Talking Heads Drummer Blasts Frontman David Byrne: 'He Can’t Imagine That Anyone Else Would Be Important'

Chris Frantz opens up about the divide between David Byrne and the band
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By RADIO.COM

Those holding their breath for a Talking Heads reunion will want to exhale, it ain’t happening.

Talking Heads co-founder and drummer Chris Frantz penned a new memoir titled Remain in Love, a play off the band’s 1980 album Remain in Light.

The band has crafted a strong legacy leaving their musical imprint on numerous acts today. Tensions within the band have always run high though and according to Frantz’s memoir, there was a divide between frontman David Byrne and the rest of his bandmates.

Frantz was discussing the memoir in an interview with The Guardian and spoke on the authoritarian nature he perceived Byrne to have.

“It’s like he can’t help himself,” he said. “His brain is wired in such a way that he doesn’t know where he ends and other people begin. He can’t imagine that anyone else would be important.”

Frantz also claims that Byrne would often seize sole writing credit on songs the whole band had created. In one instance, Frantz said he wrote the song “Warning Sign,” including all the lyrics, when Byrne added words in parentheses and proceeded to take credit for writing the whole song.

He appeared to have particular disdain for bassist Tina Weymouth, who Frantz is married to. Frantz recalls a time leading up to the recording of Talking Heads: 77 when Byrne tried to kick Weymouth out of the band over the lack of development in her bass skills.

He writes about a time speaking with a friend who helped record the band’s early demos.

“Many years later, he told me that this was the time David had said to him, “So, I’m thinking of kicking Tina out of the band. What do you think?” He says when he heard this, “My brain froze.” When he asked why, David said, “she’s holding me up and not progressing fast enough.” Tina had been playing bass for just over one year.

Frantz noted that at this time all band members were still learning how to play their instruments and gel as a unit, including Byrne on guitar.

“It is true that Tina had not played rock and roll before Talking Heads and did not have a repertoire of standard blues and rock bass licks in her musical vocabulary. Her approach was more classical,” he said.

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