“I can never quit the band again…”

LCD Soundsys­tem’s James Mur­phy talks to Vic­to­ria Se­gal.

Mojo (UK) - - News -

You re­fer to “the Leonards and the Lous” on Call The Po­lice – what was their place on this record? “So much of the record was be­ing made dur­ing a pe­riod when a lot of peo­ple that I really ad­mire died. I was work­ing on a piece for the record a long time ago and I was like: It would be really great if Lou Reed could come in on this, but Lou Reed’s gone and it’s fuck­ing heart­break­ing. And I was think­ing, What about Leonard Co­hen? And then he died – I mean, that week. So no, I don’t want to ask any­one who’s not in 100 per cent tip-top shape be­cause I feel like it’s cursed. It feels like it’s just go­ing to start rain­ing peo­ple I care about – it’s go­ing to get worse be­fore it gets better.”

You stepped out of work­ing with David Bowie – do you now re­gret that? “I don’t think about things in that way. It’s not that I don’t care, but I don’t feel re­gret be­cause it still doesn’t feel real that that was a pos­si­bil­ity. Do­ing any­thing with David Bowie – even just be­ing able to e-mail David Bowie – was one of the more un­real things in my life. It seems pre­pos­ter­ous, equally pre­pos­ter­ous as it would have seemed to me as a teenager. Pos­si­bly more pre­pos­ter­ous now. Back then, I might have been: I bet I could write a let­ter to Lou Reed and he would want to do some­thing.”

How does all this mor­tal­ity con­nect to the line “I never re­alised that these artists thought so much about dy­ing” on Tonite? “When I take a taxi in New York is about the only time that I hear the ra­dio. There was a pro­lif­er­a­tion of songs that were like, ‘We’ve only got one night’, and ev­ery­one’s an­swer to that is, ‘We should drink a bunch of vodka and Red Bull!’ If you only have one night, should you sleep with this creepy guy who wants to get you loaded? If I only had one night, there’s a lot of shit that I would like to get done that is not be­ing in some gi­ant su­per­club drink­ing cham­pagne with a sparkler in it. It seems like a really sad use of the aware­ness of your mor­tal­ity. Like, ‘Let’s do the most inane, mun­dane shit that you should only do if you were def­i­nitely not dy­ing tonight.’”

Have you got an es­cape route if you de­cide to end LCD Soundsys­tem again? “I can never quit the band again; you can only cry wolf once. If I ever stop do­ing the band, it just has to be that we aren’t do­ing it. Af­ter a few years peo­ple say, ‘You haven’t done a record in a while’, and you say, Oh, we’re just do­ing other things for now. And maybe, at some point, that’s just how it is for the rest of your life. Like you go to the cor­ner for a gal­lon of milk and you never come back.”

James Mur­phy, aware of his mor­tal­ity.

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