It’s funny you’d mention Largo and The Mint


“It’s funny you’d mention Largo and The Mint. I used to play at those two clubs in particular with my band, we were called Goldenboy, and I was playing with this guy named Jon Brion who was producing Elliott Smith at the time. We would open for Jon a lot, sometimes just hanging out before or after the shows. He had been working with Elliott at the time on this album that you’re mentioning and Elliott had just finished his Figure 8 tour. He had been playing all over the world, large venues, sold out, 3000, 4000 seats venues and his career was pretty awesome at that point, he had music in a lot of soundtracks, DreamWorks was his label and they sort of thought of him as their golden boy. He was their guy and they were really pumped about his next album. But Elliott was struggling with some demons and having some chemical issues, if you will… Continue reading

I worked with him on From a Basement on the Hill


“I worked with him on From a Basement on the Hill, befriended him, and helped him put together the pieces of the torment he carried with him in his jigsaw puzzle of a heart in order to transmute it into peaceful wholeness (…) Because I knew Elliott as I did, my account is a personal one, not a musicological or psychological one, and I vividly remember the first time I met him. Continue reading

‘Suicide Machine’ was originally recorded for Figure 8

with joe ranieri

“‘Suicide Machine’ was originally recorded for Figure 8, but in light of everything, I just thought it would have taken the focus off the music. I was uncomfortable with that. There is already enough in the lyrics to make the thing sound like a suicide note; that would have put it over the top. Look, I think it sucks to be Monday-morning-quarterbacking the outcome.”

Rob Schnapf

Please remember I’ve only been working with Elliott

“Please remember I’ve only been working with Elliott for a little while, so I’m still finding out some of the things you guys are asking about. There’s what I know… In November [2001], I was in L.A. and went to Elliott’s house – he played about eight tracks to [my wife] Jennifer and me. Some of the tracks had vocals, most of them were in a “full band” mode with him playing all of the instruments. There was one song that totally rocked that had Steven from the Lips and the drummer from Beachwood Sparks both playing drums at the same time. The tracks that didn’t have vocals, he sat next to me and sang the words – it was amazing! Continue reading

Cleaning up today and found the lyrics

chris chandler
©Chris Chandler

“Cleaning up today and found the lyrics and notes that Elliott Smith wrote when we were working on an album together back in 2001.”

Chris Chandler

“Many years ago, a friend of mine named Chris did some tracking with Elliott for his last record. He said Elliott had a stash of old old recording gear he liked to track with. Valve and solid state stuff I think. Did he ever bring any toys to the party when you were working with him? Chris let me listen to a couple of acoustic guitar takes. I was knocked out by how clean and effortless his fingerpicking was, beautiful. I hope all is well with you.”


Une petite note informative à l’attention des futurs chroniqueurs de From a basement on the hill…

©Peter Larsson

“Puisque j’ai de la place, une petite note informative à l’attention des futurs chroniqueurs de From a basement on the hill, pour leur éviter de tomber dans le piège “décortiquons les paroles pour y trouver des raisons à son suicide” (écueil dans lequel même Nick Kent est tombé). Voici donc la date (et le lieu, accessoirement) à laquelle les chansons de l’album ont été pour la première fois jouées en live. Continue reading

It is bittersweet that one of Elliott Smith’s finest albums would be one which was released posthumously


“It is bittersweet that one of Elliott Smith’s finest albums would be one which was released posthumously. From a Basement on the Hill is a masterwork of dexterity and achievement, with Smith exploring his love of The Beatles’ recording techniques. Using an array of instruments, the album was largely made at Smith’s home studio. It was left unfinished when Smith tragically took his own life in 2003, his family and friends collaborated after he passed so that the album would see the light of day. It is the one grace to come from the terrible event, for From a Basement on the Hill is one of the strongest and most powerful records of the last twenty years. King’s Crossing is a song about Smith’s demons, as well as his disillusion with the Music scene at the time. ‘The method acting that pays my bills keeps a fat man feeding in Beverly Hills’ he sang, lamenting the exploitation of his emotions to generate record sales. This is my top Elliott Smith record, which I revisit very regularly. I love the visual portraits Smith creates within this song. It is so full of regret, hopelessness and contemplation; be it about his career, his addictions or his existence. Powerful stuff.”

Joe Dallesandro

Let this dignified CD not be the start of a multi-label Elliott Smith refabrication

©Renaud Monfourny

“Let this dignified CD not be the start of a multi-label Elliott Smith refabrication issuing forth several unsatisfactory “best-of” collections bittersweetened with rarities and “never-before-heard” vault finds and overdubbed demos. Fans of Tupac, Nick Drake, Johnny Cash, the Beatles and Jeff Buckley may maintain a philosophy of the-more-the-merrier regarding posthumous releases, but I’m always reminded by them of Steven Patrick Morrissey’s ominous verses from the Smiths’ “Paint A Vulgar Picture”: Continue reading