David Byrne Responds to Lack of Women Featured on New ‘American Utopia’ LP
Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has often served as a voice for progressive ideals throughout his solo career, but his new American Utopia LP is a surprisingly male-dominated affair — something Byrne has responded to in a statement to fans who pointed out the imbalance.
Byrne took to Facebook with his thoughts on the matter, starting out by thanking everyone who'd brought it to his attention and assuring them that "this matters a lot to me." As for the hows and whys behind the lack of female collaborators on American Utopia, Byrne seems to chalk the whole thing up to an unfortunate oversight.
"This lack of representation is something that is problematic and wide spread in our industry. I regret not hiring and collaborating with women for this album," wrote Byrne. "It’s ridiculous, it’s not who I am and it certainly doesn’t match how I’ve worked in the past. It doesn’t represent my current live show, which has a slew of diverse creators and collaborators, making this even more negligent on my part."
In closing, Byrne indicated a willingness to try and do better in the future, admitting that as forward-thinking as he might see himself — and despite a history of collaborating with female artists that includes his recent works with St. Vincent — he can still be guilty of preserving the same status quo he's pointed out as a problem.
"I am happy that we live in a time that this conversation is happening," he continued. "It’s hard to realize that no matter how much effort you spend nudging the world in what you hope is the right direction, sometimes you are part of the problem. I never thought of myself as being 'one of those guys,' but I guess to some extent I am. Your responses serve as a corrective. Thank you."