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An exciting morning is in store when director turned musician David Lynch joins Morning Becomes Eclectic to talk about his new endeavor in the 10 o’clock hour followed by a full session with electronic giants Underworld at 11:15am.
Jason Bentley: Dark Night of the Soul, the title track from last years inspired collaboration. Dangermouse, the dearly departed Sparklehorse, and providing the visual component and singing on that track, David Lynch who joins us in studio. Good morning!
David Lynch: Good morning Jason, great to be here with you!
JB: How are you, my friend?
DL: Real good!
JB: When last we spoke, we were talking about this project, Dark Night of the Soul. I'd love for you to explain, very briefly, how that came together and how you got involved in that project.
DL: Dangermouse, great, great, great, producer and DJ, came to my house and talked to me about doing still photos as opposed to videos for the songs and I thought that was a really cool idea. He said "listen to the tracks, see what comes to you." I love this kind of thing! I listened to the tracks, pictures came, and we shot those like we were shooting a film. On location, actors, props, the whole thing. As he was leaving though, I said "You know, Dangermouse, I thought you were going to ask me to sing." And I'm half joking, maybe 90% joking. And he said "Yeah? Sure! Listen to some tracks and see what happens." So that's how it did happen.
JB: Now I can only imagine how important music has been to you, but had you been dabbling in music and writing quietly well before that?
DL: Very quietly! I love music. I always say the same thing. Angelo Badalamenti brought me into the world of music.
Before that, I loved sound. I loved abstract sound and I loved sound for pictures and film. And I love to experiment with sound so it sort of fed in.
You know, cinema inspires so many different mediums and it was kind of a natural thing but sort of a thing that was quite, as you say, quiet. But going from sound to more abstract sound going into music in an experimental way was the thing.
JB: Well, you ended up being featured on two songs on Dark Night of the Soul and I wonder if that gave you some confidence going forward to making music.
DL: It really did and I've got to say thank you to Dangermouse and bless Sparklehorse's heart, they really did back me up and it was a great experience.
JB: Well let's talk about “Good Day Today” which is the current project in release. There are all kinds of things going on around this and I love this story because I played a small part.
DL: You sure did Jason.
JB: What happened, for listeners, is that early last year I had gotten MP3s. I had gotten two. I got a new Underworld MP3 and I was sent, by our mutual friend Brian, your track.
So, as MP3s come sometimes they are mistitled or complete information isn't there so I confused the two. I ended up playing on the air what I thought was new Underworld and I played your track.
For me, I know Underworld very well - in fact they are our guests live later this morning - but it was plausible as Underworld. I believed it, I played it, I announced it as Underworld.
So, shortly thereafter I got a frantic email from Underworld's camp saying "Uhhh, mate? This isn't us! We're really confused!" And the blogs were all a-buzz. So I finally worked it out and realized it was you.
So this was a big, epic electronic record, so I was surprised. Have you always been a fan of electronic music?
DL: No! I don't know anything about electronic music, really, except that I like it when I hear it.
It has a lot of power and power to make you move. It's man made sounds, it's not organic. I love organic phenomenon, big time! But in dance, it's not that. So it's robot music. It's a great genre to experiment in. My agent, our mutual friend, started talking to me about dance in another context. So big Dean Hurley, who is the engineer in my studio, who is sitting over here in the corner, we started experimenting. I was sitting one night and lyrics came and then a tune came. And so that started leading to Good Day Today.
JB: We can fast forward then a few months. I took the track to a conference in Europe and met up with some friends at Sunday Best, Ben Turner and Rob DaBank, and I played them the track thinking “Well, it’s unsigned.” I mean it’s you, it’s David Lynch. I thought it was certainly very special that you had made this track. They immediately loved it, and they signed it. Now it’s come out and, to complete the circle, Underworld has remixed and kind of done a cover version because they’ve re-sung the vocal in their approach. But there are a number of remixes. It’s very exciting.
DL: I think they sung the lyrics themselves to get even with you, Jason. To make it theirs.
We’ve got to say great things about Sunday Best Recordings because these people, Ben Turner and Rob DeBank, took these songs “Good Day Today” and “I Know” and have done an unbelievable, stellar job at getting it out into the world. It’s a huge amount of work, and it’s going really well thanks to them.
JB: Why don’t we play the original track which was the source of my confusion and then it became clear. Here we have it…and then we’ll come back and we’ll play “I Know.” Then maybe we’ll throw in a remix of your choice.
DL: That’s great, that sounds great! Play it full, play it nice and full.
JB: I will, I’ll play it loud. David Lynch, our guest on KCRW.
Song - Good Day Today
JB: A sentiment that is certainly very appropriate these days, just to simply have a Good Day Today.
DL: Yeah it is. We had a great weekend over this last weekend.
JB: Oh yeah? What did you do?
DL: Saw Lissie at the Music Box and it was a great show!
JB: You’re a big fan of Lissie.
DL: Big fan! I’m a big fan! I just think she’s got the stuff - great band, killer players and Lissie takes it to the stratosphere.
JB: Do you go to a lot of shows?
DL: No. I like to stay home Jason.
JB: How much music do you listen to at home, do you have a huge collection?
DL: No, Dean and I listen in the studio to things from time to time. But I like to work.
I listen to you on Morning Becomes Eclectic and I listen to Anne Litt. I listen to KCRW a lot and I hear a lot of good new music.
JB: Well, thank you.
So this project has also led you to reaching out to fans of yours to submit videos of their own for these songs, which was an interesting approach and was enabled by modern technology. I know you’re active on twitter as a way to stay in touch with your fans. Now, the results came back and I believe from some pretty far reaching places. One you chose from France and another from Israel?
DL: Yeah, from Israel. You’re right. Exactly.
JB: Tell us about these videos and how can people see them. Did you just put the word out on people to submit their own ideas?
DL: Yes it went out on Genero.tv and I did a video to announce the contest and then the people took it from there. I think it was people’s choice up to a certain number and then I picked from there.
But I picked a winner for each one and then I felt that other people did really great work so I had to pick two runners up. And I also have to thank the people who didn’t even get the runner up for their great work, enthusiasm and ideas.
JB: Did you feel a sense that they were reflections of your own style to a certain extent or were they completely individual.
DL: They might have been thinking about my work a little bit. Maybe. But they were original and they were their things, I feel. And that was the whole thing to work in freedom and to interpret the song and to go like that.
JB: I’d like to mention that there is a special vinyl edition of this release, Good Day Today and I Know. Also there is the remix EP which we’ll play a track from and I want to play the second track. I wonder, is there an album to follow on all of this?
DL: I don’t know if there is a dance album to follow. There could be. Dean and I are working on what we call “modern blues” and I think “I Know” falls into that category.
JB: Let’s check that out now, this is “I Know.” It’s David Lynch on KCRW.
Song – I Know
JB: David Lynch with “I Know” on KCRW. Along with “Good Day Today.” Two songs available on iTunes now also we’re gonna have copies along with the remixes to give away today. Autographed copies. So, sit tight for that. So you described that as more “modern soul?”
DL: Modern Blues…with a lot of soul.
JB: Definitely! You are such a hero to us here. You have lived the artist’s life and I wonder if you always knew this would be your path or at what point did you know? What inspired you?
DL: I was on the front lawn of my girlfriend’s house in the ‘60s. It was about ten o’clock at night and I had met this fellow named Toby Keilor who didn’t go to my school, he went to private school. He told me his father was a painter…and that was IT!
JB: Did you see his work?
DL: I went to his studio that weekend. I begged Toby to take me to his father’s studio. I already knew that that’s I wanted to be, a painter, forever. I knew at the moment he said it. It sort of gave me permission to say it, and go for it. And that was it. Everything after that was based on that wanting to live the art life and work and work and work.
JB: Do you find that you approach creativity in its various forms, weather its music or filmmaking, in a similar way or are they always different?
DL: They’re different mediums but a similar way. It’s the ideas that come. Ideas drive the boat -- so you get ideas sometimes for music, you get ideas sometimes for still photography, some ideas for cinema, some ideas for furniture; and you don’t know what’s going to pop in, but you get an idea you fall in love with and you know exactly what you’re going to do and you go to work.
JB: Well I did asked Twitter if anyone had any questions for you and so we got some interesting ones back. One was, what’s your favorite woodworking tool is?
DL: I love working with wood. I love the smell of cutting wood. All woods have a smell, it’s so beautiful. Pine is my very favorite. I have a SawStop, do you know what that is?
JB: I do not.
DL: It’s a table saw, and when it’s running full speed you can jam your finger into the blade and it will stop before it cuts your finger off. It’s incredible!
The SawStop is a great saw. I also like the Dremel. The dremel is a great tool, everybody would love a dremel and a SawStop.
JB: Another question from Twitter was regarding the upcoming, I guess there is a Blu Ray edition of Blue Velvet, and the question was are there any special features or have you done anything different for that edition?
DL: Man oh man. You know, there is a thing called b-negative, or outtakes, or lifts, that don’t make it into the film. And in the old days, those things sat around and maybe became dangerously close to being tossed away. Then the internet comes, and people want to see deleted scenes and things like this, so those things become more and more valuable.
So, one day I looked into seeing where the lifts were because some of these scenes on their own would be beautiful to see again. So I find out that Dino, the producer, doesn’t know where they are. They’ve gone. His company went bankrupt, it was taken over by another company, and then it was sold to other companies. No one knew where they were, they were gone. So depressing.
Lately, those have been found. Somewhere up in Seattle. It’s incredible. I’m seeing stuff I thought was gone forever. And hopefully some of those scenes (some of them aren’t worth putting back together) will end up on the new Blu Ray. We did a 5.1 a while back and it was horrible. And now Dean and I did a new one and it is so thick and beautiful. It’s the mix, but it’s 5.1 killer beauty.
JB: We’ll look forward to that. David Lynch is our guest on KCRW. Well it is always a pleasure to have you here and I hope you know that the door is always open to you.
DL: Bless your heart Jason, I’m listening to your show and I really appreciate being here.
JB: Thank you sir. So we are going to go out with one of the remixes. This one here is John Hopkins. It’s among remixes by Sasha, Boys Noize, Simon Radcliffe of Basement Jaxx so this will be available shortly. Perhaps it’s already on iTunes, I don’t really know.
DL: Be sure to say hello to Underworld for me and thank them for their remix.
JB: I will do! This is a remix of “I Know” by John Hopkins. David Lynch, thank you for stopping by!
DL: Thanks Jason.