Famous Quotes & Sayings

David Byrne Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by David Byrne.

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Most of our lives aren't that exciting, but the drama is still going on in the small details. — David Byrne

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I have trouble imagining what I could do that's beyond the practicality of what I can do. — David Byrne

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Frank Lloyd Wright ... his things were beautiful but not very functional. — David Byrne

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Music written by teams makes the authorship of a piece indistinct. Could it be that when hearing a song written by a team, a listener can sense that they aren't hearing an expression of a solitary individual's pain or joy, but that of a virtual conjoined person? Can we tell that an individual singer might actually represent a collective, that he might have multiple identities? Does that make the sentiments expressed more poetically universal? Dan eliminating some portion of the authorial voice make a piece of music more accessible and the singer more empathetic? — David Byrne

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Performers had to be transparent. Diva behavior was rendered difficult or impractical - the physical situation would have made it look silly. The performers were obliged to interact and mingle with their audience. — David Byrne

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As everything becomes digitized, there's the idea that things that can't be digitized become more valuable. — David Byrne

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People will do odd things if you give them money ... — David Byrne

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And echoes to my singing. More sounds went on - an arc-like melody created using an echo machine, and then a guitar solo at the end that was made by selecting fragments from a number of improvised solos. Finally, I sang the song after jogging in the studio, because for some reason I wanted to sound out of breath. Of course, I was singing the same words and melody as I had been on the earlier, straighter, version of the song, but now to a vastly altered musical track - a fact that also affected how I sang. The song, as it was released, — David Byrne

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I'm very much into making lists and breaking things apart into categories. — David Byrne

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People in Latin America ... love America from afar and emulate America in some ways but also hate a lot of things that America does to them. — David Byrne

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Simplicity is a kind of transparency in which subtle nuances can have outsize effects. — David Byrne

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Yeah, I like to keep myself interested - I'll kind of throw myself into some area that I don't completely know or understand, that I'm not adept at, so I'm forced to swim in order to stay afloat. There's a good feeling that comes from that. — David Byrne

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The online music magazine Pitchfork once wrote that I would collaborate with anyone for a bag of Doritos. — David Byrne

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We do express our emotions, our reactions to events, breakups and infatuations, but the way we do that - the art of it - is in putting them into prescribed forms or squeezing them into new forms that perfectly fit some emerging context. That's part of the creative process, and we do it instinctively; we internalize it, like birds do. And it's a joy to sing, like the birds do. — David Byrne

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There's a biological basis for music, and that biological basis is the similarity between music and speech," said Purves. "That's the reason we like music. Music is far more complex than [the ratios of] Pythagoras. The reason doesn't have to do with mathematics, it has to do with biology. — David Byrne

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I can't deny that label-support gave me a leg up - though not every successful artist needs it. — David Byrne

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The true face of smoking is disease, death and horror - not the glamour and sophistication the pushers in the tobacco industry try to portray. — David Byrne

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I found music to be the therapy of choice. I guess it is for a lot of people. — David Byrne

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Interviewer: If I gave you fifty dollars, right now, what would you do with it?David Byrne: I would get something to eat. — David Byrne

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When everything is visible and appears to be dumb, that's when the details take on larger meanings. — David Byrne

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People are renovating places and opening ambitious new venues. That's one thing that music does. It gets people out of their houses, and gets them hanging out together. — David Byrne

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Performing is a thing in itself, a distinct skill, different from making recordings. And for those who can do it, it's a way to make a living. — David Byrne

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Yeah, anybody can go in with two turntables and a microphone or a home studio sampler and a little cassette deck or whatever and make records in their bedrooms. — David Byrne

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In retrospect, I can see I couldn't talk to people face to face, so I got on stage and started screaming and squealing and twitching about. Ha! Like, that sure made sense! — David Byrne

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I'm not all about money, but, like most musicians, I am about survival. — David Byrne

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I encourage people not to be passive consumers of music and of culture in general. And feeling like, yeah, you can enjoy the products of professionals, but that doesn't mean you don't have to completely give up the reins and give up every connection to music or whatever it happens to be. — David Byrne

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Cycling can be lonely, but in a good way. It gives you a moment to breathe and think, and get away from what you're working on. — David Byrne

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We are like the birds. We adapt. We sing. — David Byrne

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It was a uniform that signified that one was a kind of downtown aesthete; not necessarily nihilistic, but a monk in the bohemian order. — David Byrne

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Software constraints are only confining if you use them for what they're intended to be used for. — David Byrne

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I try to write about small things. Paper, animals, a house ... love is kind of big. I have written a love song, though. In this film, I sing it to a lamp. — David Byrne

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I don't believe that crime, danger and poverty make for good art. That's bullshit. — David Byrne

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The better a singer's voice, the harder it is to believe what they're saying. — David Byrne

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When I was in high school, there were these British blues-rock-type bands with really good guitar players that would jam on one song for half an hour. And as much as I was amazed by some of those guitar players, seeing them prompted me to make a note that that's not something I could do. — David Byrne

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Years ago
I was an angry young man
I'd pretend
that I was a billboard
standing tall
by the side of the road
I fell in love
with the beautiful highway — David Byrne

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When you fall in love, you feel like a missing piece of a puzzle that's been found. — David Byrne

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There's more good music being made now than ever before. — David Byrne

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Body odor is the window to the soul. — David Byrne

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What's been missing from digital music sales has been the possibility of added depth. In a printed package one can only include so many images and so much text - for example - but digitally it's wide open. For the most part at the moment we get less information for slightly less money - though we could be getting a lot more. — David Byrne

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I've noticed a lot of younger artists have less fear of doing different sorts of things, whether it's various types of music, or gallery artists moving between video and sculpture and drawing. — David Byrne

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Real beauty knocks you a little bit off kilter. — David Byrne

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Personally, being somewhat envious of Richard's (Thompson) songwriting and guitar playing, it's somewhat satisfying he's not yet achieved household-name status. It serves him right for being so good. — David Byrne

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Music resonates in so many parts of the brain that we can't conceive of it being an isolated thing. It's whom you were with, how old you were, and what was happening that day. — David Byrne

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The arts don't exist in isolation. — David Byrne

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Creative work is more accurately a machine that digs down and finds stuff, emotional stuff that will someday be raw material that can be used to produce more stuff, stuff like itself - clay to be available for future use. — David Byrne

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We tend to mistake music for the physical object. — David Byrne

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I resent the implication that I'm less of a musician and a worse person for not appreciating certain works. — David Byrne

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Artists are notoriously snooty and suspicious of anything coming from the business community. — David Byrne

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There are plenty of people who are, I think, completely racist who love hip-hop. — David Byrne

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A bike is the world's most used form of transportation — David Byrne

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Powerpoint presentations are a kind of theater, a kind of augmented stand-up. Too often it's a boring and tedious genre, and audiences are subjected to the bad as well as the good. — David Byrne

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It's not always been a happy marriage. I guess I wanted a quick fix. — David Byrne

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A little touch of chaos and danger makes a city sexy. — David Byrne

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I've rarely seen video screens used well in a music concert. — David Byrne

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Occasionally, I hanker for the time when I sold more records, but I don't sit and drool about it. When I do look at early footage of Talking Heads, I realise I was just a wreck. — David Byrne

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You can know or not know how a car runs and still enjoy riding in a car. — David Byrne

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We don't make music - it makes us. — David Byrne

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I wave to the double-decker buses from my bike, but the passengers never wave back. Why? Am I not an attraction? — David Byrne

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This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around. — David Byrne

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Punk ... was more a kind of do-it-yourself, anyone-can-do-it attitude. If you only played two notes on the guitar, you could figure out a way to make a song out of that, and that's what it was all about. — David Byrne

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Crime is a job. Sex is a job. Growing up is a job. School is a job. Going to parties is a job. Religion is a job. Being creative is a job — David Byrne

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I really enjoy forgetting. When I first come to a place, I notice all the little details. I notice the way the sky looks. The color of white paper. The way people walk. Doorknobs. Everything. Then I get used to the place and I don't notice those things anymore. So only by forgetting can I see the place again as it really is. — David Byrne

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With the advent of recorded music in 1878, the nature of the places in which music was heard changed. — David Byrne

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PowerPoint may not be of any use for you in a presentation, but it may liberate you in another way, an artistic way. Who knows. — David Byrne

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People use irony as a defense mechanism. — David Byrne

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I always think the everyday is more relevant than anything too grand because we all have to deal with it. — David Byrne

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You may say to yourself: "Well, how did I get here? — David Byrne

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On a bike, being just slightly above pedestrian and car eye level, one gets a perfect view of the goings-on in one's own town. — David Byrne

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Stop making sense — David Byrne

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You go to a festival, you know you're not going to play all new material at a festival. The audience is not there for that. I've made that mistake, but you find out pretty quickly. — David Byrne

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Before recording technology existed, you could not separate music from its social context. — David Byrne

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My opinion is that somebody certainly has the right to do cartoons that make fun of somebody else's religion. But to reprint them just to provoke a fight and just to provoke it like thumbing your nose at someone else and going, What are you gonna do about it? — David Byrne

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There's a pervasive feeling that when somebody sings a song and records a song on a record, that it's their true feeling. — David Byrne

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I've noticed that when I am selling a lot of records, certain things become easier. I'm not talking about getting a table in a restaurant. — David Byrne

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Another Elvis will not come along. He got wasted, but it's alright. — David Byrne

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London's tempo is 122.86 beats per minute. — David Byrne

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A dissection of music perception and creation that starts slowly and inexorably builds to a grand finish. I loved reading that listening to music coordinates more disparate parts of the brain than almost anything else
and playing music uses even more! Despite illuminating a lot of what goes on this book doesn't "spoil" enjoyment- it only deepens the beautiful mystery that is music. — David Byrne

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As I define it, rock and roll is dead. The attitude isn't dead, but the music is no longer vital. It doesn't have the same meaning. The attitude, though, is still very much alive - and it still informs other kinds of music. — David Byrne

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The most common music that you hear anywhere in the world now basically has its roots in that union that happened in the last century, or in the century before that. That kind of music that's groove or beat oriented just didn't exist in lots of cultures before that. — David Byrne

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I ride my bike almost every day here in New York. It's getting safer to do so, but I do have to be fairly alert when riding on the streets as opposed to riding on the Hudson River bike path or similar protected lanes. — David Byrne

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I remember talking with Arcade Fire after their first record, when they were getting all kinds of offers from major labels, and I don't think I gave them any advice. They survived that whole onslaught pretty well anyway without me. — David Byrne

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Complete freedom is as much curse as boon; freedom within strict and well-defined confines is, to me, ideal. — David Byrne

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In the early days, I might have gotten on stage and begun to sing as a desperate attempt to communicate, but now I found that singing was both a physical and emotional joy. It was sensuous, a pure pleasure, which didn't take away from the emotions being expressed - even if they were melancholic. Music can do that; you can enjoy singing about something sad. — David Byrne

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The world isn't logical, it's a song, — David Byrne

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There is water at the bottom of the ocean. — David Byrne

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My take is that the kind of complexity which says we can always generate complexity from simple interactions following for example rules. — David Byrne

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Where music is heard can determine the sort of music created by the artists who perform there. — David Byrne

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It didn't even occur to me that I'm the last person in the world who should play salsa or Brazilian music. — David Byrne

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I didn't have any agenda or plan when I started writing stuff. — David Byrne

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With a lot of what we take to be true feelings, especially on pop records, we feel them because they're cleverly crafted. And because the words are written by somebody who knows how to craft words and draw on those things and convey those feelings. That doesn't mean they're dishonest. But it also doesn't mean that it's all just pure primitive emotion spilling out. — David Byrne

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I think I had a mild case of Asperger's as a younger guy, but that typically just wears off after a while. For some people, anyway. — David Byrne

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One forgets that part of one's performance is one's history - or sometimes the lack of it. You're playing against what an audience knows, what they expect. This seems to be true of all performers; there's baggage that gets carried into the venue that we can't see. — David Byrne

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Schools are for training people how to listen to other people. — David Byrne

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Around 1900, according to music writer Alex Ross, classical audiences were no longer allowed to shout, eat, and chat during a performance.2 One was expected to sit immobile and listen with rapt attention. Ross hints that this was a way of keeping the hoi polloi out of the new symphony halls and opera houses. — David Byrne

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Some folks believe that hardship breeds artistic creativity. I don't buy it. One can put up with poverty for a while when one is young, but it will inevitably wear a person down. — David Byrne

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Maybe every city has a unique sensibility, but we don't have names for what they are or haven't identified them all. We can't pinpoint exactly what makes each city's people unique yet. — David Byrne

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With music, you often don't have to translate it. It just affects you, and you don't know why. — David Byrne

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The imminent demise of the large record companies as gatekeepers of the world's popular music is a good thing, for the most part. — David Byrne

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A lot of that worked itself out in the recording. — David Byrne

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Some things, I feel like no, I never could have the depth of experience of their own music and culture - but sometimes if I'm collaborating with somebody, they're interested in me bringing my own stuff into their thing, and sometimes that works. — David Byrne