“In musical collaboration, you can kind of get outside of yourself. Being in a band, performing— in all those things you have to collaborate and work together socially and artistically. That was a pathway for me to gradually navigate social relationships.” -David Byrne, episode 266 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
This week we head to New York City to sit with the legendary David Byrne (Talking Heads). We discuss how he’s processed the pandemic (7:14), finding creativity in unlikely places (10:20), the evolution of his Broadway show ‘American Utopia’ (11:20), the influence of poet William Blake (13:19), his gift for collaboration (16:14), and the power of the song, Glass, Concrete & Stone (21:30).
On the back-half, David opens up about his pivot from New Wave to Latin music (24:16), getting comfortable with creating on his own terms (27:16), and why he turned to performance as a response to being neurodivergent (36:35). He also reflects on his relationship to the Talking Heads at age 69 (42:49), the cross generational impact of his art (44:16), the unique interpretations of American Utopia (48:16), and how he “found the world” through making music (50:46).
To submit a comment, question, or reflection for our upcoming mailbag episode, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Purchase tickets to see American Utopia live on Broadway.
- Stream David Byrne’s American Utopia on HBO.
- Order David’s new book, A History of the World (in Dingbats).
- Follow David on Instagram and Twitter.
- Learn more about his work on his website.
- Watch the Detroit School of Arts’ rendition of Everybody’s Coming To My House.
- For more, find our recommended talks with Questlove, Lorde, Matthew McConaughey, Alana Haim, Run The Jewels, Sleater-Kinney, Stacey Abrams, Holland Taylor, and Buffy Sainte-Marie.
- Order your Talk Easy mug in cream and navy or our vinyl record with Fran Lebowitz.
Illustrations by: Krishna Shenoi.