David Byrne wished he hadn’t burned down the house when he broke up with Talking Heads.
The “Psycho Killer” singer recently expressed regret at how he maneuvered the ’80s new wave band’s breakup.
“When I was younger, I wasn’t that comfortable to be around. When I worked on some Talking Heads shows, I was more of a petty bully,” Byrne said in one story People published Thursday. “And then I learned to relax, and I also learned that working with people is more beneficial to both sides when there’s a good relationship, rather than telling everyone what to do.”
He added: “I think [the end] was not handled well. It was kind of ugly.”
Byrne formed Talking Heads with Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth in 1975 and added Jerry Harrison in 1977 to complete the band. The “This Must Be the Place” hitmakers disbanded in 1991.
Talking Heads’ split was officially announced in December 1991, when Byrne told the Times, “You could say we broke up, or call it whatever you like.”
In a 1992 interview with The Times, Frantz and Weymouth said they learned of the band’s split after reading Byrne’s comment.
“[W]We were shocked to learn of (Byrne’s departure) via the Los Angeles Times. For us, the band never really broke up. “David just decided to leave,” Frantz said in 1992.
“We were never particularly pleased with how David handled the situation,” Frantz added. “Communicating with other people has never been David’s forte, at least not on a personal level. We kept a very low profile about the whole thing. We think David Byrne is a very good artist. We’re just sorry that maybe he didn’t really understand what he had. But maybe he did, but he didn’t like it anymore. He doesn’t communicate with us anyway, so I don’t really know what he thinks about it.”
The group reunited briefly to accept their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Since the messy breakup, Byrne has taken the blame for how it all went down and found things to have cooled with his former bandmates.
“I regret how it was handled. I don’t think I did it in the best way, but I think it was kind of inevitable that this was going to happen,” Byrne continued in his interview with People. “We have a warm relationship now. We’re kind of in touch, but we don’t hang out together.”
Talking heads will do it reunite later this year at the Toronto International Film Festival for a chat with director Spike Lee ahead of the screening of a remastered version of Jonathan Demme’s acclaimed concert documentary by the band, Stop Making Sense.