To me, (Electro-Shock Blue) wasn’t a record about death. That was missing the point. It was about life. And death was a big part of life that tended to be ignored, or denied. No one wanted to think there would be an end to themselves, but I couldn’t ignore it and I realised that if you treat it like the everyday fact of life that it is, it becomes less scary. And also, by being more aware of death, you gain a perspective on living and how you’d better make it count, whatever that may mean to you.
When I made the choice not to let anything get in the way of my new mission to try to be the best artist I could be, I was also setting myself up for a never-ending sequence of lonely battles, as well as branding myself with an ever-increasing reputation for being ‘difficult’ in the eyes of the music industry. Not an easy lifestyle. But if I hadn’t made that decision, and instead went along with the cookie-cutter music-business thinking, I would have had to do everything in the name of making executives and share-holders happy by trying to figure out what they wanted to hear. There’s no happy ending to that story: either you fail and go back to work at the garage, or you succeed and spend the rest of your life hating the whore that you’ve become. It’s hard not being able to be everyone’s friend when you decide that your music is your best friend and that you’ll do anything to look out for it, but it was the only decision that made any real sense to me.
Mark Oliver Everett – Things the Grandchildren Should Know.