When I joined DreamWorks


“When I joined DreamWorks, I discovered that Lenny and I both had a burning passion for Elliott. For me, he has a unique ability to communicate emotion and feeling in a pop song that is completely unobvious, yet unobstructed. He’s direct without being at all sentimental. It’s not necessarily the most commercial signing, but for DreamWorks, it’s an obvious one, because an artist of depth and range like Elliott fits in perfectly here. We only want to sign truly exceptional people, because we’re trying to build a small roster with a real signature point of view, and to stick with them long term. If you think about the people behind DreamWorks, like David Geffen and Mo Ostin, we’re simply carrying on their ideological tradition.”

Luke Wood (août 1998)

I didn’t talk to very many labels

©Renaud Monfourny

“I didn’t talk to very many labels because I liked Lenny. We have similar tastes in music, including Randy Newman. I just liked everyone there. Lenny actually talks about music as opposed to the rest of the world who talk about the stuff that has to do with it. He likes songs and I like songs.”

Elliott Smith


Artists all occupy their own space

stuart holt
©Stuart Holt

“Artists all occupy their own space, and Elliott is the epitome of that. I think that he is a major songwriter who has his own vocabulary. Most great writers do. There’s something very fragile and almost eerie about his style that was attractive. And then when you start to pay attention to what he’s saying, and the melodic smarts, it all adds up to somebody who’s quite special.”

Lenny Waronker

We had meetings with Lenny Waronker and Luke Wood

soundcitystudios plasticsoul mcconnell

“We had meetings with Lenny Waronker and Luke Wood where we’d play them some of the songs. Waronker looked really tripped out by it. I think he was probably thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is the most crazy drug album I’ve heard in fifteen years.’ It was kind of like that. I think he felt almost like he was going back to the ’60s listening to this album. Lenny seemed very supportive of Elliott. He seemed concerned, he also seemed afraid of Elliott, too, kind of scared of him, intimidated by him. It wasn’t like he was saying, ‘This is unreleasable.’ It was more like he was saying, ‘This is really fucking trippy.’ Continue reading