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 Home is where I want to be
Home is where I want to be
1986 - Two Heads Talking PDF Print E-mail
Written by Timothy Leary   

David Byrne in conversation with Timothy Leary

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 Kasuitt
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 Kasuitt 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?

DB: No.

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.

 

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