Watch an Animated Clip of a 1998 Interview With Elliott Smith
PBS’ ‘Blank on Blank’ is an ongoing web series that animates interviews with a variety of artists, including Wayne Coyne, Michael Jackson and most recently, Elliott Smith. Smith’s 1998 interview with Barney Hoskyns -- which came shortly after his Oscars performance of and nomination for ‘Miss Misery’ launched him to fame -- is the most recent interview to be transformed by PBS, and you can watch it above.
In the interview, Smith discusses how music helped him cope with feelings of isolation and why he opted to label drug addicts as “dependents.”
"There's a bunch of Elvis Costello records that, when I was in high school, just made all the difference between feeling like a total freak and feeling like only a freak," Smith says in the interview. "A freak among other freaks."
"It's good to call [drug addicts] ‘dependents’ because that was the point, as opposed to them being songs strictly about drugs," Smith explained. "There's lots of ways people can be dependent, on another person or drugs."
And when it came to the melancholy nature of his songwriting, Smith said that the songs on his ‘Either/Or’ album didn't make him "sad or feel sorrowful."
"But on the other hand, a lot of people are kind of depressed,” he continued. “I mean I’m happy some of the time and some of the time I’m not.”
It’s been more than a decade since Smith’s 2003 death from stab wounds to the chest, which were believed to be self-inflicted.