David Du­chovny wants you to be­lieve in his new project

The Washington Post Sunday - - ARTS & STYLE - BY ROGER CATLIN style@wash­post.com David Du­chovny Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Birch­mere, 3701 Mount Ver­non Ave., Alexandria. Tick­ets: $35. 703-549-7500. birch­mere.com.

Add David Du­chovny to the long list of ac­tors who have used their fame to be­come gig­ging mu­si­cians. The New York na­tive best known for his role as the brood­ing Fox Mul­der on “The X­Files” or bac­cha­na­lian Hank Moody on “Cal­i­for­ni­ca­tion,” Du­chovny re­leased his first al­bum, “Hell or High­wa­ter,” last year.

A lit­er­a­ture ma­jor with de­grees from Prince­ton and Yale, Du­chovny, 56, found it easy to match po­etry he had been writ­ing to the mu­sic he was just learn­ing on gui­tar. He also writes prose, hav­ing pub­lished two suc­cess­ful nov­els and ready­ing a third.

Fol­low­ing a short in­au­gu­ral Euro­pean tour, Du­chovny and his band will make their Birch­mere de­but Feb. 26. We spoke to the ac­tor­mu­si­cian re­cently while he was en route to his first U.S. tour date in San Diego. Q: What brought you to mu­sic this late in your ca­reer? A: I’ve al­ways loved mu­sic, and it was just some­thing where I had a lot of down time. I al­ways told my­self I was al­ways go­ing to learn gui­tar at some point, and I fi­nally did. I’m in my trailer so long. As an ac­tor, you sit on your hands for three hours and then you act for 10 min­utes. That’s just the na­ture of it. So while I wait, why don’t I learn gui­tar, be­cause that will make me happy to be able to play mu­sic and lis­ten to it. It kind of or­gan­i­cally grew from just know­ing a gui­tar well enough to throw some chords to­gether, and then put­ting some melodies over those chords. I guess the lyrics came most eas­ily be­cause I’ve al­ways writ­ten words. So be­fore I knew it, I was put­ting songs to­gether. Q: Are peo­ple skep­ti­cal of this new di­rec­tion? A: Sure. We only have so much room in our brains for other peo­ple. So peo­ple think of me a cer­tain way. If they don’t think of me as “X-Files,” they think of me as “Cal­i­for­ni­ca­tion,” or they maybe think of me from some other movie. But that’s prob­a­bly as much as they care to think about me. So if I come and tell them I’m a singer as well, yeah, maybe they don’t want to think about that.

But cer­tainly, there are some other ex­am­ples of ac­tors who make mu­sic. I don’t judge it cat­e­gor­i­cally. I think mu­sic, of all the arts, is re­ally the most un­prej­u­diced. Your ears are not look­ing at any­thing; you’re just lis­ten­ing. And you ei­ther like the mu­sic or you don’t. I’m fine with that. Not every­body’s go­ing to like it. Not every­body’s go­ing to hate it. I’m mak­ing mu­sic for my­self and for those who might get some­thing out of it as well. Q: What mu­sic got you in­spired enough to pick up a gui­tar? A: I’m a pretty much a child of the late ’60s. I had an older brother who kind of de­fined my mu­sic taste, be­cause he had enough money to buy al­bums, and he had a record player. So he was the DJ of the house. So I would say my tastes were re­ally formed by ’60s mu­sic. You know, the Bri­tish In­va­sion, Bea­tles, Stones, Kinks, Who, Zep­pelin … And then when I got $4 in my pocket to buy an al­bum, I went a lit­tle softer than my brother. I was kind of into El­ton John, then I went to Steely Dan. I was into Yes, like, prog-rock for a while. I also liked funk. Af­ter that, Bowie, Lou Reed, so I was kind of all over the place … I do like the singer-song­writ­ers as well. Q: Do you see your­self in that tra­di­tion? A: I guess if I have to see my­self in that tra­di­tion. I’m a guy who’s writ­ing songs on a gui­tar. I guess that’s a singer-song­writer. Q: Do you think mu­sic is some­thing you will con­tinue to do? It’s not a phase? A: I don’t think it’s a phase. It’s def­i­nitely like a new door that I opened later in my cre­ative life. It just seems fer­tile for me. It’s been an in­ter­est­ing way to ex­press my­self and con­nect in ways that the other things that I’ve done don’t. Q: Who do you see in your au­di­ences? Fans of your act­ing? A: I imag­ine they are. I’m not vain enough to think they’re com­ing out be­cause they know the mu­sic. It’s hard to make an im­pres­sion in the mu­sic busi­ness. Es­pe­cially be­cause I don’t think my stuff is ex­actly what’s ra­dio friendly right now. It’s like, “Come for the ac­tor, stay for the mu­sic.” So if I get you in there, you’re go­ing to hear the mu­sic, and you’re go­ing to like it or not. And maybe you’ll come back. In Europe, hon­estly, one of the most amaz­ing things was peo­ple singing along to my songs in a lan­guage that wasn’t their first. That was spe­cial. Q: Do you have new act­ing projects com­ing up? A: I’m look­ing at new shows to do right now. I’ve got a few things that are tak­ing shape and are pretty in­ter­est­ing to me. I’ve got a movie script of [my novel] “Bucky F------ Dent” that I want to make as a di­rec­tor. The nice thing about mu­sic is that I can do it wher­ever I am. Q: You re­turned to “The X-Files” last year. How was that ex­pe­ri­ence, and is there talk of do­ing more of those? A: We’re talk­ing about do­ing more of those soon. The ex­pe­ri­ence was strange at first to go back to some­thing that I’d started, at the time, over 20 years ago, and I hadn’t done for seven or eight years. But since I had done that char­ac­ter for so long, it was re­ally sim­ple to find it again. But it was also an in­ter­est­ing chal­lenge, be­cause it was play­ing a guy who’s older, and maybe char­ac­ter doesn’t change, but we change a lit­tle bit — our en­ergy changes as we age. Our ma­tu­rity changes. So it was in­ter­est­ing to try to bring that to the guy. Q: I un­der­stand you’re re­turn­ing to play an­other char­ac­ter af­ter 25 years, trans­gen­der Spe­cial Agent Denise Bryson on “Twin Peaks,” when the show re­turns this spring. A: Yes. That char­ac­ter was kind of ahead of her time way back when. And I be­lieve that so­ci­ety has caught up to Denise Bryson fi­nally. I feel good about that.

ADAM BRADLEY

Ac­tor and mu­si­cian David Du­chovny, best known for his roles on “The X-Files” and “Cal­i­for­ni­ca­tion,” has re­leased two nov­els and is ready­ing a third. He is now tour­ing in sup­port of his first al­bum, “Hell or High­wa­ter.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.