In a new interview, David Byrne discussed the oft-rumored reunion of his iconic band Talking Heads, saying that the group getting back together would be a step backwards for him and that, while it could be successful, it would have the potential to limit him artistically. Talking Heads last shared the stage for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2002 after breaking up in 1991.
While talking to The Creative Independent (via NME), Byrne talked about his constant urge to engage in new projects, including his most recent, an interactive art collaboration with Mala Gaonkar called The Institute Presents: Neurosociety and a new Joan of Arc-inspired musical expected this year. The singer connected this passion to his reticence at a possible Talking Heads reunion, saying that it would “probably be quite a number of steps backwards” for him.
“[A] Talking Heads reunion might be incredibly successful for a specific generation, or maybe for many generations,” Byrne admits in the interview. “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.”
Byrne also concedes that he would be giving up some things in turning down the reunion idea: “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.”
Watch Byrne join Questlove and The Roots for Talking Heads’ “Born Under Punches“ at The Roots’ New York Picnic in fall 2016 below.