Duck Down

Words from a David Byrne (and Brian Eno) Interview; they are talking about their collaboration on Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

(at about 4 min 45) on writing lyrics to Eno’s vocalless songs.

Byrne : “I’ll scat sing a melody over Brian’s instrumental tracks and if it seems like it’s a good melody, I’ll then try and come up with words that match the meter and phrasing and the implied feeling or whatever of that melody. And sometimes the only way to do that it to just, I find, is to come up with anything that fits, anything at all.”

(at 3 min 07) on playing a MIDI bit on one of the songs

Eno : “Well I played it, and then fixed it up basically. That’s what I normally do, i play a movement, a feeling and the notes are of course all wrong, so then I just go through the MIDI file getting the notes right. So I’ve got the rhythmic feel I want.”


I haven’t yet listened to the album yet though.

We’ll write a bit of music and sing over the top. Then we’ll tidy up the music and write some new vocals. Then we’ll write a new piece of music and sing the new vocals over the top. And then when it’s about to be released we won’t like it anymore, and record a different song with the same name so we dont have to change the artwork.

— Helen Love from An Interview with Helen Love

I find myself sometimes, searching the YouTube for interviews with people. I’ve been watching some interviews with David Byrne. Here are words from it.

David Byrne on Letterman
(2 min 54) on the Talking Heads album Speaking in Tongues album

Letterman : “you wrote the lyrics; you originally just started out with sounds and then substituted words”
Byrne : “yeah, I originally sang nonsense and made words to fit that, that worked out alright

some people are really good at writing little stories, I don’t find that as easy.”

I remember, vaguely, years ago reading some quote from Kurt Cobain saying writing that Smells Like Teen Spirit was an attempt to "rip off" a Pixies song (Debaser, I had thought, but I can’t find a reference to it)

Some months ago I noted in this video (above), at about 1min 15s, Bernard Butler talks about writing Animal Nitrate and says
“inspiration at the time was totally secretly, Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

That is all.