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To my relief, it doesn't turn out that way, as the singer talks amenably, even chirpily, though always with painstaking care, about his gradual rise.
Callahan may have characterised his career as an exercise in Sisyphean futility, but it reaches a fresh summit tomorrow, with the start of his biggest UK tour, culminating in two sold–out shows at the Festival Hall – an unimaginable outcome, given his obscure beginnings in the late 1980s, when he spewed out lo–fi cassettes from his bedroom in small–town Maryland.
As a child, Newsom was not allowed to watch television or listen to the radio.
She describes her parents as "kind of idealists when it came to hoping they could protect us from bad influences, like violent movies, or stupid stuff".
Oldham was impressed with Newsom's music and asked her to tour with him.
His early songs often nearly lacked melodic structure and were clumsily played on poorly tuned guitars, resulting in the dissonant sounds on his self-released cassettes and debut album Sewn to the Sky.
Much of his early output was instrumental, a stark contrast to the lyrical focus of his later work.
He also gave a copy of the CD to the owner of Drag City, his record label.
Drag City signed Newsom and released her debut album The Milk-Eyed Mender in 2004. The album features orchestrations and arrangements by Van Dyke Parks, engineering from Steve Albini and mixing by Drag City label-mate Jim O'Rourke.
— but the recording of our conversation says otherwise.