Josh Hitchens interviews David Lynch at The Believer:
JH: What was Philadelphia like when you first arrived?
DL: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was…a hellhole. It was filled with fear, and corruption, and it was filthy, there was soot on the buildings and there was a lot of kind of insanity and a feeling in the air that was very uneasy. But it was the greatest place for me, and I just loved it. And it was my biggest inspiration, this city of Philadelphia.
JH: What do you think it was about the atmosphere of Philadelphia at the time that became so inspiring for you and your work?
DL: Just what I said. The way the buildings were, the mood of the place, all these things feed into us, and our environment affects us a lot, and it sort of crept into me and like I said it made a huge impression and influence. And I always say – people say, “what was your greatest influence” and I always say, “the city of Philadelphia.” It a unique city.