David Byrne has said he regrets the way Talking Heads disbanded in the early Nineties.
On Thursday (17 August), it was announced that the “Psycho Killer” band – fronted by Byrne – were reuniting for a Q&A with Spike Lee at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival following the premiere of A24’s Stop Making Sense restoration.
The cult classic concert film, directed by Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs), is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Speaking to People magazine about the reunion, 71-year-old Byrne took responsibility for the band’s demise, saying: “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.
“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.”
He continued: “I think [the end] wasn’t handled well. It was kind of ugly.”
“As far as we’re concerned, the band never really broke up. David just decided to leave,” Frantz told the Los Angeles Times in 1992. “We were never too pleased about the way David handled the situation.”
“I have regrets on how that was handled. I don’t think I did it in the best way, but I think it was kind of inevitable that would happen anyway,” Byrne told People. “We have a cordial relationship now. We’re sort of in touch, but we don’t hang out together.”
Talking Heads formed in the 1970s, comprising Byrne on vocals, Chris Frantz on drums and Tina Weymouth on bass, after the three met at Rhode Island School of Design. They later added Jerry Harrison on keyboards and guitar.
They reached their commercial peak in 1983 with the Top 10 hit “Burning Down the House” from the album Speaking in Tongues.
Speaking to NME about a potential reunion last year, Frantz said: “I did try it a couple of times and the last time was about 20 years ago, and after that, David just said: ‘I never want you to ask me that question again. I’m not going to address that matter.’ It’s a shame and it is what it is.”
Earlier this year, Byrne bemused Oscars viewers with a musical performance wearing sausage fingers. He sang “This is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once, alongside Stephanie Hsu, one of the film’s stars.