinoza

Well, I’m sitting in Portland, Oregon

©Peter Ellenby

“Well, I’m sitting in Portland, Oregon, right now, after postponing part of our tour. Here to spend time with loved ones and attend memorial services for our beloved friend. Portland is where I first met Elliott, but I really came to know him in L.A. I feel very lucky to have been a part of his life and he a part of mine. He was so warm and generous. I learned so much from him, not just musically, but in life as a whole. He was inspiring, hilarious, hyperintelligent and completely frustrating.

But there was always a lesson to be learned from his positives and negatives. I went over to his house so that he could help me out with a song I was stuck on.

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