fifth album already for elliott smith, the new american wonder of the musical writing
written by marc besse, taken from les inrockuptibles, 21 avr. 2000

interview in the shape of catch-hearts.

q: do you remember the first disc that you liked?

a: absolutely. i fell on white album from beatles when i was five years old. my parents were divorced, i lived with my mother in dallas and during my first holidays in my father in california, it made me listen to the double white of beatles. i adhered immediately. the following year, i impassioned myself for kiss of which i bought the album alive II. like all the kids, i think that i had to be allured by their funny make-up and their extremely simple music. it is from there that i liked the rock'n'roll. i started to follow the topicality, in particular the english groups. clash fascinated me and the dark songs of bauhaus intrigued me enormously, they directly brought me to velvet underground. i listened to my discs only in my room, that annoyed everyone but it was for me an immense pleasure. recently, i discovered one of the discs of nico, the marble index. an absolutely magic disc, very monochromic, which will haunt my discotheque during one moment. i am detached much more from the things of the current rock'n'roll. among my congeneric, very few people make me impression except for unforeseeable beck, with whom i have just made a round, quasi and sebadoh.

were these discs significant in your decision to become musician? i do not think that kiss had a great influence on my desire for being a musician (laughter)... my maternal grandparents wanted absolutely that i become pianist. they were musicians themselves and played in jazz bands very new orleans. they could have disgusted me practice of the instruments but, fortunately, my piano teacher was an extraordinary type, it communicated to me a faith, a love of the music. as of the day when i heard strawberry fields of beatles, i however dreamed to become bass player. finally, i learned the guitar thanks to my father who made me rejouer the partitions of dylan. in the field of the writing, the catch occurred thanks to other kinds of musics: stevie wonder was very significant in my process of composition, alex chilton, the country-music also, even if i put long enough to appreciate subtleties of them.

q: you composed a song for the original tape of good will hunting of gus van sant; is the cinema one of your principal centers of interests?

a: i go very little to the cinema. their programs are stuffed with large productions formatted by hollywood which annoy to me to die. there are only films of action and effects special which do not belong to my universe. my preferred film is paris, texas. wim wenders perfectly described the difficulty in there living in this area when one does not function on the great principles of the american life, it raised the only things which i like over there: empty spaces and rupture with a system. everyone cannot live in texas, it is not true. for a guy like me which lived the south without never smelling southerner, the film of wenders was an excellent means of contacting this area and of hating it still more. the music of ry cooder is quite as extraordinary, very suggestive, it underlines the long sequence shots without seeking to tell a history over that of film. contrary to me, it can make a success of the exercise of the original tape. it sticks to the colors of film, with its direction, does not compose of the songs gadgets which one will hear only some notes as well as possible once the assembled film. i talks a very emotional relationship with people of which i appreciate the talent. i thus followed the majority of films of wenders but i find that it never reached the level of paris, texas.

q: your tattooing represents a hero of your books of youth: ferdinand sometimes happen to you t-it to read again his stories?

a: no, i had lost these books for a long time until somebody offers to me a specimen recently. these stories were of an extraordinary simplicity, very rich person of teaching. i read intermittently. i can spend several months without opening a book then to plunge me in a series of news during the weeks which follow. in this moment, i finish the Insult de rupert thomson, a psychological species of thriller on bottom of medical intrigue. i generally prefer the short stories, those of mike mccormack - an irish writer - and the news or the fictions. in the books, i seek before all something which disconnect me from the real life, and of the strong characters who plunge me in imaginary situations. for example, i never read books of bret easton ellis for this reason: it lives in the same district that me brooklyn, and i would be afraid which its stories change perception that i have of my entourage. some of my friends think that it would be good for me to meet it but this meeting would be especially the occasion to please to them.

thanks to mully