David Byrne wishes he had not burned down the house when he called it quits with Talking Heads.
The “Psycho Killer” singer recently opened up about the regret he feels about how he maneuvered the ‘80s new wave band’s split.
“As a younger person, I was not as pleasant to be around. When I was working on some Talking Heads shows, I was more of a little tyrant,” Byrne said in a story People published Thursday. “And then I learned to relax, and I also learned that collaborating with people, both sides get more if there’s a good relationship instead of me telling everybody what to do.”
He added, “I think [the end] wasn’t handled well. It was kind of ugly.”
Byrne formed Talking Heads alongside Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth in 1975, adding Jerry Harrison in 1977 to round out the band. The “This Must Be the Place” hitmakers disbanded in 1991.
Talking Heads’ breakup was made official in December 1991 when Byrne told The Times, “You could say (we’ve) broken up, or call it whatever you like.”
In a 1992 interview with The Times, Frantz and Weymouth said they found out about the band’s split after reading Byrne’s comment.
“[W]e were shocked to find out about (Byrne’s departure) via the Los Angeles Times. As far as we’re concerned, the band never really broke up. David just decided to leave,” Frantz said in 1992.
“We were never too pleased about the way David handled the situation,” Frantz added. “Communicating with other people has never been David’s forte, at least not on a personal level. We’ve kept a very low profile about this whole thing. We feel like David Byrne’s a very good artist. We’re just sorry that, you know, he didn’t really understand what he had, maybe. But then again, maybe he did, but he didn’t like it anymore. He doesn’t communicate with us, anyhow, so I don’t really know how he feels about it.”
The group reunited briefly to accept their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Since the messy separation, Byrne has accepted blame for how it all went down and noted that things have cooled off with his former bandmates.
“I have regrets on how that was handled. I don’t think I did it in the best way, but I think it was kind of inevitable that would happen anyway,” Byrne continued in his interview with People. “We have a cordial relationship now. We’re sort of in touch, but we don’t hang out together.”
Talking Heads will reunite later this year at the Toronto International Film Festival to do a Q&A with director Spike Lee ahead of a screening of a remastered version of Jonathan Demme’s acclaimed concert documentary of the band, “Stop Making Sense.”