Neil is known as the long-time collaborator of the late Elliot Smith (pictured with him here from 1995). They met in college in 1987, had a band named Swimming Jesus, then moved to Portland and released three albums and an EP together as Heatmiser starting in 1993. Then Neil fronted the band No. 2 for two albums (1999 and 2002) before taking a break until recently from music.
We discuss “You Might Be Right” (and listen at the end to “I’m on a Mission”) from the new No. 2 album First Love, “Critical Mass” from No Memory (1999), and “Why Did I Decide to Stay” by Heatmiser from Cop and Speeder (1994). Intro: “Rest My Head Against the Wall” by Heatmiser from Mic City Sons (1996). Hear more at no2music.bandcamp.com.
Watch the video for “Why Did I Decide to Stay.” Hear all of “Rest My Head Against the Wall.” Watch the new video for “I’m On a Mission.” Hear the demo with Elliot Smith for “Critical Mass.” Watch some Heatmiser live in 1994 with Neil singing lead.
Photo by Marc Swanson. Interview editing by Tyler Hislop.