David Byrne is nothing else if not eclectic. With a career spanning music, film, dance, photography, graphic art, and just about anything else you can think of, he seems to make a living by keeping everyone on their toes. And this seems to be exactly what happens to Lisa Robinson, who doesn't always seem to know what to make of Byrne in this 1984 interview.
Recorded in support of the Stop Making Sense film and album, Byrne came prepared with a list of questions for Robinson to ask him. They spend a lot of time talking about the making of the movie, and since Byrne was in charge of, or at least involved in, almost every aspect of the film, this is a must-listen for Talking Heads fans. The two also spend a good deal of time covering Byrne's upcoming movie, 1986's True Stories, which was in its infancy when this conversation was recorded.
The line between performance art and reality may often be blurred when it comes to David Byrne, and this interview is drawn fuzzily indeed. However, with his lack of pretentiousness, it is an enjoyable listen either way you spin it.
00:00 - Giving questions instead of answers01:04 - Problems on tour with lighting 02:23 - Not performing in the movie 02:43 - Trying to get the singers to be jerkier03:34 - Different song orders on album and in the movie04:05 - When music and videos don't mix06:03 - A list of the last few records he purchased06:32 - Surviving the 1970's New York punk scene08:37 - Not having to deal with sudden success09:40 - Not playing in Madison Square Garden10:27 - Origin of the film title11:04 - Creating a framework for spontaneity12:04 - Not fitting on stage / fibbing promoters / temper tantrums13:34 - The show evolving into a movie14:27 - How the film was edited15:04 - Designing the show / choosing outfits16:13 - Maintaining control without being tyrannical17:35 - The Big Suit 20:07 - Working in L.A. / directing20:40 - What True Stories is about / making a movie22:08 - Starring in a film vs. starring in music23:28 - Putting the band's career in perspective through a live album24:12 - Cause of the original awkward stage demeanor / still feeling terrified25:56 - Projecting more confidence 26:54 - Origin of the odd movements on stage 28:03 - The history of the Talking Heads28:29 - Writing songs for the next album (soundtrack) / different genres29:59 - Writing songs from different points of view32:16 - Expectations for Stop Making Sense32:58 - Difference between the two Talking Heads live albums33:31 - Working again with the just the four band members 33:53 - What's coming up next35:16 - The possibility of never performing live again37:20 - The Talking Heads being a big band / being assimilated into culture38:30 - Adjusting with growth 39:32 - Being nervous about not wanting to settle down40:35 - The source of craziness / not actually nuts
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