NME: Soundtrack Of My Life - David Duchovny

NME puts together a list of some of the most important tracks in David Duchovny’s life.

By NME Blog | February 19, 2016

David Duchovny, star of The X-Files and lead singer in his own band reveals the tunes that have soundtracked his life

The first song I remember hearing
The Friends of Distinction – ‘Grazing In The Grass’
“I bought 45s when I was a kid because they were cheaper, at 99 cents, where an album cost three dollars and 69 cents, which was too much for my budget. The first single I bought was called ‘Grazing In The Grass’. It’s kind of an R&B/soul number. ‘Grazing in the grass is a gas, baby, can you dig it?’”

The song I wish I’d written
Oasis – Wonderwall
“I have this as an alarm on my phone so I hear it very often. A perfect pop song is a thing of beauty and
I’d say this is a perfect pop song. But there are so many songs I wish I’d written. Another one that comes into my head is ‘One’ by U2. I also wish I’d written ‘Dear Prudence’ by The Beatles, from ‘The White Album’, and ‘Thank You’ by Sly & The Family Stone.”

The album that changed my life
The Beatles – ‘The White Album’
“It’s a thing that points to certain mysteries that I wasn’t quite yet ready to understand. There are throwaways on it; it wasn’t all hits. That kind of got me off the ‘just the hits’ feeling that I had when I was a kid. At the time I thought, ‘Why get a whole album? Just play the hits!’ But a few albums changed my life. There was also Elton John’s ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, which seemed to have a big scope. It seemed like a lot was being dealt with. And ‘Fresh’ by Sly & The Family Stone. And some Yes albums; I was into Yes. There was a lot of pot smoking going on at a certain point. Yes were good for that.”

The song I play to get ready for a gig
“Backstage when I’m with the band we’ll start singing some songs, but they’re always different. We’ll also stand in a huddle, put our arms around each other and say something vaguely inspirational, like ‘Rock’n’roll!’ Something clichéd and ridiculous like that. Or maybe, ‘Let’s go melt some faces!’”

The song I can no longer listen to
King Harvest – ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’
“I think if you can’t bear to listen to a song any more, it passes. All things pass. But there are certain songs I used to play for my kids that brutally remind me of the passage of time. This was on a mixtape I used to play in the car to get them to sleep. I hear it now and think: ‘Oh my God, my kids aren’t three any more.’ It feels rough.”

The song that makes me dance
Sly & the Family Stone – ‘Thank You’
“I’m never able to stop myself from dancing. There’s no song that makes me unable to dance.”

The band that made me want to make music
The Beatles
“They were my favourite band for forever. But when I started to play guitar and think about songs together, it was Bob Dylan and The Band. More straight-ahead, rootsy rock’n’roll.”

The song I want played at my funeral
David Duchovny – ‘Stars’
“I’d send ’em off with one of my songs. I don’t care what they say afterwards. ‘How egotistical!’ Well, I’m dead, I don’t care. ‘Stars’ has a cosmic feel to it; the lyrics are kind of eternal and centre on the fact that you see light from some stars that are dead because it takes so long to travel to us. It would be good for the funeral because it’s a meditation on death. Some things appear to be alive but are actually dead.”