Which, you know, kinda sucks, since Elliott’s music was pretty pivotal to the whole movie, and it really launched him past hipster obscurity to a wider audience. So let’s do the retrospective:
- Elliott Smith left the band Heatmiser in 1994 because he was tired of having all his songs played like big rock songs, and went on to become a solo act specializing in whispered lyrics and acoustic arrangements as harrowing as anything Heatmiser ever did.
- Gus Van Sant tapped Elliott for the soundtrack, presumably based on familiarity with his work from their joint residence in Portland.
- The movie was a surprise hit and Elliott ended up playing “Miss Misery” at the Oscars.
- Elliott released two albums on Dreamworks.
- Elliott got addicted (or his addiction worsened) to alcohol and other hard drugs (heroin, crack, you name it). He went into a downward spiral, and ultimately was found dead stabbed through the heart. The death was ruled a suicide.
Not as cheery as talking about Matt Damon, but just as significant a follow-up to the movie. I don’t know if Elliott would have burned up as fast as he did without the sudden fame the movie brought, but it seems pretty clear that it contributed to his issues.