Michael Archer interviews David Byrne in Guernica:
Setting Imelda Marcos’s life to music—dance beats, no less—seems a perfectly mainstream concept coming from David Byrne. After all, this is a man who placed an old pump organ inside the Great Hall of the Battery Maritime Building in New York City and used hoses to connect it to pumps and motors set throughout the century-old former ferry terminal, so that when visitors pushed the organ’s keys they were “Playing the Building,” the project’s name. Still, a musical version of the former Phillippine First Lady’s life will likely raise some eyebrows. But beyond that, it’s also a potential new business model for the record industry. How so? By creating a musical biography of Marcos, one with a specific narrative thread, Byrne hopes to drum up demand not just for the catchiest of the songs, but the entire arc of the CD collection.
Here Lies Love, in which Byrne, 57, collaborates with Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook) to chronicle the rise and fall of Marcos and her relationship with former servant Estrella Cumpas, seems a perfectly logical progression for the frontman and principle song writer for the legendary Talking Heads, the influential band that placed four albums on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Throughout his career, Byrne has collaborated with musicians as varied as Selena, members of Devo, and Luaka Bop. His world music label has released work from Os Mutantes, the Brazilian psychedelic rock band, and the Belgian group Zap Mama.
More here. [I wrote about Here Lies Love here.]