David Byrne

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

For the better part of a decade, David Byrne was the front-man of Talking Heads. To celebrate the revival of Jonathan Demme’s concert film, Stop Making Sense, we’re revisiting our special talk with the legendary musician himself.

At the top, we discuss how Byrne processed the pandemic in New York City (6:45), finding creativity in unlikely places (9:50), the evolution of his Broadway show ‘American Utopia’ (10:47), the influence of poet William Blake (13:00), his gift for collaboration (16:36), and the power of the song, Glass Concrete & Stone (20:54).

On the back-half, he opens up about his pivot from New Wave to Latin music (23:40), getting comfortable with creating on his own terms (30:35), and why he turned to performance as a response to being neurodivergent (36:32). He also reflects on his relationship to the Talking Heads (41:30), the cross generational impact of his art (44:15), the unique interpretations of American Utopia (46:30), and how he “found the world” through making music (50:25).