By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
What's your earliest sound memory — not music, but the earliest sound you can remember?
[Long pause] Well ... in Spokane, Washington, and I never picture this in my mind. ... [pause] Well, I'll tell you what I picture: It's a summer day. The sky is, Spokane, Washington, is northwest. And Spokane, Washington, is eastern Washington, so it's not moist. ... It's the most refreshing summer day, clear as a bell, and refreshing feel, refreshing. Beautiful sunlight. Incredible. The smell of ponderosa pines in the air. The grass is green, the sky is blue, and in the sky were these big, really big bomber planes. And they were propeller planes, so they moved across the sky very slowly and they made a drone that was incredibly beautiful. It took a long time for them to go across, so always this drone is going.
That's a beautiful sound.
Have you ever tried to recapture it?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that drone is what I've been trying to get and it's probably appeared in different places. The first, kind of "whoa" thing in recording was in my second [short] film. Well, I had a siren going continuously, a loop, on my first film, so there was sound from the beginning, but the second film, The Alphabet, and I rented a recorder from this film lab in Philadelphia, and unbeknownst to me it was broken, but what a blessing that it was broken, because it was distorting everything I recorded. And that was the beginning of "the happy accident." Happy accidents are real gifts and they can open the door to a future that didn't even exist. It's kind of nice sometimes to set up something to encourage or allow happy accidents to happen.
A fairly recent happy accident is the series of projects with classically trained Polish musicians related to the Inland Empire soundtrack you composed.
With "Polish Poem" I worked with singer Chrysta Bell. Next year at some point we'll release her album, which I got to produce and write with her. She's really great.
Polish Night Music is me and Marek Zebrowski, who is a superaccomplished concert pianist and composer. Marek and I met in Poland through the Camerimage film festival. Those guys are a great, great, great gang, and they've become real good friends.
Marek and I started doing these experiments, where I would write a kind of a scene or a poem thing, and I would then show this thing to Marek, he would read it, and we'd both have keyboards, so we'd try to play the poem. I'd start doing something and Marek has perfect pitch, so whatever I'd play, it's as if it's written and he's just playing on top of it, perfectly. Because I can play pretty much everything, and he, you know, would pick up on it and elaborate it on top. So it's a great experiment for mood things.
That material is very different from the single with the songs "Good Day Today" and "I Know," and from the long-delayed Thought Gang project.
Yes — Dean and I did the single. One of them is dance, the other is more like a "modern blues" thing. What Dean and I mostly do is in the modern-blues thing.
The Thought Gang album will come out this year sometime. We started it in the early '90s and it just sat there for a long, long, long time and now it's kinda gonna get tweaked and finally put out. Thought Gang is ... now, you know Don Van Vliet just died. ...
Yes. Not that Thought Gang is "Don Van Vliet." He was beyond, beyond ... special [chuckles]. I bought Trout Mask Replica [when it came out] and then I was in a documentary on Don Van Vliet. These Germans came to me. ... I guess the Germans picked up on Don Van Vliet. This was in the late '80s or early '90s, and then I got the great opportunity to talk to him on the phone, several times, and he was so great to talk to.
He was really in his own world, but then when I was talking to him he was a painter, he'd stopped making music. And he's a great painter, great painter. So, Thought Gang, I'm saying, [laughs] would probably sell fewer albums than Don Van Vliet [laughs].
Don Van Vliet's collaborator Gary Lucas said one of the reasons Beefheart went into painting was because he was disappointed that more people didn't buy his music.
[Laughs] I think it's something to do with, ummm, the time and the place. ... I picture the desert playing a role, and that hot sun, and a certain thing creeps in. ... And it colors what comes out. So, I love the idea that Don Van Vliet thought that his music would be popular, but it's so his own thing, it's so far away from what people were buying.
And yet you yourself did manage to achieve all kinds of success with film and, to a certain extent, music. You've followed a similar uncompromising, strange path, and you are quite popular.
STOP OFFENDING PEOPLE'S INTELLIGENCE.
ALL CAN PLAY! YOUA RE NOT APROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN.EVEN TOMASSINI DID NOT GET TAKEN BY YOU
As a long time David Lynch fan, I appreciated the asking of questions outside of the usual range of topics. Unlike another commenter, I AM interested in things as 'mundane' as how often Lynch goes out to see music, as I think that provides perspective into the way he selects and/or composes music for his films. Good job!
what stupid questions. what a waste of an interview. "do you go to shows" and "how do you pick what music you see?"and "how do you learn about music"??? who gives a shit. luckily david lynch does a lot of interviews and know how to make it interesting, but these are really retarded questions. waste. of. time.
You must not be in to music very much.
I am a music lover, songwriter, and huge fan of David Lynch; so I found this interview fascinating.
I always loved David Lynch - now I just adore him - so interesting, smart, passionate, lively, witty, humble, I could go on and on.
A BIG thank you, Gustavo for just asking (good) questions, letting the man talk, and not getting in the way like so many journalists do when doing interviews. And you are one lucky bastard to get to sit down with Lynch at his pad in the Hills and talk film, music, painting, life, and more.
Lynch, with his talent and fame could easily choose to be the biggest prick in the world - instead he is one of the coolest dudes around.
I never tire of "The Elephant Man" and "Mulholland Drive" - my two fave Lynch films; he is the finest American film maker, hands down.
Gustavo, wonderful article. And thanks for the online updated Music Ed.'s Note. BTW, there's a typo in Assymmetrical. It's spelled with only 1 's', Asymmetrical.
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