David Byrne Thinks Talking Heads Reunion Would Be ‘A Number Of Steps Backwards’

Fans of the seminal New York band Talking Heads have been waiting a long time to see if David Byrne would ever agree to a reunion. The Talking Heads formed in 1977 during the New York CBGB-era and the band released eight records before they went their separate ways in 1991.

Talking Heads fans were last able to see the band perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which was held in 2002. Since then, many have held a strong belief that one day they would reform. However, in a new interview, David Byrne has suggested that a Talking Heads reunion may not be something that will be happening soon.

David Byrne recently spoke with The Creative Independent and suggested that while Talking Heads would stand to make a good amount of money if there was a reunion, he also felt that it might be a step backwards in terms of the different projects that he was involved with now.

“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.”

Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, David Byrne and Jerry Harrison Talking Heads at a rehearsal in New York on March 16, 2002. Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, David Byrne and Jerry Harrison Talking Heads at a rehearsal in New York on March 16, 2002. [Image by Chad Rachman/AP Images]

David Byrne continued by saying that in his career as an artist there is always something which must be sacrificed, and that nobody can have it all.

“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. In other words, you can’t have it all.”

In May, 2016, there had been rumors that there was an inevitable Talking Heads reunion, as Gigwise had reported. Gigwise were citing Media Mass as claiming that the band may have “as many as eight songs having been put to tape.”

“There have been strong rumors that the rock band is finally returning to the recording studio working on a what might be a back-to-roots album. It’s still in the early stages. They have got security on the doors to ensure no-one hears a whisper. Talking Heads are rumored to be planning a worldwide tour at the end of 2017.”

However, when Louder Than War asked Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz whether the rumor of a reunion was true, Frantz replied, “I wish it were true. It should be happening, but David Byrne is holding out.”

In 2012, after the Talking Heads’ Chronology DVD was released, Chris Frantz was also asked in an interview if the band would ever reunite, and he also said at that time that he hoped David Byrne would agree to a reunion.

“I’m not holding my breath but I still have my hopes that maybe someday David will call and say, ‘You know, I should give Chris and Tina and Jerry a call and do something with them.’ And why not, you know? We make a pretty good team.”

Other members of Talking Heads have also expressed their desire to reunite, with both Jerry Harrison and Tina Weymouth agreeing with Chris Frantz’s wishes.

David Byrne sitting in the 'David Byrne Reading Lounge' at the Meltdown Festival launch at Southbank Centre on August 17, 2015 in London, England.
David Byrne sitting in the 'David Byrne Reading Lounge' at the Meltdown Festival launch at Southbank Centre on August 17, 2015 in London, England. [Image by Ian Gavan/Getty Images]

David Byrne, the ex-Talking Heads frontman, is exceptionally busy these days and will debut his new musical piece on the subject matter of Joan of Arc at New York’s Public Theater, according to Fact Magazine. Byrne also has a “large scale immersive art piece” known as “The Institute Presents: Neurosociety,” which is a collaboration he has worked on with Mala Gaonkar, which opened on December 20, 2016, at Pace Gallery’s Menlo Park branch.

How do you feel about a Talking Heads reunion and do you ever envision that David Byrne will one day agree to reform the band or even record a few new songs as a group?

[Featured Image by Ed Betz/AP Images]