- READ MORE: The NME Big Read – David Byrne: “I have a little bit of hope. Not every day, but some days”
The group recently announced that they would be reuniting for a Q&A at the Toronto International Film Fest in celebration of the 40th anniversary of their legendary concert film, Stop Making Sense. The event will mark the band’s first public appearance together in over 20 years.
In an interview with People, former Talking Heads frontman Byrne explained: “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.”
He continued: “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. I think [the end] wasn’t handled well. It was kind of ugly.”
The Talking Heads bandmates have had a complicated relationship since their breakup in 1991. They had previously reunited in 1999 to promote the 15th-anniversary reissue of their film. In 2002, they came together to perform four songs at the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony which marked their only live performance since 1984.
Bassist Tina Weymouth described Byrne as “insecure” in a series of essays in the Sunday Times earlier this year.
“He always seemed very insecure about himself and would often try to blame other people if things went wrong. Chris and I loved him dearly and we did our best to overlook these disastrous character flaws, but it seemed obvious that Talking Heads wasn’t going to last,” she said.
Talking Heads drummer, Chris Frantz, also described Byrne as “insecure” as well as “transactional” in his 2020 memoir. Speaking to The Guardian, he said Byrne’s “brain is wired in such a way that he doesn’t know where he ends and other people begin. He can’t imagine that anyone else would be important.”
In light of Byrne’s recent comments and the news of the reunion for the Q&A, fans are now speculating as to whether a full reunion tour or further activity may follow.
Speaking to NME last year about a potential reunion, 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.”
Byrne discussed the idea of a band reunion with WIRED last year, saying: “I think, in a nutshell, I could say that we came together more as friends than as, you know, incredible musicians. It was really a kind of shared musical taste. And then gradually, as you age and you grow and you explore, your musical tastes start to change. It became more work that we did, we didn’t hang out all the time anymore, so eventually you just kind of drift apart that way.”