LCD Soundsytem: Goodbye to all of our friends
LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy discusses the band's New York farewell show
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, was published in 2014.
Friday 21 September 2012
'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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