Remembering when David Lynch made the ‘ultimate DIY record’ with Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse
Groundbreaking director David Lynch, largely known for films such as Mulholland Drive and Blue Velvet, has achieved a lot more in the world of art than just feature films.
Here, in Far Out’s Vault, we remember his foray into music as he collected his trademark surrealist style which was released as a book to accompany the 2009 album by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse. The project, which featured an A-list team of additional collaborators including The Flaming Lips, Iggy Pop, Suzanne Vega, Frank Black, and The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, is adored by Lynch’s fans.
There was a catch with the record, however, as the limited edition packaging for the album came with no music. All fans received was a blank CD with the message: “For legal reasons enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will” stamped across it. The reason, apparently, was because EMI threatened to sue Danger Mouse were he to release the CD officially.
The idea was for fans to download the music wherever you might find it, which only takes a quick Google search for fans to find the tracks for free online and then to burn to the enclosed blank CD, thus stopping Danger Mouse getting sued. Now that’s a DIY record.
In an interview with Dazed and Confused back in 2009, Lynch was asked by the if he approaches painting and photography in the same way as he would when creating a scene for one of his films. The 72-year-old responded: “Yeah, exactly. If an idea comes for furniture, you will see a table in your brain. You will see what it’s made of and the shape of it, and if that idea is something you love, then you go into the wood shop and start making that table.
“If you get an idea for a painting and you’re all fired up about it then you go right into the painting studio and start working on those. Making a film is just a longer process, but when you’re in love you don’t care how long it takes to make something.”