LCD Soundsytem: Goodbye to all of our friends
LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy discusses the band's New York farewell show
'In school I took a poetry class because I hated poetry. I decided I was just going to write everything in prose blocks. And I wound up doing really well. LCD Soundsystem was my way of complaining about music. That's who I was: I complained. And I thought, "Why don't I just turn that complaint into a band? I do own a studio and I play a bunch of instruments, I'm very technically skilled as a sound engineer, so why don't I just shut up and do it?"
I live in Brooklyn, I'm a musician and a DJ, which is kind of the definition of a hipster. I remember when "hipster" was first a bad word. But I would say I was proto-hipster, pre-hipster. If you actually make things, make music, you get a pass. I'm not puzzled as to why people liked LCD. I wouldn't start a band if I didn't like it, I wouldn't make music if I didn't like it. Our Facebook page has hundreds of thousands of Likes. But I don't think that means I'm great. I know what I'm good at: playing instruments and recording. But I'm a pudgy 42-year-old guy who doesn't sing, just kinda yells. A lot of the music is moronic. 'Daft Punk is Playing at my House' is dumb. It's just me yelling. But I believe in it.
The end of LCD Soundsystem wasn't long-planned, but we'd talked about knocking it on the head. We're not people who go our separate ways and then the rest of the band reads the news in a press release. We're friends, and they know that I make a lot of decisions unilaterally. LCD started because I made a band, and I asked my friends to play. So we never had to go through that thing where we were a band and then I started to make the decisions. That's a recipe for a passive-aggressive nightmare. They just knew the end was coming eventually. I'm still going to make music. I just wanted to get off the fast-moving LCD train.
Fame can be a dangerous drug at a young age, it can create such a hole when people aren't paying attention to you. But I wanted it so bad when I was 21. Now I never want to be that famous. I know some famous people and that's a life I don't envy. They can't fly on planes, can't go on a date without it being in the newspaper. I love where I am, I love having access to things. I'm excited that now if I want to do something, a creative project, I don't have to go and sell myself to somebody. If I said I wanted to make a feature film, somebody might be interested in helping me to do that.
The people at Madison Square Garden didn't believe we could sell the venue out, so we said: "Well f*** you, it's our last show. Now we'll sell it out." I thought it would sell out in two weeks. We underestimated. We could probably have played four nights.
Working on the film erased my memories of the show. I worked on the editing of the live footage pretty intensely, because the film-makers didn't always know who was playing what. But I don't remember much of the night; I remember the film. I'm not nostalgic yet; I still feel like I'm in that moment. Maybe I'll get nostalgic when I show the movie to my kids. They'll be like: "Who thought this was cool?" And I'll be like: "There were these people called hipsters; they became extinct in 2016."
LCD Soundsystem's documentary, 'Shut Up and Play the Hits', is released on DVD on 8 October
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