It’s now been over 25 years since Talking Heads broke up and frontman David Byrne has yet to perform with his old band despite massive offers to do so besides a brief set when the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Byrne discusses his take on a possible Talking Heads reunion in a new interview from The Creative Independent.
The interview focuses on Byrne’s multi-faceted and ever-changing work as an artist. One of his latest projects is an art exhibit in Silicon Valley called “Neurosociety” featuring an “immersive theater performance.” David talks in detail about Neurosociety. He’s then asked, “Do you think you’ve done enough things at this point, and have proven yourself in enough areas, that you’re seen as an artist in general, or do you still have to sometimes shake the perception of being a musician dabbling?” The question moved Byrne to share his most extensive thoughts on reuniting with Talking Heads in years.
Here’s how he started:
I think I’ve shaken that for the most part, yes. A lot of people are aware that I do different things beyond pop music, or whatever you want to call it. But, yes, there are other people I run into, and all they know are a few Talking Heads hits. There were times when that would’ve annoyed me like, “My life is a little bit more than that. I like those songs, too, but my life is more than something I did quite a number of years ago. It’s a little, tiny sliver of what I did.” But that’s fine, too.
Byrne went on to specifically address a potential reunion, “For those contemplating doing a little bit of what I do, that kind of variety of things, I would say you need to be ever-vigilant. For example, a Talking Heads reunion might be incredibly successful for a specific generation, or maybe for many generations. It would make me a lot of money and get a lot of attention. It would also probably be quite a number of steps backwards as far as being perceived as someone who does a lot of different things. For that reason, I feel like I have to sacrifice something, whether it’s money or name recognition or whatever, in order to be able to do a little bit more of what I’d want to do.” David put the dagger in the hearts of those hoping to see Talking Heads live someday by ending with “you can’t have it all.” That said, you never know what can happen as no one expected The Police to reunite or Slash and Axl to put their drama behind them.