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David Byrne's Quotes

David Byrne profile photo

Born: 1952-05-14
Profession: Musician
Nation: Scottish
Biography of David Byrne

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Everything's intentional. It's just filling in the dots.

Tags: Dots, Filling

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

Tags: Beautiful, Frank, Functional

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

Tags: Deal, Everyday, Grand

I came to New York to be a fine artist - that was my ambition.

Tags: Ambition, Artist, Fine

I couldn't take pictures of green rolling hills.

Tags: Green, Pictures, Rolling

I couldn't talk to people face to face, so I got on stage and started screaming and squealing and twitching.

Tags: Face, Started, Talk

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

Tags: Plan, Started, Writing

I do seem to like to combine the dramatic emotional warmth of strings with the grooves and body business of drums and bass.

Tags: Body, Business, Emotional

I don't like begging money from producers.

Tags: Begging, Money, Producers

I don't listen to the radio very much, but that could be because I don't have a car.

Tags: Car, Listen, Radio

I find rebellion packaged by a major corporation a little hard to take seriously.

Tags: Hard, Rebellion, Seriously

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

Tags: Beyond, Imagining, Trouble

I knew I wanted to have a doll of myself on the cover. I thought, I wanna see myself as a Ken doll.

Tags: Knew, Thought, Wanted

I love getting out of my comfort zone.

Tags: Comfort, Getting, Love

I never listen to the radio unless I rent a car.

Tags: Car, Listen, Unless

I read the NY Times but I don't trust all of it.

Tags: Read, Times, Trust

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

Tags: Less, Works, Worse

I subscribe to the myth that an artist's creativity comes from torment. Once that's fixed, what do you draw on?

Tags: Artist, Creativity, Once

I think I had a mild case of Asperger's as a younger guy, but that typically just wears off after a while.

Tags: After, Off, While

I think sometimes - not always - I write songs that are accessible.

Tags: Sometimes, Songs, Write

I try never to wear my own clothes, I pretend I'm someone else.

Tags: Else, Someone, Try

I'm afraid that everything will get homogenized and be the same.

Tags: Afraid

I'm concerned that my technical skills have advanced to the point where I can get closer to what I'm aiming for, which is not such a good thing.

Tags: Concerned, Good, Point

I'm guarded; I don't talk much.

Tags: Guarded, Talk

I'm no Lance Armstrong, but I do use a bike to get from place to place in Manhattan, a little bit of Brooklyn.

Tags: Bike, Bit, Place

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

Tags: Apart, Breaking, Making
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I've been in beautiful landscapes where one is tempted to whip out a camera and take a picture. I've learned to resist that.

Tags: Beautiful, Learned, Picture

I've got nothing to say most of the time.

Tags: Time

I've never had writer's block.

Tags: Block, Writer

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.

Tags: Become, Getting, Talking

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

Tags: Music, Seen, Used

If anything, a lot of electronic music is music that no one listens to at home, hardly. It's really only to be heard when everyone's out enjoying it.

Tags: Everyone, Home, Music

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

Tags: Last, Music, Occur

It seems almost backwards to me that my music seems the more emotional outlet, and the art stuff seems more about ideas.

Tags: Art, Emotional, Music

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

Tags: Happy, Marriage, Wanted

Life tends to be an accumulation of a lot of mundane decisions, which often gets ignored.

Tags: Decisions, Life, Often

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

Tags: Exciting, Lives, Small

One of the benefits of playing to small audiences in small clubs for a few years is that you're allowed to fail.

Tags: Few, Playing, Small

People hear about stuff from their friends or a magazine or a newspaper.

Tags: Friends, Hear, Stuff

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.

Tags: America, Hate, Love

People use irony as a defense mechanism.

Tags: Defense, Irony, Mechanism

Physical contact is a human necessity.

Tags: Human, Necessity, Physical

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.

Tags: Another, Knows, May

Punk was defined by an attitude rather than a musical style.

Tags: Attitude, Punk, Rather

Real beauty knocks you a little bit off kilter.

Tags: Beauty, Off, Real

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

Tags: Confining, Software, Used

Sometimes I write stuff that strangely predicts what's going to happen in my life.

Tags: Happen, Life, Sometimes

Suburban houses and tin sheds are often the objects of ridicule.

Tags: Houses, Often, Ridicule

The arts don't exist in isolation.

Tags: Arts, Exist, Isolation

The assumption is that your personal life has to be a mess to create, but how much chaos can you allow in before it takes over?

Tags: Chaos, Life, Personal

The Heads were the only band on that scene that had a groove.

Tags: Band, Groove, Scene

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

Tags: Good, Music, Popular

The making of music is profoundly affected by the market.

Tags: Making, Market, Music

The wage for most musicians is a modest amount, and that includes me some of the time.

Tags: Modest, Musicians, Time

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

Tags: Love, Plenty

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

Tags: Good, Music

We don't make music - it makes us.

Tags: Makes, Music

We live in ugly times.

Tags: Times, Ugly

We tend to mistake music for the physical object.

Tags: Mistake, Music, Physical

When we started, a lot of bands sounded really different from one another.

Tags: Another, Bands, Started

Why not invest in the future of music, instead of building fortresses to preserve its past?

Tags: Future, Music, Past

Yeah, it's pretty hard not to be completely cynical these days.

Tags: Days, Hard, Pretty

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

Tags: Car, Enjoy, Riding

You create a community with music, not just at concerts but by talking about it with your friends.

Tags: Friends, Music, Talking

I try to devote my afternoons to making music in my home studio, but it's a lot more fun hanging out with musicians and friends, and trying subtly to influence a band than making your own stuff.

Tags: Fun, Home, Music

Do I wear a helmet? Ugh. I do when I'm riding through a precarious part of town, meaning Midtown traffic. But when I'm riding on secure protected lanes or on the paths that run along the Hudson or through Central Park - no, I don't wear the dreaded helmet then.

Tags: Along, Meaning, Run

From what I've heard, Paris did a little bit more prep work as far as making bike lanes and all of that stuff. They really did it properly, which New York is getting to little by little.

Tags: Far, Making, Work

I don't think people are going to switch over to bikes because it's good for them or because it's politically correct. They're going to do it because it gets them from A to B faster.

Tags: Bikes, Correct, Good

I'm not suggesting people abandon musical instruments and start playing their cars and apartments, but I do think the reign of music as a commodity made only by professionals might be winding down.

Tags: Music, Playing, Start

I've been asking myself: 'Why put together these things - CDs, albums?' The answer I came up with is, well, sometimes it's artistically viable. It's not just a random collection of songs. Sometimes the songs have a common thread, even if it's not obvious or even conscious on the artists' part.

Tags: Put, Together, Why

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.

Tags: Fear, Moving, Music

I've rarely kept my distance from kind of - I don't know if we can call it politics, but kind of, civic engagement and that kind of thing, except I tended to think, 'Well, do it yourself before you start telling other people what they should be doing.'

Tags: Politics, Start, Yourself

It's a fundamental, social attitude that the 1% supports symphonies and operas and doesn't support Johnny learning to program hip-hop beats. When I put it like that, it sounds like, 'Well, yeah,' but you start to think, 'Why not, though?' What makes one more valuable than another?

Tags: Attitude, Learning, Why

Ninety percent of all music is always crap, and when too many people decide they're going to have guitar bands, then ninety percent of them are going to be crap. It's just a given law.

Tags: Guitar, Law, Music

People are already finding ways to make their music and play it in front of people and have a life in music, I guess, and I think that's pretty much all you can ask.

Tags: Life, Music, Pretty

Probably the reason it's a little hard to break away from the album format completely is, if you're getting a band together in the studio, it makes financial sense to do more than one song at a time. And it makes more sense, if you're going to all the effort of performing and doing whatever else, if there's a kind of bundle.

Tags: Hard, Time, Together

So there's no guarantee if you like the music you will empathize with the culture and the people who made it. It doesn't necessarily happen. I think it can, but it doesn't necessarily happen. Which is kind of a shame.

Tags: Culture, Happen, Music

Television sounded really different than the Ramones sounded really different than us sounded really different than Blondie sounded really different than the Sex Pistols.

Tags: Ramones, Sex, Television

There's a certain amount of freedom involved in cycling: you're self-propelled and decide exactly where to go. If you see something that catches your eye to the left, you can veer off there, which isn't so easy in a car, and you can't cover as much ground walking.

Tags: Car, Easy, Freedom

There's something about music that encourages people to want to know more about the person that made it, and where it was recorded, what year it was done, what they were listening to, and all this kind of stuff. There's something that invites all this obsessive behavior.

Tags: Done, Music, Year

Well, Marx is having a comeback. I hear him mentioned a lot in terms of the global financial situation and the general sense of injustice out there. A lot of economic experts in America refer to him without actually using the M word, but he's around.

Tags: America, Him, Sense

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.

Tags: Anybody, Home, Whatever

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.

Tags: Feeling, Good, Understand

Sometimes it's a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence.

Tags: Love, Sometimes, Talk

When things get so absurd and so stupid and so ridiculous that you just can't bear it, you cannot help but turn everything into a joke.

Tags: Cannot, Help, Stupid

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

Tags: Death, True, Try

To shake your rump is to be environmentally aware.

Tags: Aware, Rump, Shake

My favorite time of day is to get up and eat leftovers from dinner, especially spicy food.

Tags: Eat, Food, Time

I found music to be the therapy of choice.

Tags: Choice, Found, Music

Cycling is a joy and faster than many other modes of transport, depending on the time of day. It clears the head.

Tags: Head, Joy, Time

Having unlimited choices can paralyze you creatively.

Tags: Choices, Paralyze, Unlimited

The voting booth joint is a great leveler; the whole neighborhood - rich, poor, old, young, decrepit and spunky - they all turn out in one day.

Tags: Great, Rich, Young

To some extent I happily don't know what I'm doing. I feel that it's an artist's responsibility to trust that.

Tags: Artist, Happily, Trust

I am an immigrant with a Green Card and, therefore, I am not eligible to vote in a federal election.

Tags: Election, Green, Vote

I like to combine the dramatic emotional warmth of strings with the grooves and body business of drums and bass.

Tags: Body, Business, Emotional

I wanted to be a secret agent and an astronaut, preferably at the same time.

Tags: Secret, Time, Wanted

I'd like to be known for more than being the guy in the big suit.

Tags: Big, Guy, Known

I'm afraid that reason will triumph and that the world will become a place where anyone who doesn't fit that will become unnecessary.

Tags: Afraid, Become, Place

Obviously, you go through a lot of emotional turmoil in a divorce.

Tags: Divorce, Emotional, Turmoil

That's the one for my tombstone... Here lies David Byrne. Why the big suit?

Tags: Big, Here, Why
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