“It’s so tragic. He’s from Portland, Oregon and I met him a few times and he was a really friendly guy and really nice. Every time I’ve seen him I had nothing bad to say about him, but I don’t know him that well. It was more of a general greeting. It was almost sort of my friends that knew him very well and how it went really wrong down there in Los Angeles. So everybody’s really gutted about it up in Portland because some of his true good friends are from Heatmiser and stuff. I don’t know him that well, so it was just a general thing for me. That’s sad. We really didn’t see the full brunt of it because we were on tour. We didn’t see much in Europe because we didn’t read the papers or search the internet.”
“She used to go out with him, I guess, Elliott Smith fans would know her. I never mention the Elliott thing to her, because she’s sorta mad at him now because they broke up. She’s also a little extra in The Minders, this indie rock band from Portland, she’s actually blowing off touring with them to be in my band, which wasn’t good and I felt bad about it. She’s in trouble with them now!”
“The move to L.A. was probably part of the problem, but he also once told me that his girlfriend Joanna told him that if he ever did heroin, she would leave him, and that was the only way he could finally get out of that relationship. He was kind of fed up with the relationship. This is what he told me; he said they were fighting and she said, ‘If you do heroin, I’ll leave you, or become a junkie, I’ll leave you’ – he said that’s about the time he started doing heroin.”
“I went to the Oscars with Elliott. They looked at him like, “We gotta get this guy on and off as quickly as possible.” Céline Dion was really nice because she recognized him as a songwriter, with a really good song. But the Oscars people didn’t treat him with respect.”
“Somebody That I Used To Know is a pretty straightforward “Fuck off’ kind of song – more straightforward than they usually are. Usually they don’t turn out that way, probably because I would feel really bored if I had to be in the exact same mood every time I sang the song to stay inside it and play it well. There has to be room for my imagination to kind of run around inside the lyrics, and hopefully inside people who bother to listen to it.”
“He didn’t have to do things for himself in everyday life any more. He didn’t have to go grocery shopping, he didn’t have to make his own dinner, he didn’t have to talk to his manager – somebody else could do all that for him. He had all this free time to just get into his own head, and there was a lot of dark stuff in there. I think he felt like he needed to live up to his own mythology. There was a pressure to be that guy that everybody thought he was. It was really dumb.”
“That relationship was like a rollercoaster. It was very much on and off. Sometimes he was incredibly unhappy and sometimes he was the complete opposite, feeling good about himself. As long as he was working, that seemed to balance out the really depressive side of things. But, inevitably, it was bound to catch up with him.”
“This is a story about how I got to live my fantasy of walking through the door of the building at 3 Abbey Road and saying, “We’re working in studio 2.”It’s second only to the one where I walk through the door and the receptionist says “Good morning Mr Martin.” This was made possible by my generous friend Elliott Smith, whom I believe had a similar fantasy. We were joined by our buddies Rob Schnapf and Tom Rothrock, who took care of the recording duties, and Sam Coomes from Quasi, the best rock band in the world.