New York Times: David Duchovny’s Truth Is Out There, Between Covers

New York Times: David Duchovny’s Truth Is Out There, Between Covers

New York Times interviews David Duchovny about the inspirations behind his new novel, Miss Subways.

By Maureen Dowd | April 28, 2018
I’m a sucker for a man who reads Yeats. So I’m bound to like a man who bases his novel on an obscure Yeats play.

“When I was at Yale in graduate school, a friend of mine brought me to see a play that the undergraduates were doing and it was ‘The Only Jealousy of Emer,’” David Duchovny recalls one rainy day over lattes at Tavern on the Green. “It’s a verse play, so it’s kind of unwatchable. But I got the gist of it, which was a very cool wager about love, and it stayed with me forever.”

Naturally, since this is Fox Mulder of “The X-Files,” there’s a supernatural element and a parallel universe. And since this is also Hank Moody of “Californication,” there’s some drinking and womanizing, too.

In the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology, Emer and the warrior hero Cu Chulainn fall in love and marry after trading cryptic riddles.

The Yeats play conjures a moment when Cu Chulainn inadvertently kills his own son in battle and then, distraught, begins fighting “the deathless sea” and almost drowns. A demonic Irish fairy, called a Sidhe, appears and offers Emer a cruel bargain: If she gives up her fondest hope that the warrior will tire of his mistress — also at his sickbed — and grow old with her, the fairy will let Cu Chulainn live.

“He’ll never sit beside you at the hearth,” the Sidhe tells Emer, “Or make old bones, but die of wounds and toil, on some far shore or mountain, a strange woman beside his mattress.”

Read the full interview here

NME: David Duchovny Q&A: Tom Petty, The future of X-Files, #TimesUp and his own sweet, sweet music

NME: David Duchovny Q&A: Tom Petty, The future of X-Files, #TimesUp and his own sweet, sweet music

By Leonie Cooper | March 15, 2018

Hello David! Music is a relatively new string to your bow – what made you start making it?
“I just always loved music and had wanted to play an instrument and found myself with some time about six or seven years ago. I was like, ‘fuck it, I’ll teach myself how to play guitar’, and just sit in a room and learn some chords and sing along to songs that I like, like the way any child would do but I happened to be in my 50s when I did it.”

What were those songs that you were playing along with?
“’The Weight’, ‘Wish you Were Here’, classic ’60s rock, stuff that I grew up with, a real return to my roots.”

How does the new album differ from the first?
“I think musically it’s more sophisticated. The first album is more country rock or folk rock or whatever, more stripped down, even though there are a couple rockers. But this one is more like… I love ‘”Heroes”’ by Bowie, can we give a vibe like that to the song? I love Fleetwood Mac bass and drums – can we kind of have the airtight feel to the song? Stuff like that.”

‘Every Third Thought’ – why name the album after that track? Why is that track so important?
“I don’t think it is so important, I wanted to call the album ‘Stranger In The Sacred Heart’ but people were afraid that people would think it was a Christian album! But ‘Every Third Thought’ I think as a phrase it’s kind of strangely evocative and good and as you probably know by your accent, it’s Shakespeare. “Every third thought will be on death” I think is the actual quote but in the song it’s kind of like on another person. It’s a little bit about obsession or not being able to move on, I kind of like it.”

Read the full interview here

Paste: Live Photos – David Duchovny Performs Lo-Fi Folk & Country in New York

Paste: Live Photos - David Duchovny Performs Lo-Fi Folk & Country in New York

Paste Magazine unveils several photos taken from David Duchovny’s recent perfomance at Gramercy Theatre.

Story and photography by Julia Drummond | March 8, 2017

Under the motto “Come for the actor, stay for the music,” David Duchovny recently played a smattering of dates in support of his 2015 debut, Hell or Highwater on ThinkSay Records. The X-Files and Californication leading man picked up a guitar in the last decade during long stretches in trailers, learning the instrument and putting years of poetry to music. The resulting tracks constitute affable alt-country, folk and soft rock in the wheelhouse of Wilco or Lyle Lovett. Photographer Julia Drummond caught Duchovny at his Gramercy Theatre stop in New York last week to capture the breezy set in the gallery above.

Read full article here

Billboard: David Duchovny on His Late Blooming Music Career & Gaining Confidence as a Singer

Billboard: David Duchovny on His Late Blooming Music Career & Gaining Confidence as a Singer

By Brian Leak | February 6, 2018

For 30 years, David Duchovny has been on screens big and small with roles ranging from “Tess’s Birthday Party Friend” in 1988’s Working Girl to beloved characters like The X-Files‘ “spooky” FBI agent Fox Mulder and writer Hank Moody in the sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll-riddled Californication. In recent years, though, Duchovny has dabbled in other areas of entertainment. He’s written two books and has another on the way, and in 2015 he released his debut album, titled Hell Or Highwater.On Feb. 9, Duchovny will release his second full-length album, Every Third Thought, which he’ll begin supporting with a handful of tour dates in New Zealand and Australia.

Duchovny spoke with Billboard to discuss his process as a songwriter, the importance of music education, and what might be on the horizon for him and his band.

Read the full interview here.

Billboard: David Duchovny Shares Ethereal New Single ‘Half-Life’ From Upcoming Album ‘Every Third Thought’ Premiere

Billboard: David Duchovny Shares Ethereal New Single 'Half-Life' From Upcoming Album 'Every Third Thought' Premiere

By Wandera Hussein | January 22, 2018

Award winning actor David Duchovny has returned on multiple fronts in 2018. With the reprisal of his role as Fox Mulder on the The X-Files on Jan. 3rd, the multi-talented Duchovny also shared some new tunes. Duchovny’s upcoming album Every Third Thought is due for release on Feb. 9 and the alt-rocker released the ethereal single “Half-Life” today (Jan. 22) in promotion of the upcoming LP.

Equipped with blaring riffs, a crooning synth melody, and a gentle acoustic guitar, the sci-fi actor’s album mixes love and science, with Duchovny singing subtly about the unconditional love. “Unconditional love decays, only fossilized hearts can break. Every piece is indivisible.”

“I find poetry in science,” Duchovny told Billboard. “Things like The Heisenberg principle or Schroedinger’s cat — things like this. The phrase half life and the fact that it refers to radioactive decay or decay struck me as a poetic and wonderfully ambiguous place to start a song about life and love.”

Along with the release of the album, Duchovny is set to embark on a short tour across Australia and New Zealand. The tour begins on Feb. 20 in Auckland, NZ and concludes on Mar. 1 in Brisbane, AU.

Read the full interview here

Rolling Stone: David Duchovny Details New Album ‘Every Third Thought’

Rolling Stone: David Duchovny Details New Album ‘Every Third Thought’

By Althea Legaspi | January 5, 2018

David Duchovny has announced the release of his sophomore album, Every Third Thought. The follow-up to 2015’s Hell or Highwater, the new 12-song set will be released on February 9th via King Baby/GMG.

According to a statement, the new material eschews the folky vibe of the musician-actor’s debut LP and moves into a more rock direction. It will first be released digitally and on streaming services before becoming available on CD and vinyl.

“I feel like this album presents a real growth lyrically and musically from the first and I can’t wait to get it out there,” Duchovny said in a statement.

Duchovny’s musical aspirations are a relatively recent development. In 2015, Duchovny told Rolling Stone he first picked up the guitar just a few years prior to amuse himself and he began with the classics. “The Beatles, Lou Reed, the Band, Petty — classic white-guy rock,” he said, naming artists whose songs he first learned to play on guitar. “I love Seventies funk, but I’m not good enough to play it yet. So hopefully, within the next year or so, I’ll get my jazzy chords and come out with a little Sly and the Family Stone tribute album.”

Following the release of Every Third Thought, he will embark on a tour through New Zealand and Australia with U.S. dates to follow. In the meantime, he’s starring in the 11th season of The X-Files, which premiered on Wednesday on Fox.

Read the full article here

NME: Soundtrack Of My Life – David Duchovny

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.”

Billboard: David Duchovny on His Folksy Debut Album – ‘I’m Never Going to Win ‘American Idol’ But I Do Have Something to Say’

Billboard: David Duchovny on His Folksy Debut Album - 'I'm Never Going to Win 'American Idol' But I Do Have Something to Say'

Billboard interviews David Duchovny about his newest hobby that led to the release of his debut album.

By Harley Brown | May 4, 2015

It’s unclear what’s more surprising: David Duchovny coming out with a folksy album of Jeff Tweedy-indebted guitar jams, Hell or Highwater, or that the decorated X Files and Californication actor got his start playing the recorder — “a big rock and roll instrument if you’re into Jethro Tull,” he tells Billboard. But Duchovny has been harboring musical aspirations since he first picked up a guitar four years ago. “I wanted to become decent enough to play songs to amuse myself,” he says.

Eventually, he realized the three-chord rock-and-roll structures of classics like Elton John>’s “Tiny Dancer” and Robbie Robertson’s “Broken Arrow” weren’t that hard to write. “I thought, ‘I can throw some chords together,'” he says. “A lot of songwriters say words are the hardest part, but it was the opposite for me.”

Hell or Highwater arrives May 12, about a month before the much-hyped new season of The X Files goes into production this summer, followed by shooting for the new season of his L.A. crime drama Aquarius. If there’s time in his schedule, the 54-year-old aims to tour behind the record. “If someone asks me if I’d like to have 10 Christmases,” he explains, “I’ll say, ‘Yeah, I do.'”

Does your poetry background help with writing lyrics?

Writing lyrics are very different from poems because they have to allow for music to carry some of the weight, whereas with a poem, the words do all the work. That’s why when you see lyrics on a page you’re like, “These words suck,” and then you hear the song and they work. A Beatles lyric like “I love her” couldn’t be more saccharine but then you hear it in the midst of the song and it moves me.

A lot of times an idea or a phrase would come to mind, like “hell or high water.” “Stars,” a fun one on the album, started with this idea that I think a lot of people are aware of: starlight that you see from certain stars is so far away that the light takes so long to get here, and by the time it does, the stars have actually died, but you’re still seeing the light because it takes so long to get here. That’s a good metaphor for love.

Are your songs autobiographical at all?

Neil Simon said, “Everything’s autobiographical, even the stuff you make up.” I tend to agree with that. It’s not confessional, about me, or about anybody, but these are my life experiences. I’m not trying to make a statement of any kind other than this is what I see, this is what I felt, this is what I want to sing about. Straight autobiography is interesting and artful, but what makes it art is that you turn it into something else. I could write lyrics that were straight autobiography but I think the song would really suck.

Did you grow up in a musical family?

I didn’t play an instrument. None of my siblings played an instrument. Well, my brother played the flute. My dad loved music. He listened to a lot of big bands and jazz stuff that I hated. We had a generational misunderstanding of one another’s music. My brother was a little older and in the middle of rock and roll—he was into the [Grateful] Dead, which I never was. I grew up listening to the Beatles, the [Rolling] Stones, the Who, Yes, and ’70s prog rock. I was also big into funk. As I become a better musician I hope to be able to play more funk.

What was it like recording in a studio?

All the songs were written in my apartment, but the production has opened my up to working with other musicians. It was much more piecemeal than I imagined. It’s very much like acting. You don’t have to be perfect all the way through – you get plenty of takes. It was a complete learning experience by total immersion. I’m a rudimentary guitar player; I play well enough to throw some chords together. I’m not even a good enough player to record my own songs. Once I took it out of my room, it started evolving with guys who really knew how to play. Now I also have to learn how to perform the songs. The album was recorded in Boston [Somervile’s Q Division Studios] where label is, and where the guys that make up my band are. They’re all Berklee [School of Music] grads. We did it in a week and a half, which is certainly not a luxurious recording schedule, I’m told. It was tough at first but then as we got toward the end of the week I started to feel more comfortable, and now I look forward to doing it again.

How did you discover your singing voice?

I’m also a beginner in terms of my voice. I’ve never sung; it wasn’t even a hobby or anything, and all of a sudden I’m standing in front of a mic going, “This is for real.” I was lucky enough to be steered towards Don Lawrence, who teaches voice in New York. The first 20-minute session completely changed the way I think about making a sound out of my mouth. One of the things I learned with Don is that all the sounds are made in the back of your throat, that the shape of your throat is an entity to amplify sound. It doesn’t come from your mouth, where your tongue is up there with your teeth. I was like, “Oh fuck, that was revolutionary to me.”

I’m not a guy who came out of the womb with perfect pitch. I’m never gonna win American Idol and I never will, but I do have something to say and Don helped me maximize that. I do have enough of a sense of pitch that I know I’m not singing it correctly so I’m in that hell where I know I’m tone-deaf. But I listened to the album and I like the singing on it. I’m tickled by it.

Rolling Stone: Hear David Duchovny’s Moody Alt-Rock From Debut Album

Rolling Stone: Hear David Duchovny’s Moody Alt-Rock From Debut Album

Rolling Stone reports on David Duchovny’s simultaneous releases of his first album ‘Hell or Highwater’ and the new show ‘Aquarius.’

By Kory Grow | March 31, 2015

David Duchovny will release his first album of music, Hell or Highwater, this spring. The record contains 12 songs that the X-Files and Californication actor composed himself.

Preview a Cure-like instrumental section of “Hell or Highwater” and the record’s upbeat, indie-folk-leaning “Another Year” below. The title track is out now; the full LP is due out May 12th.

“Making this record is a dream come true, but I never had this dream – it’s still a shock when I think about how all this music happened,” Duchovny said in a statement. “What I do know is that I feel these songs represent the truest expression that I’ve ever been able to achieve and I look forward to sharing it with everyone.”

The actor discussed his foray into music with Rolling Stone last year, comparing its sound to Wilco and R.E.M. but qualifying those references by saying he wished it sounded like that “in [his] wildest dreams.” Duchovny first picked up a guitar a few years ago, learning Flaming Lips’ “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” as his first song on the instrument. Ultimately, his interest in playing guitar dovetailed into his interest in writing poetry.

“Once I started playing music, I started thinking, ‘Gee, I should be able to write lyrics,’” Duchovny said. “And I just fell backwards into the whole thing. It’s just been a real pleasure in my life, regardless of who buys it and what people think of it when it comes out. It’s been a lifesaver just to be able to play music, write songs and think about singing songs to friends.”

With the album on its way, right now is a very busy time for Duchovny. He’s written an “allegorical story” in the form of a novel, Holy Cow, which came out earlier this year. And he also has signed on to do a limited run of new X-Files episodes, also with Gillian Anderson and series creator Chris Carter back on board.

But first, he will star in NBC’s Aquarius, a period drama set in the Sixties in which Duchovny plays a cop who’s on the hunt for a killer that turns out to be the Manson Family. “It’s [set in] a very interesting time period for the country,” he told Rolling Stone. “Still, to this day, there’s a lot of mystique about the promise of the Sixties and what went wrong there and what’s gone wrong since. You had Manson on one hand, and the dark side of the Sixties, and you’ve got peace, love and Flower Power on the light side. There’s a lot to work with.”

The Guardian – Interview with David Duchovny: ‘I’ve more self-doubt as an actor than as a writer”

The Guardian - Interview with David Duchovny: 'I've more self-doubt as an actor than as a writer"

David tells The Guardian more about his acting and writing career, as well as his upcoming projects.

By Rachel Cooke | Feb 22, 2015

David Duchovny is best known for his role as FBI agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files, and as dissolute writer Hank Moody in Californication. He has a BA in English literature from Princeton, where he wrote a dissertation on the early novels of Samuel Beckett, and an MA from Yale. He has now published a novel, Holy Cow, in which a cow called Elsie, a pig called Shalom and a turkey called Tom escape a farm in upstate New York in search of a better life.

How did you get the idea for Holy Cow?

I had an idle idea while driving one day that if I were a cow I’d probably do my best to get to India. I thought that was funny. But then I thought: what else could happen? If I were a pig, I’d try and get to a place where kosher laws were enforced and I wouldn’t be eaten. And… a turkey might think that Turkey would be safe. So then we’ve got our three… This sounded to me like it could be a kids’ movie, so I wrote up a treatment and pitched it as an animated film. But the story includes some Muslim-Jewish political discussion, some drug-taking, and the circumcision of a pig. They politely passed. So I shelved it until, a year and a half ago, I thought: why don’t I write it up as a novel?

It seems to come with a message about how we treat farm animals, and perhaps that we eat too much meat.

I’m not a polemicist. I’m not a proselytiser for vegetarianism or climate change. I don’t force my personal morality on others, and I don’t like books that try to. To me, it’s a work of entertainment first and foremost. A decent work of art raises more questions than it answers. If it answers questions, it becomes propaganda. The book really comes out of my earliest reading: I grew up on Aesop’s Fables… the first stories I ever heard involved talking animals.

Which is harder, writing or acting?

I can’t say that I enjoy writing; it’s difficult. I would say I enjoy having written. But I’ve way more self-doubt as an actor – I come from more of a writing background than a performing background. My sense of myself from an early age was as an observer, a thinker. I didn’t even see that many movies as a kid.

What about reviews? When you act, you’re part of a team; you can hide. But as a writer, your name’s the only one on the jacket.

I don’t read any reviews of anything I do. I haven’t for 10 years, and it has made life a lot better. So much criticism today is snarky and ad hominem. I’m of the school that says: judge the work, not who did it. It’s hard for actors; it’s their body and face they’re using. As a writer it should be easier, but I don’t think it is. I didn’t want to use a pseudonym: I want people to read the book, so why not use whatever celebrity I have to bring attention to it? But reading reviews is like finding your beloved’s journal: the only reason you’re going to open it is because you want to hurt yourself.

You abandoned your PhD at Yale… what was it about?

The title of the dissertation that never will be was: Magic and technology in contemporary fiction and poetry. The writers I was going to discuss were James Merrill,Norman Mailer, Ishmael Reed, Robertson Davies, Thomas Pynchon. I didn’t finish it because I’m a lazy piece of shit. I started acting, and once I left the halls of academia, it was hard to keep the focus on something so rarefied.

Did you regret giving it up?

I still have regrets; I’m a regretful person. Before I had any success as an actor, when I was receiving rejection after rejection, I thought: what the hell are you doing? You worked your ass off, you were at the best places, you were set up to have an interesting and nice life teaching and writing, and now you’re auditioning for a potato-chip commercial in your bathing suit.

Do you buy a lot of new books?

I order up to four every week. The last two I enjoyed were Dept of Speculation by Jenny Offill, which I found to be devastatingly sad, and Outline by Rachel Cusk. She writes beautifully about things that are very difficult to write about.

Both those novels are about women who are getting older and feel invisible, a subject the movies don’t ever touch on. This isn’t a problem for men, is it? They just get (supposedly) more attractive, especially on screen, where their wives and girlfriends only get younger.

Well, that’s the cliche, and there is a standard that is kinder to men than to women. That’s unfair, though I don’t know how you legislate against it. But of course I worry about ageing. I don’t want to get old. I’d have a facelift if they ever worked… But it seems to me they don’t look good.

What’s coming up for you next?

I’m writing another novel, and I have an album coming out, Hell Or High Water. I also have a new show on NBC, Aquarius. It’s set in late-60s LA, and I play a homicide detective who’s watching the world change and isn’t so happy about it. An old flame of mine calls me and says that her daughter has run off with this guy, Charles Manson. This is before that name rings anybody’s bell. So I get caught up in the counterculture, a world I don’t understand, because I grew up in the 20s and 30s.

Why don’t you come to London and do a play by your beloved Beckett?

[Laughs] Well, Gillian [Anderson, his X-Files co-star] has done so well in London. But she’s a proper actress. She studied; I taught myself on the job. Doing theatre wouldn’t be a return to my roots — that would be going back to grad school. I do love London, though. If you came to me with a brilliant play, I imagine I’d try to do it.

There is still talk of a Mulder and Scully reunion. Aren’t you done with The X-Files?

If you’d asked me this question 10 years ago, I would have said: yes, I’ve had enough. But at this point, it’s almost like going out on a greatest hits tour. It would be a lark. And I think it’s going to happen pretty soon.