David Byrne on why Talking Heads won’t return: “Reunion tours have become an exercise in nostalgia”

The New Yorkers haven't played together since 2002

David Byrne has addressed the ongoing calls for a future Talking Heads reunion.

The ‘American Utopia’ musician appeared on MSNBC’s The Beat today (December 8) when host Ari Melber asked why many fans can’t accept that the iconic band won’t make a comeback.

There’s a period where music really is essential to you kind of defining who you are and what your place is in the world, and you can never let go of that moment,” Byrne replied. “But then again, you could never could never recreate and replace that moment either.


“There’s plenty of reunion tours and things like that and it’s become an exercise in nostalgia. You can never recreate that moment when people hear things like that for the first time.”

He added: “It has to do with the moment that they heard this music in their life, where they were in their life, when this happened – more than it was us.”

You can watch the conversation in the video above.

Talking Heads broke up in 1991, and have only played together once since, for their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2002.

Byrne, who has released 10 solo studio albums, explained in 2017 that reforming the legendary New York group would “probably be [taking] quite a number of steps backwards”.


Earlier this year, however, former Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz said it “would be nice” if the band reunited once more, “because unlike many of our contemporaries, we’re all still alive.”

Frantz went on to reveal that a reunion offer had reached the group a “few years back”, remembering: “We got offered crazy amounts of money to do shows. Not only do the show, but also the DVD and the live recording. It was a treasure trove. Anybody in their right mind probably would have said yes.”