TIMOTHY LEARY: I was fascinated when you said that when you were young you wanted to be an artist or a scientist. Later you said that both were manipulated by greater powers. What do you mean by that?
DAVID BYRNE: At a certain point I went through a period of being disillusioned. When I was younger in school I had this indoctrinated idea of science being this noble calling_ all just wonderful ideas and great inventions. And the same with art. They both seemed to be in the realm of creation and incredible ideas and exploration. And later on you find out that they’re being manipulated by whatever-all kinds of politics-whether it’s art politics or government or economic politics or whatever_
TL: I agree. I’m pretty cynical after 71 years of living and 5 years in prison. But I’ve been shocked to really confront the articulate engineer/philosophers like Prof. Marvin Minsky of MIT who arrogantly flaunt their lust for control and power. Their admitted goal is to reduce human beings to robots. Because machines are efficient. Is that what you were getting at_ that you were running into that disillusionment?
DB: In a way. And also that the kinds of investigations and experimentation wasn’t free- flowing. It was directed in some ways and it was subtly nudged in ways that people hoped would produce desired results.
TL: Absolutely, no question of that. Behind it is the Newtonian notion that there is an objective fact, whereas quantum mechanics, quantum physics: it’s all movie; it’s cast is changing, it’s re-forming, it comes in clusters, it’s not linear. And you don’t study anything_ you set up a situation and you record it_
DB: And you follow the pattern. People now are accepting that, but as you said the language and the ingrained ways of thought and dealing with things are based on quantification of everything and everything being mechanistic.
TL: The nice thing about art though is this: In the evolution of human culture that it’s the artists that push the envelope and innovate and create the future.
DB: The artists are always the ones to show a precursor of what’s to come. They always know what’s going on ahead of time_ every big movement it seems.
TL: Most scientists today are grimly Newtonian. These MIT engineers don’t practice Einsteinian or relativistic or quantum psychology. They are the most manipulative group of people in the world.
TL: So the higher power you thought about back then-when, like me, you were idealistic-was that these scientists were pursuing truth at all costs. Like Galileo they’d face the inquisition and go down; like Bruno they’d burn at the stake. Bullshit. I went through that. They are agents of the Military Industrial Complex that runs and ruins America.
DB: But I suppose like artists there are a few like that few and far between. It’s the exceptional ones that push into something else where they don’t know where they’re going.
TL: And it’s so tied to getting grants and institutional power. Government and University politics_
DB: That sounds true for a lot of artists too, unless they’re someone who works just on paintings or something they create themselves. If they want to do something larger that requires more people or more money, they’re tied to grants and institutions and they have to go through all that rigmarole.
TL: So what are you doing these days?
DB: I’ve finished this record. It incorporates more of the stuff I did with Talking Heads and everything I’ve done since then, and I think I’ve pulled all that together in a kind of organic way and put it in one record.
TL: It’s a tremendous record. For those readers who haven’t heard it yet, it includes everything that is bouncy and cool and fresh about the Talking Heads. And then there’s the Latin beat. And the voice changes you go through. You also manifest a sure command and magisterial control. Much confidence. Elegant and funny.
DB: You can get a lot across with a little taste of humor.
MONDO 2000: With this turn in your music which really impresses me is the diversity of all your previous works, from early Talking Heads to late Talking Heads to The Last Emperor soundtrack to this Brazilian stuff_it’s hard to read what’s coming up next with you. How do you decide what mood you’re in every time you put an album out?
DB: I guess it’s intuitive_what seems to be there_what’s in the air and available. There doesn’t seem to be any plan.
TL: I mention you in every lecture I give, because you represent the 21st century concept of international global coming together through electronics. How did you get into that?
DB: You mean working with different cultures?
TL: You produce Brazilian and World Beat albums. You win an Oscar for a Chinese soundtrack. You compose a symphony, The Forest.
DB: It seems that post-WW2 with television and movies and records being disseminated all over the globe, you have instant access to anything anywhere almost. But you have it out of context, free-floating. And , people in other parts of the world_India, South America, Russia_they have access to whatever we’re doing. And they can take what they need and leave the rest. They can play around with it, they can misinterpret it or re- interpret it. And we’re free to do the same thing. It seems to be a part of the age we live in, that that’s a unique thing about this period, that there is that kind of communication, even though it’s not always direct communication with people in different places_it can lead to direct communication if you follow through.
TL: The young Japanese particularly. Read those Tokyo youth magazines! They pick up on everything. Rolling Stone is like a little village publication compared to these Japanese mags.
DB: They’re very Catholic in that sense.
M2: If you look at the most popular teen music magazines, 90% of it is all international_from America, Germany, England, it’s amazing how well they can sense what’s going on in the world.
TL: What is your image in the Global New Breed culture? How are you seen in Brazil?
DB: I think I’m seen mainly as a musician who some people have heard of_not a lot, but some_but who they discover has an appreciation and a love of what the Brazilians are doing. And sometimes it’s kind of confusing for them, because some of the things I like are not always the things that the critics like. For instance, some of the records I put out on this little label_like a fojo(sp?) record, music from the Northeast, and even some of the Samba stuff, is considered by the middle and upper class and intelligentsia to be lower class music. It would be like listening to Country and Western or rap or something like that here. And they find it a surprise that this quote sophisticated guy from New York might like this lower class music instead of their fine art music. But sometimes it works in a strange way; it makes them look again at their own culture and appreciate it where they’d ignored it before. I guess in a way that the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton and all those people made a lot of young Americans look at Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf and those people. It makes them look in their own backyard and see what they’ve got there. I’m not doing that intentionally, but it has that effect.
TL: The Europeans did that for jazz too.
DB: Right. A lot of jazz musicians can make a living, can gig and play in Europe where they can’t find a place to play here.
TL: The sixties with rock ‘n’ roll was very hard on jazz musicians, and I spent quite a bit of time in voluntary and involuntary exile in Europe, and it was filled with jazz musicians who were able to gig and to be admired there more than here. What music do you listen to? Who are your favorite musicians now?
DB: I remember the last Public Enemy record I heard was just amazing_ just this dense collage with a lot of real thinking and philosophy there. And I listened to the last Neil Young record; I have some records from Japanese groups, and Brazilian stuff and Cuban stuff_all the stuff we’ve been putting out on the little label.
TL: Tell us about this label: Luaka Bop.
DB: I put together a compilation of songs by important Brazilian artists a couple of years ago, and after I started with that I thought, This could be an ongoing thing. And I thought, Well I may as well have an umbrella that it goes under so that people might start to see the label and identify it and make them check out what it is. It was kind of a practical thing in that way. And then we’re slowly getting into a greater range of things. In the future we’re going to release a record_ soundtracks for Indian movies, and an Okinawan pop group, and a duo from England that sings in English_ that will be one of our few releases where the lyrics are actually in English.
TL: How many records have you produced on this label?
DB: Six or seven. Not that many. I’m actively involved in their coordination, but as of yet I haven’t really been involved in the recording of the music. For the most part it’s been presenting things that are already done that are languishing somewhere.
TL: Marshall Macluhan would be very happy with that too-globalization. So what about your symphony, The Forest?
DB: It was originally done for a Robert Wilson piece, and the hope had been-it didn’t come to pass-that we would take the same story and he would interpret it for stage in his own way, and I would do it as a film. We would use the same music that I had done_and the hope was that we present them in the same city at the same time. So you could see two vastly different interpretations of re-interpreted ancient legend. It was updated in this case to the industrial revolution in Europe. The story was partly the Gilgamesh legend. I found that it is the oldest story we know.
TL: Cosmology and immortality.
DB: And it was written in the first cities that were ever built. And, oddly enough, it deals with the same questions that came up today and that came up in the industrial revolution when cities were expanding at a phenomenal rate, and industry_it deals with what it means to be in the city, in the country, what it means to be civilized versus natural_not in an overt way, but in a story kind of way it brings up those kinds of things. So it seemed to have a resonance that seemed really current, but it’s old as you can get.
TL: And yet you got the industrial stuff there and that’s very modern_
DB: Yeah, it seemed you could throw it all into the same pot and it all fit.
TL: The older I get, the more I see everything in stages: I have to start with the tribe and then the feudal and then the Gilgamesh and then the industrial_but that’s what impressed me about the sounds of yours. There’s always the body African beat there.
DB: It’s part of our culture now, it’s not something foreign now. It’s something we have been inundated with. The Africans that have been forcibly brought here have in a way colonized us with their music, with their sensibility and rhythm. They’ve colonized their oppressors.
TL: Michael Ventura explains how the Voodoo tradition came from Africa says the same thing. And I wrote an article about the Southern vegetables and us going into the Southern cultures and grabbing the sugar and coffee and bananas_the industrial people go down there and build factories, and they get counter-colonized by the music and the food and the psychoactive vegetables. That happened with the British in India_
DB: In a subtle way it changes people’s ways of thinking; it changes the possibilities of what they could think about, what they could feel. And they’re not always initially aware of what’s happening to them.
TL: What happened to the plan of the two performances?
DB: Wilson had the money in place to do the theatre project, so that happened, but the film when I did a budget of it ended up being too expensive. But we got the music done and that was fun.
TL: And where was it performed?
DB: In Berlin, New York once, and Munich, maybe a week.
TL: Where did you do the New York one?
DB: At BAM, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in ‘88 or ‘89. But the music was not performed live. It was done on tape. There was more music than what I released. So I went back and re-edited it and squashed it down and made it so it would stand on its own rather than being background. I need a little bit of distance from it to be able to do that.
TL: I spent some time today watching your video, Ileayie_
DB: It’s about an Afro-Brazilian religion called Candomble. Ileayie in Uruba, an African language, roughly translates as the house of life or the realm that we live in.
M2: The Biosphere I_
DB: Yeah, the dimension that we live in rather than the other possible existing dimensions. It was done in Bajia(sp?) in the city of Salvador, on the coast of Northeastern Brazil. It’s mainly about an African religion that’s been existing there since slavery times and has mutated and evolved over the years to the extent that now it could be called an Afro- Brazilian religion that contains a lot of African elements. The ceremonies, the rituals consist of a lot of drumming, people occasionally go into trance, offerings are made, occasional sacrifices are made, altars are made_it’s an ecstatic religion, it feels good, it’s for the most part joyous.
TL: I’ve never seen so many dignified, happy human beings in any place at any time. For over 90 minutes the screen is filled with these stately, queenly, older black women_
DB: Yeah, it’s very joyous and regal in a way. When the drums kick in and the dancing kicks in it’s like a really hot rock or R&B show. When the music hits that level where everybody tunes into it, it’s the same kind of feeling.
TL: That’s what religion should be. That’s the essence we want religion to be. And it’s not all joyous. At times there’s a sternness, and at times a sphynx-like trance to it.
DB: It deals with acknowledging and paying homage to the natural forces. And some of those are deadly and some are joyous and some are dangerous and some are life-giving. That’s the flux of nature, and to me the religion acknowledges both the ups and downs of it.
TL: Also you said that the aim of these ceremonies is to bring the orixas_deities who serve as intermediaries between mortals and humans and the supreme force of nature. Tell us about that.
DB: When the vibe is right somebody gets possessed by one of the gods. There’s a pantheon of gods like in ancient Greece or Rome. The god is said to be there in the room, in the body_so you can have a conversation with him, you can dance with him_so god isn’t up there unreachable, untouchable_it’s something that can come right down into the room with you and you can dance with it or ask questions directly to the god.
TL: The great thing about the Greek gods is that they had human qualities_
DB: These as well_they can be sexy, jealous, vain, loving, whatever_all the attributes of people.
TL: William Gibson has written about Voodoo. And he has many of his Voodoo people talking about the human being as a horse, and that the god comes down and rides the human being_
DB: That’s the Haitian metaphor_the horse_it’s the same idea.
TL: The healer, the warrior, the mother bubbling_one after another these archetypes of characters or natural forces_basic human situations, roles_
DB: The nurturing mother or the warrior man or woman, the sexy coquette_
TL: The wind seductive female warrior_ that’s Yarzan_to tell you readers about the tape, David and the editors have every now and then English sub-titles so you know what god or goddess is being evoked. You must have had many shoots.
DB: Yeah, we cheated and shot a lot of stuff and put it together to make one ceremony that presented as much as possible.
TL: You couldn’t have all those gods in the same room! The Shango justice woman with the axe would be going after the_it’s obvious you put it together that way.
DB: Yeah, it was a film device to show a little bit of everything.
TL: It worked very well. Then you would have small screen, partial screen clips.
DB: That was a way of showing simultaneous things from another time. Like if you saw an offering being made, we could show in a little corner of the screen what went into the basket. Or if you saw one thing happening there we could cut to something that was kind of the equivalent in a box, and you could see them simultaneously and maybe kind of intuitively pick up some of the connections without someone coming on the screen and telling you. You can just pick it up in the same way you do with music. You lose some things, you don’t get everything, but you get the feel of it. That was the intention anyway.
TL: There was one powerful moment that confused me. That’s when a man dressed as a Catholic priest came and was almost violent in saying something about false prophets.
DB: The African religion is periodically being persecuted by the Catholic Church, by the Protestant Church, by the government. They go through waves of being recognized and persecuted and going underground and coming back up again and being recognized and pushed down again_
TL: That’s happened to all of us; I know the cycle well.
DB: So that was a scene from a fictional film there dramatizing the persecution by orthodox religion.
TL: You wrote it in_
DB: It was something I found in a Brazilian film. It was an example of recent persecution, so I thought, Let’s throw this in_
TL: That’s a very powerful moment because I felt that you didn’t orchestrate that_it was authentic, as your friend here would say. [points to a book] Would you comment on this book?
DB: The guy who organized this was an artist named Joseph Kosuth who’s most well- known for art that looks like your shirt.
TL: The shirt I’m wearing, is Anarchic Adjustments. The front reads: “Ecstasy.” And on one arm it’s got Egos In, Egos Out.
DB: Joseph Kosuth would have a definition of a word and just frame that. He invited me to be part of this exhibition in Japan where the idea was to create art with a fax machine. I thought that sounded like fun. I did something sort of the equivalent of the seven deadly sins. It didn’t exist; I collaged it, sandwiched it in the fax machine, and it came out the other end. And then they took the fax and blew it up giant-size, the size of a painting. What happened when it was transmitted, rather than receiving it on paper they received it on acetate. So the acetate then became a photo negative. They have fax machines that can receive on other materials, and then they can blow it up to whatever size they like.
TL: Yours is upside down (off the record) and you’ve got all these collaged bodies with arms and legs and tits, and I couldn’t figure it out until I turned it rightside up.
M2: So were you sent two different faxes and they just merged them together?
DB: Yes, I put the characters on top of a photographic image and sandwiched them together and sent it into the machine.
TL: You said in your autobiographical note here that you’re gradually emerging from racism. Do you want to comment on that?
DB: After years of telling myself I’m not a racist, I’m a liberal, I’m free-thinking, I started to acknowledge that I have these reactions that I’m not aware of, that I didn’t look at before; things that have been bred into me, not necessarily by my parents_maybe by the society, by the system, by television_and that it’s a real job to get rid of it. You can’t just blissfully say, Everybody’s equal, everybody’s nice. The conditioning is so powerful that you have to work all the time_
TL: It’s invisible; racism is the water through which we swim.
DB: And you have to tread water to stay up there; otherwise you’re in it. You have to go against the flow to rise above it. So it’s acknowledging that in some ways I’m trying to deal with it, but it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s not something you can announce to yourself and all of a sudden you’re clean and pure.
TL: It’s continued awareness and reminding yourself. It’s interesting that this comment of yours comes at a time when politics in this country is totally racist. The Republican party is now flat-out the white middle class party. The Willie Horton advertisements, the nomination of Thomas_they’re all just straight out Apartheid. They hardly deny it anymore. They trumpet their racism. How do you account for that? Why is this happening in America?
M2: I think Reagan had a lot to do with it.
DB: He got elected by a landslide, and I wonder what buttons was he pushing?
TL: The racism was there; he just pushed the button. The KKK fellow, Duke_55% of the white people in Louisiana voted for him. Another landslide. White people would have elected him.
DB: Although he didn’t get elected, at the same time it says there are an awful lot of people who would have elected him, and it’s gonna make a lot of tension there. In a cynical way I kind of welcome it. It’s going to polarize things and show things for what they really are. So there’s not going to be this bland face_ (end of side 1)
DB: There’s this Herzog documentary, Herdsmen to the Sun, where he did a thing about an African tribe where the young men come of age. They compete with one another for girls and for honor, and the way they do it is they get themselves up in what we would call drag: eye make-up and lipstick and the whole deal, not Revlon #5 or anything, but their own version of that. And they pose and primp and it’s kind of beautiful ritual and very confusing to us who have rigid ideas about what it means to be a man_
TL: The North/South dimension has been very important in your life. There’s this concern with East/West-America vs. Russia, and now America vs. Japan. But North/South is the basic genetic_
DB: You mean, it’s the HAVES and the HAVE-NOTS_
TL: But as you say, most intelligent, thoughtful Northerners understand that we pay dearly in losing what the Blacks preserve. Your videos catch the richness of life and nature and animals and the flow and the contact with the gods.
DB: It’s something we all need to work out. I mean they’d love a VCR and a car with a cassette player. There’s a balance somewhere.
TL: Well, I see the industrial age as a stage, a very tacky, messy awkward stage of human evolution. We had to have the smoky factories, and we must mature beyond them. I was very touched by your comments about your symphony, The Forest. You were trying to acknowledge the romance and the grandeur of the factory civilization even though it was fucking everything up.
DB: My up-bringing and my instinctual reaction says that this stuff sucks. This has created the mess that we’re in. But you’re never going to find your way out of the mess unless you can somehow, like the Samurai, identify with your enemy. And become one with your enemy, and understand it, or you won’t be able to truly find your way out of the maze.
TL: The Soviet Union is a great teacher about the horrors of fire power machine tech. You see those grizzled old miners and the smog_they come out of the deep, sooty, hellhole mines with their faces black_On the other hand, there was a grandeur to it, and you simply cannot cut the industrial part of our nature out because it has brought us to this room where we can use machines to record our conversation. That’s something that I find interesting in Japan, which is the perfect machine society. There’s not much pollution there; you never see any filth on the street.
DB: No, it’s cleaned up pretty quickly. You get scolded for tossing a can out your car window_I’ve seen people get scolded for not washing their car! It’s a matter of honor or face.
M2: And nothing is old there. I didn’t see one car that was more than 4 years old or with a dent in it.
DB: That’s taking LA one step further.
TL: OK. Cut! Change subject. When are you going to make another movie?
DB: I’m having the ubiquitous LA meetings.
M2: How about more True Stories?
DB: No, John Goodman’s on to other things now. I have a few ideas that I’ve been talking to people about.
TL: That was a great achievement that movie. It was a very original eccentric film. I remember the opening scenes of the highway. Again, your performance is authentic. You’ve got a lot of fans of that movie.
DB: It was fun to blend fact and fiction.
TL: Have you experienced Virtual Reality?
TL: But you’ve heard about it. How does it strike you?
DB: It strikes me as being not another reality, but maybe a kick in the head that will turn you around a bit, a perceptual twist that will give you a new way of looking at things.
TL: I’m very involved in it. Basically, the average American household passively watches television 40 or 50 hours a week. These talk shows and the prime time programs are more real to more Americans than the day-to-day realtime flesh and blood.
DB: Maybe it’s myself or my friends but you sit in front of the TV and if you’re not watching a video you’ve rented or something else, you’re zapping it. And sometimes people keep their finger on the zap button, and it’s like they’re editing together a program that is comprised of everything that is on television at that particular moment. So there’s an impulse to interaction. On a primitive level people want to talk back in a way. I guess what I was saying, without having experienced anything, the goggles seem like an incredible tool in the same way that any other way of altering your perception is a tool_jumping off a diving board towards something else. But I’m speaking from ignorance.
TL: How did you get involved in The Last Emperor?
DB: Bernardo, the director, came and saw Stop Making Sense. He saw it in a theatre in Rome and he was knocked out. He liked the film and the performance, but the audience got involved in the film. They got up and danced, they jumped up on the stage, they sang along and whooped and hollered. And he saw people reacting to cinema_it wasn’t passive. So he didn’t forget me. So years later he phoned up and asked if I wanted to do some music. And I was in the middle of something or another, and I said, I can spare a few weeks. So I could only do a little bit and Ri Wichi(sp) could only do a little bit, and the other stuff was source music. But it worked out great and it was fun to do. He’s had a record of doing some pretty good soundtracks: The Last Tango soundtrack_
TL: Bernardo is pretty clever about getting good photographers too. I have a funny question I want to ask you. When you consider what you have done. How many students from the Rhode Island School of Design have won an Oscar?
DB: Gus Van Zandt will probably get an Oscar soon.
TL: If you had been a scientist_you say you didn’t want to be a scientist because you liked the graffiti on the walls of the art department. If you had been a scientist what kind of scientist would you have been?
DB: I guess at the time what seemed like pure science: physics_where you could speculate and play around and be creative. That seemed like the absolute equal to being an artist. And it still does. If you get the chance, the opportunity, and the cards fall right, there’s no difference. The kind of intellectual play and the spirit is the same.
TL: Nature is that way; it’s basically playful. Murray Gelman, who is one of America’s greatest quantum physicists, used the word quark to describe the basic element from a funny line from James Joyce, “three quarks from Meister Mark” or something like that.
DB: I had a math teacher in high school who included Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland in his higher math studies. I thought, This guy knows what he’s doing.
TL: Well, the guy Dodgson who wrote it knew what he was doing. That metaphor of through the looking glass on the other side of the screen. Talk about your Uruba gods and goddesses. Talk about Yarzan and Shango. Alice is the Goddess of the Electronic Age.
M2: Are there any more Talking Heads projects ever again?
DB: We put together one of those box set things. I guess it’ll come out some time next year. There are 3 or 4 unfinished songs and some old demos that we finished up and wrote words where there were missing words. We’re still on good terms but I think it’s had its day for the time being.
TL: Barbara and I saw an I-MAX version by Julian Temple of the Rolling Stones. It’s really insanely powerful.
DB: It’s not frightening?
TL: It is in a sick way_seeing Mick Jagger’s face enlarged_
DB: I think it would be_seeing Keith Richard’s face twenty stories tall and being able to inspect the damage of the years. I know that’s not the point_
TL: Seeing Keith’s face magnified and enlarged is beautiful. You don’t realize this when you’re sitting in the audience, but he drops this little smile that’s millimeters, but he’s communicating. And the projector is as big as a Volkswagon.
DB: Do you see a lot of the set?
M2: You see a lot of the set_the whole industrial complex_during Honky Tonk Woman these ten story dolls inflate and dance.
TL: Have you been to the Soviet Union?
DB: Very briefly, only twice. Only to Moscow and to a very small town on the border of Finland. And fairly recently. I hope they can get things sorted out because there’s an incredible creative energy there. Music and film and poetry, and it’s just been bubbling under, and the steam is getting ready to blow itself off the kettle.
TL: That was a great discovery for me to realize that behind the Brezhnev iron mask there were lots of turned-on, sophisticated, international, cosmopolitan, intellectual, educated people. But we never heard about them.
DB: So, alternative reality in a way.
TL: Interestingly enough, it was the children of KGB agents, who were more ready for the open society because they have been exposed to the video and the West.
DB: Yeah, I meet musicians and artists in places like Yugoslavia that were more attuned to the good stuff that was happening here than a lot of people in New York or LA. They’d focused themselves and decided what they liked and what was really happening. And it was amazing that some of the stuff that I like had some relevance over there.
TL: In defense of America_I’m not an American and I’m working ceaselessly to dissolve, disrupt, derail, destroy the American government and get it decentralized_but America is the breeding grounds for new ideas and we’re so over- stimulated, jaded in a sense. Imagine what it would be like living under Brezhnev in the Soviet Union compared to the way it was here in the 60s and 70s in the sense of the available options.
DB: Now we’re coming to terms with the fact that the new ideas are sometimes coming from elsewhere and that we can use them, accept them, they’re available to us.
TL: What do you think is going to happen in America?
DB: To be honest I think America’s going to go through a rough period of losing pride and ego, because I think the country’s going to be cut down to size economically. Which might be a good thing. It might force people to look and see where our real strengths lie, where our assets are, and where our real creative forces are, rather than being in some imaginary area.
TL: I’m very alarmed by the passionate revival of bitter, cruel, Christian fundamentalism in this country which is mirroring the fundamentalist Islamic thing. That’s spreading from Morocco to South East Asia.
DB: I assume that here as there, it’s because people are confused, the values are undercut, everything they see makes people wonder what life is about.
TL: Have you seen My Own Private Idaho?
DB: Yeah, I liked it a lot. There was a real quick shot of a house falling out of the sky_this orgasm at the same time.
TL: You did the score for Married To the Mob_
DB: Jonathan Demme used a lot of rock ‘n’ roll stuff in there. I just did a lot of conventional scoring: saxophones and strings, but it was a lot of fun to do.
TL: Did you ever imagine you’d be doing symphonies ten years ago?
DB: No, that’s the fun, that you don’t know what you’re going to get into. You kind of leave it open.
TL: Of course, what I heard on The Forest album is symphonic but it wanders off into a lot of other things too.
DB: Yeah, there’s a lot of other stuff thrown in there. I think it all hangs together but it sure isn’t all regular symphonic stuff.
TL: There are many moving moments of authenticity. And on that note, let us suspend this pleasant moment of authentic conversation. Thank you, David.