David Byrne Opens Up on His Behavior After Talking Heads’ Breakup

During a new interview with People, Talking Heads vocalist David Byrne discussed how he handled the breakup of the Talking Heads. “I think [the end] wasn’t handled well. It was kind of ugly,” Byrne told the publication.

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Talking Heads disbanded in 1991, and in 1992, drummer Chris Frantz expressed his shock and frustration over Byrne leaving the band. “We were shocked to find out about (Byrne’s departure) via the Los Angeles Times,” Frantz told the outlet. “As far as we’re concerned, the band never really broke up. David just decided to leave.”

[RELATED: Talking Heads Reunite for First Time in 21 Years for Screening of ‘Stop Making Sense’]

“As a younger person, I was not as pleasant to be around. When I was working on some Talking Heads shows, I was more of a little tyrant,” Byrne told People. “And then I learned to relax, and I also learned that collaborating with people, both sides get more if there’s a good relationship instead of me telling everybody what to do.

“I have regrets on how that was handled. I don’t think I did it in the best way, but I think it was inevitable that would happen anyway. We have a cordial relationship now,” Byrne continued. “We’re sort of in touch, but we don’t hang out together.”

Talking Heads will reunite for the first time in 21 years at a live Q&A moderated by film director Spike Lee. The Q&A will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Stop Making Sense, a documentary directed by Jonathan Demme that showcases a Talking Heads concert at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in 1983.

A24 is rereleasing Stop Making Sense in theaters on September 22. The film, originally released on October 18, 1984, has been remastered in 4K. Byrne also opened up to People about his experience rewatching the concert film.

“My voice is still in good shape, but there’s one backwards jump that I do, and I go, ‘How in the world did you do that?’ [But] I’m curious,” Byrne said. “I’m hopeful that a wider, younger audience will get to see this and see what we’ve done. I’m optimistic that it’s going to reach a different audience that wasn’t aware of a lot of this stuff.”

Photo: Jody Rogac / Courtesy of Grandstand Media

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