I was hired to be the music supervisor on Thumbsucker

“I was hired to be the music supervisor on that film. Mike Mills wanted me to help him much in the way I had worked with Sofia. Mike had wanted Elliott to do some covers for the film so I got in touch with Elliott and brought him on board. We showed him an early cut of the film which he loved so he agreed to try. Elliott lived near me and we have some mutual friends so I had seen him around a bit, but we never really talked much until the film. Continue reading


I remember the first time I met him

©Rhett Miller

“I remember the first time I met him, I was doing a songwriting circle with him and Fiona Apple at Largo, and the two of them were so nervous beforehand they were practically bawling. They were basket cases. And I was like, “What’s wrong with you two? If anyone should be a basket case, it’s me!” But he was just a sweet guy, and what he wrote about was really heartfelt and sincere. There was an awkward moment toward the end of his life when he was not doing well. Continue reading

They only notice my music being dark

©Daniel Coston

“They only notice my music being dark because most of what’s played on the radio is so . . . I don’t know, not dark. So they hear this one thing about my songs, and they make that stand in for what they are.But there’s humor in them sometimes. They don’t make me feel worse. They make me feel better.”

Elliott Smith

It was pretty obvious that he and his stepdad didn’t get along

bunnyandcharlie (1)

“It was pretty obvious that he and his stepdad didn’t get along. I just attributed that, at the time, to that natural inherent resentment a lot of kids have towards their stepparents. The ‘you’re not my dad’ thing. Charlie did come off as an authority figure. Charlie would be like, ‘No, you can’t come out and play this weekend, you have to stay and mow the yard.’ I remember it being a bone of contention more  than it should be, and Steve being just ‘grr’ about it. I think about that time I remember Steve becoming an anti-authoritarian. That was probably how a lot of kids felt about their stepparents. I remember a couple of conversations where he specifically was angry at Charlie but it was nothing at the time I construed as exceptional.”

Steve Pickering