Have you ever seen David Byrne out in public? It’s everything you want it to be. Maybe 18 years ago, I sold Byrne a ticket to a Marc Ribot show, and he looked pretty much exactly like the bugged-out icon from Stop Making Sense, minus the enormous suit. He seemed, in other words, like a glorious weirdo. So I’m always impressed when Byrne can speak like a relatively normal person in an interview. Like: Maybe that’s an acting performance, of sorts? But last night, he pulled it off on The Daily Show.
Byrne just released the strange, fascinating, genuinely excellent new album American Utopia. He’s been out promoting it, game enough to do a goofy skit for Stephen Colbert. But even though The Daily Show is a comedy, host Trevor Noah always treats his interview subjects with a degree of seriousness, and he gave Byrne one of the most straight-up, sincere TV interviews I’ve ever seen the man give.
On the show, Byrne talked about American Utopia and about the idea of hoping to build some kind of utopian spirit even in dark times. He also discussed his “Everybody’s Coming To My House” video, his reimagined live show, and his song written about the point-of-view of a dog. Watch the interview below.