Late Folk Singer Elliott Smith Opens Up About Dependency and Songwriting in a 1998 Interview Animated for PBS

In the most recent episode of the animated PBS series “Blank on Blank,” the late folk singer Elliott Smith opens up about his singing style, his songwriting process and the subject of dependency in a revealing interview with journalist Barney Hoskyns that was recorded in 1998, just a few weeks after Smith appeared at the Oscars performing “Miss Misery” from the film Good Will Hunting.

But, yeah, it’s good to call them dependents, because that was the point, as opposed to them being songs strictly about drugs or… I think everybody has that… Those two irreconcilable …There’s lots of ways people can be dependent, on another person, or drugs, or …People are so… seem so chaotic internally, but being filtered through some form, like making a record, sort of filters it down into something that can be understood. It’s hard to represent chaos, or like an absence of something. It’s much easier to represent the presence of something or a situation. People can be chaos but it’s hard to fit it into some creative piece that you made. It’s hard.

Elliott Smith died in 2003 under mysterious circumstances. The award-winning film Heaven Adores You explores Smith’s life and seeks to find the truth around the circumstances of his tragic death.

Elliot Smith

image via Wikipedia

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.