That's the thing about pictures: they seduce you.

Facts just twist the truth around.

If they liked a tune, they wanted to hear it again—now! The vibe was more like CBGB than your typical contemporary opera house.

Before recording technology existed, you could not separate music from its social context.

Creative work is more accurately a machine that digs down and finds stuff, emotional stuff that will someday be raw material that can be used to produce more stuff, stuff like itself - clay to be available for future use.

I wouldn't be surprised if poetry - poetry in the broadest sense, in the sense of a world filled with metaphor, rhyme, and recurring patterns, shapes, and designs - is how the world works. The world isn't logical; it's a song.

On a bike, being just slightly above pedestrian and car eye level, one gets a perfect view of the goings-on in one's own town.

Still, making music is its own reward.

The two biggest self-deceptions of all are that life has a 'meaning'and each of us is unique.

People use irony as a defense mechanism.

In the words of Enrique Peñalosa, who instituted bike and pedestrian streets and rapid transit in Bogotá when he was mayor, if a bike lane isn't safe for an eight-year-old child, it isn't really a bike lane.

People probably heard a greater quantity of music, and a greater variety, on these devices than they would ever hear in person in their lifetimes.

I'm just an advertisement for a version of myself.

One knew in advance that life in New York would not be easy, but there were cheap rents in cold-water lofts without heat, and the excitement of being here made up for those hardships. I didn't move to New York to make a fortune.

I'm no Lance Armstrong, but I do use a bike to get from place to place in Manhattan, a little bit of Brooklyn.

Work aside, we come to New York for the possibility of interaction and inspiration.

I'm very much into making lists and breaking things apart into categories.

Punk was defined by an attitude rather than a musical style.

So there's no guarantee if you like the music you will empathize with the culture and the people who made it. It doesn't necessarily happen. I think it can, but it doesn't necessarily happen. Which is kind of a shame.

You create a community with music, not just at concerts but by talking about it with your friends.

Any kid will tell you that, yes, their music is both an escape and a survival mechanism, and that sometimes the music givesbthem hope and inspiration. It doesn't just placate and pacify.

I meet young people who know me and are familiar with my stuff. They know the package. They might have cherry-picked five or six key tunes. That's how it seems to work. I sometimes wonder if they realise they are not getting the whole context.

I cycled when I was at high school, then reconnected with bikes in New York in the late '70s. It was a good way of getting around the clubs and galleries of the Lower East Side and Soho.

I like a good story and I also like staring at the sea—do I have to choose between the two?

Having unlimited choices can paralyze you creatively.

I've noticed a lot of younger artists have less fear of doing different sorts of things, whether it's various types of music, or gallery artists moving between video and sculpture and drawing.

I encourage people not to be passive consumers of music and of culture in general. And feeling like, yeah, you can enjoy the products of professionals, but that doesn't mean you don't have to completely give up the reins and give up every connection to music or whatever it happens to be.

What do we need music to do? How do we visit the land in our head and the place in our heart that music is so good at taking us to?

There's always room for Jell-O.

One of the benefits of playing to small audiences in small clubs for a few years is that you're allowed to fail.

I use a stream-of-consciousness approach; if you don't censor yourself, you end up with what you're most concerned about, but you haven't filtered it through your conscious mind. Then you craft it.

PowerPoint may not be of any use for you in a presentation, but it may liberate you in another way, an artistic way. Who knows.

That's the one for my tombstone... Here lies David Byrne. Why the big suit?

I can't deny that label-support gave me a leg up - though not every successful artist needs it.

People are already finding ways to make their music and play it in front of people and have a life in music, I guess, and I think that's pretty much all you can ask.

Do I wear a helmet? Ugh. I do when I'm riding through a precarious part of town, meaning Midtown traffic. But when I'm riding on secure protected lanes or on the paths that run along the Hudson or through Central Park - no, I don't wear the dreaded helmet then.

I don't think people are going to switch over to bikes because it's good for them or because it's politically correct. They're going to do it because it gets them from A to B faster.

Musicians sort of knew this already—that the emotional center is not the technical center, that funky grooves are not square, and what sounds like a simple beat can either be sensuous or simply a metronomic timekeeper, depending on the player.

It's a fundamental, social attitude that the 1% supports symphonies and operas and doesn't support Johnny learning to program hip-hop beats. When I put it like that, it sounds like, 'Well, yeah,' but you start to think, 'Why not, though?' What makes one more valuable than another?

Around 1900, according to music writer Alex Ross, classical audiences were no longer allowed to shout, eat, and chat during a performance.2 One was expected to sit immobile and listen with rapt attention. Ross hints that this was a way of keeping the hoi polloi out of the new symphony halls and opera houses.

Maybe the difference between speech and music isn't all that great. We infer a lot from the tone of someone's voice, so imagine that aspect of speech pushed just a little further. The weird cadences of a Valley girl, for instance, might be viewed as a species of singing. The malls of Sherman Oaks are a setting for a kind of massed choir.

I've got nothing to say most of the time.

The best surveillance is when everyone suspects that they're being watched all the time. The government then doesn't even have to watch the cameras—they need only let people believe someone might be watching.

Probably the reason it's a little hard to break away from the album format completely is, if you're getting a band together in the studio, it makes financial sense to do more than one song at a time. And it makes more sense, if you're going to all the effort of performing and doing whatever else, if there's a kind of bundle.

I have trouble imagining what I could do that's beyond the practicality of what I can do.

I've rarely seen video screens used well in a music concert.

I ride on the shoulder of a road that is lined with chain stores, none of them specific to this area. Everyone who works in them is therefore an employee hired by some anonymous distant corporation. They probably are only allowed to make small decisions and they have almost no stake or investment in the place where they work.

Yeah, anybody can go in with two turntables and a microphone or a home studio sampler and a little cassette deck or whatever and make records in their bedrooms.

I wanted to be a secret agent and an astronaut, preferably at the same time.