Singer-songwriter David Byrne is opening up about the tough side of parenting.
The Talking Heads singer joined Parents‘ “We Are Family” podcast where he spoke about his own childhood and how his parents encouraged his passions.
“They just left me alone to do what I wanted to do,” Byrne said. “And I think that was really, really important for me that it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, you’re wasting your time doing that.’ There was no attitude like that. It was just like, ‘This is what David wants to do, let him do it.'”
Byrne also learned that he might be on the autism spectrum.
“I never saw it as being a kind of disability or a problem for me,” said Byrne. “You just think, ‘That’s who I am.’ I think that being a performer was a kind of compensation for that. It allowed me to kind of put myself forward on stage and then I could retreat into myself when I came off stage. But it also allowed me to have an outlet to express myself in ways that I was not able to do socially.”
In 1989, Byrne and then-wife Adelle Lutz welcomed daughter Malu Abeni Valentine Lutz Byrne. Becoming a parent himself made him look back at his own youth “vicariously through this young person who’s discovering the world.”
And there were parts of parenting being a dad that was “mundane”.
“A child really likes a routine,” he said. “Once there’s a pattern, they kind of like to expect that to continue. And I think I also, as with a lot of first time parents, I was trying to figure out how do you be a parent? And there’s plenty of books about it, but really you have to kind of figure it out for yourself as you go, which is not always easy.”
Byrne is now a grandfather and by the sounds of it, his grandson is following in his musical footsteps including imitating his dancing.
“Sometimes I’ll play an instrument for him, but not necessarily sing. The singing part is, it’s just the rhythm. A child will get a rhythm, like if you just play a rhythm on a guitar or something like that, the child will start dancing to it immediately. It’s kind of amazing how it affects our bodies, how music does that. And they love it,” he gushed.