Most of your songs present a point of view, a diatribe. Manifesto or acute self-awareness ?
JM: I like doing things from a very specific point of view, I find that interesting, that’s what I’m stuck on. When people ask me what songs are about, I usually can’t answer, but I can say where they’re coming from, if that makes any sense.
You’re not the kind to concern yourself about what other people think ?
JM: Oh, of course I am. But I’d worry about that whether I wrote songs or not.
Just like everyone else.
JM: Yeah, I mean…you worry about everything. Consciously and unconsciously it’s in the back of your head. Like, do I look stupid, am I wearing the wrong thing, do I look like I know what I’m doing. You know... It’s just normal. I try to explore it for as much interesting stuff as I can figure out.
Making people think while they dance…are the two compatible ?
JM: Well hopefully not at the same time too much. You know, maybe think later. The first half of the record I don’t think is particularly Dance oriented. I think it’s like a Rock Out for the most part. A couple songs that are kinda dancey, but I try to make people dance only when I DJ or make dance tracks.
So it’s something you want them to really get between the ears then ?
JM: No, it’s still body music, but of a different kind of body music. It shouldn’t be necessary for you to think too much to enjoy it. That’s like when you make bad art and you tell people that it means something.
So you’re basically throwing it out there and to see what happens
JM: Yeah, that’s what’s fun. It’s always a little experimental. It’s like saying something strange at a party and see what reaction you get.
Speaking of parties, DJ-ing at the DFA throwdowns, producing, remixing and fronting a rock band, are these different aspects of the same experience to you ?
JM: Yeah they really are. I mean people have asked me: “which do you like the most?”. And in reality I definitely see it all as 1 thing. It’s all a part of some form of creative public life, It’s what I find really interesting; it’s like Gore vidal writes books, but he also does essays, and gives lectures and interviews. To think of his work while excluding one aspect would be kind of silly. I’m not comparing myself with anybody, I’m just thinking about people whose work is a good example. Same with Warhol. Imagine thinking of Warhol without the interviews? You know what I mean? They are just as much a piece of the work as everything else. I just think doing DJ parties, making flyers, doing interviews, or making records- it’s all part of the same thing.
Do you pay attention to the hype surrounding what you do ?
JM: I don’t pay a lot of attention to it because I’m just not very technically savvy to a certain degree. I’m not really an Internet guy too much. So I don’t really know how people find out things or what they say so much.
BKLA: Are you saying you’re not a savvy tech guy ?
JM: Well I’m a tech person in terms of making music… like I’m an engineer and stuff. But when it comes to, like, the way kids use the internet…like I don’t use Myspace or anything like that. That world is a little bit alien to me. Not wildly so, just sort of.
BKLA: What of these few thousand Myspace friend ?
JM: Well I don’t touch that thing. Uh, somebody else made the profile when I was on tour last year. And by the time I came home they were like, Hey look! I don’t want to touch that. I don’t want to know about thousands of people that are adding themselves and putting flyers up and stuff. It seems really boring.
BKLA: Is LCD poised for the big time? Is that something you’ve wanted for yourself, are you concerned how this might affect you as an artist ?
JM: I don’t think we are, I think we’re just kinda poised for where we’re going, I think we’re just kinda…we’re a fine size, I think. I don’t think we’re going to get very much bigger.
BKLA: I’ve seen a bench ad say “As Heard on KROQ”. That’s a big deal in LA ?
JM: Well, I mean, cities are one thing, you know. It’s different. And that’ll be for a couple months. Right now in New York people are more likely to say: “oh hey you’re James Murphy”. whereas in 6 months, it won’t be the case. Doesn’t make much of a difference really. I think it would be unpleasant to get too big, and I’m just not excited enough to do the work. I’d rather just get back to making another record.
BKLA: Speaking about making other records, what influenced you ?
JM: The history of good music, I think. I like disco and a lot of rock. I really liked “Yes” when I was really little. And David Bowie, um … those are my 2 first records. And then probably Punk Rock and new wave stuff like the B-52’s.
BKLA: Do you think it’s harder or easier for an artist to be heard today due to the shear volume of music out there ?
JM: I think it’s harder to matter. Probably easier to be heard. You just create a MYSPACE profile and get a little savvy. But it’s hard to be heard over the noise, I guess. It’s harder to matter.
BKLA: Do you think LCD matters ?
JM: I don’t know, I don’t know. I couldn’t even… I don’t know what it means to matter anymore to a certain degree.
BKLA: Does it matter to you ?
JM: Sure, cause it’s mine. Painting my house matters to me. You know, I mean it matters to me and I’m proud of it and I’m doing a good job and I like the band. I can’t tell what matters in the outside world, though. It doesn’t matter too much, I mean it matters to me in New York- I’m happy with how we live here.
BKLA: Does your environment have an influence on you? Do you see yourself more as an observer, a protagonist, both ?
JM: An antagonist. No I like New York. I’m a always a little bit above… I think I’ve become more of an observer lately.
BKLA: As opposed to…
JM: A protagonist like I would have been before I was married and had a job. That makes me want to stay home. Be with my wife and my dog.
BKLA: So can we expect the next album to be more domestic ?
JM: Totally chill record me on acoustic guitar and wind chimes. No, um, I don’t know. I don’t think so. I hope not. Seems like a bad idea.
Words and photos: Marc Goldstein (www.myspace.com/mar©). Location: Quixote Studio, Los Angeles. Special thanks: James Murphy, Jason Roth / Capitol Records, Darren Ressel / BigShot, Lawrence Petty. Additional thanks: Nicole Snell.
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