David Duchovny: "Every Third Thought" | Talks at Google
Thanks. For coming down we'll. Do a couple songs and then we'll talk and then we'll do a couple more songs and then we'll get, the out of here. By your side. SiC. You. Are closer. Used to, be. Less. To. Open my eyes. Condition. Fossilized, hearts. Got. A fine, positions. That. You'll exercise. Exponentially. Imagine. It's, gone. Nice. Vision, God. Got, a fire. Positions. That. Exercise. I. Got. Lost. I got. Lost. I got. Lost, fun. Is chilly. Unconditional. Love to. Kiss. Roman. Fossilized. Hearts, can break. Every. Piece. Kind. Of. Exercise. Happened. Thank. You. I. Wanna. Say somethin so I can scroll, the. Out of there, if. I say so I said it again so now go with it I got a stop saying so, that oh. This. Is bad. Alright. Oh. Okay. We'll do another song now I will do the third. Thought alright. Every. Third time. Thought. On the future, and the past, all. These thoughts on things that don't laugh. Every. Second, power. Every. Thought, on what was once green and new. All these, thoughts like fellas faintly. Every. Second. Feels. Versus, Scofield. Wow. Turning. As sees. Well. Most ever thought on what. I have lost. Can't. Buy forgiveness if, you don't know the cause. Let's ease. My. Man. Oh. Good. My mother would be okay with that. We'll. Do one more and then we'll uh we'll do a little chatting, yeah yeah, okay cool what. Do you want to do. Okay. Don't, see good eyes does. A bad, life. Any man. Word to say. Is. All idea. I can't. Make you feel safe. You sound they got guns. Crosses. Feedback. Around. Until. You realize, we're. Outside. Cuz. I can't make. It round. Make, it shine. And I can't serve this. Storm is. Real. Sun, shower. Just, the ball. In the chest my. In the test of all. The. Choice I gotta mark. I said. I love, you forever. Compiler. Take. Mine. And final, version. Whose washes, clean. Of, our sins. See. We'll, be. I will. Stand, in, come. On. I can't. Sir. Dan. Tonight, I can turn. Cool. By. To be sure I can. See. The light to get us all this guy. As I can't make. It. I. Make it shine. We. Could try to erase the past. Soula testify. Push. Gums. Tell. The. Choice I gotta. I said. I love, you forever. Come, hammer. Flood and. Take. My. This washes. Our. Sins. Oh. We'll, be. I, will. Stand, if. Waters. You cry, within. It. Tissue, alive. He, can build your life on it. Man. Promises. The. Tri-c. Goes I, can't step out and. The way that I can't work. I cannot. Wait. You're the state to, all. This nonsense system. Love you forever, come. Hell or high water. We'll. Be the floods, and. Take. My, hand, fighter purchase. This washes. For, sin. Will. I will. Stand, there forever. Hello. Hi. Huh. So first off thanks, for coming appreciate. It, I'm, gonna start with like some broader questions, and then sort of work my way down to more, specific, so your, work I like your strategy thank, you. So first. Mission is like in tech so we have this tiny lost my hair. We. Have a huge you, know one of our buzzwords is pivoting.
And. You know you've you've done academia. You know you went to Princeton Yale, all but dissertation and, you, you. Know movies, TV. Shows x-files. Californication. And now music so, I guess my question for you is you seem to novels, around right I. Don't want to pivot. Novel. Sooner I wanted to ask you more about that later as well um I, read, Bucky, dead you know yeah. So. Yeah. I. Would be giving compliments later on um. So. You seem like that strategy I like the strategy. Compliments. Off the top let, anybody go ahead okay so, you seem to pivoted, a lot successfully, in your career so how are you able to do it what sort of challenges, did, you face. Well. I mean. I. Just. Think it's. Not that I get bored so easily I just think I just have, looked, for other modes, of expression to. Convey. Whatever it is I I feel. I was put. Here to convey so just finding different, ways of expressing. Whatever, it is on my my mind or my heart at the time so. You. Know I started, out as a writer. Unpublished. And then I became an actor and then. I went back to being a writer actor. And then I discovered. Music and started, writing you, know lyrically, that way and, also. Rediscovered, myself as a prose writer at the same time so I don't. Know it wasn't really like intentional. It's more just like I. Don't. Know how to how to phrase it in a way that makes total sense but, it's just like looking for another window. Out. Or. Window open. To. Communicate, something through that open window I've lost it now. But. I. Think. But, your question you, know it afforded me a lot of opportunity, because I had notoriety as an actor to be given, a listen, as, a. Musician, or a read, as a novelist. At. The same time though you know I'm open to attack so just you know being a dilettante, so it's, both I, get, I get. An opportunity to reach more people and I probably, would, if I didn't have any kind of notoriety but also I don't, get taken seriously like what the are you doing you know why don't you just stay in your own lane yeah. Is. Your is your Twitter. Tag. Line still dilettante, no, but that's good it was when. I used to actually involve myself in it yeah. When I first, of all would you is still time I really like that tangling no bring it back Fred. Dilettante. Yeah, so I I guess my, second like so I. Think. From a lot of your writing like I said I read Bucky. Dent I really enjoyed it you can talk more about it if you want it's his David's, second novel it's. Set in so the main character lives in the Bronx much of it it's like all set in New York yeah in, hell or high water a lot of your songs also reference, New York first, album so. You. Know what are your favorite. Haunts. Where. Can we find you on like a random Tuesday night home. I, grew. Up in New York so it's it's in me just, as a reference you, know it has all this feeling, for me and and I, I don't say that I love New York I'm not one of those guys like I kind of love hate it with. The emphasis on hate a lot of the time so I. Find. Myself just writing, about it in a weird way as much as I always talk about leaving, it. It's. Just I feel, like I'm, destined. To never, leave it in some way, even, though I think I've been trying to leave it for most of my adult life so, I think that's kind of the push-pull, with me in New York I mean I grew up not far from here I grew up I told you 11th Street and 2nd Avenue and, it's, all it's all very different now but but you know this.
Is My favorite neighborhood, of New York the the East, Village and. The West Village to me, that really has, a lot of nostalgia because I still hang out I didn't hang out here. There. Was a movie theater where the equinoxes, now, which. Is just, tells you everything, you need to know about New York. On. Greenwich since and, 12th. I think. It is. So. I, think I want to get a little more into. Your current, album I, know. That some of your songs I think spiral. Was written by your bandmates. Marvel. Sun was kind of a collaborative, effort I assume yeah you know the rest is solo. Not. Really solo but the other ones would. Have been songs. That I I first. Wrote on, my own and then brought to the guys and we worked on so yeah, I guess the inspiration, would be solo and then you know the. The the actual, execution, of them would be more, of a team, effort I see, do you prefer like one over the other I'm, just not good enough to really bring it home myself I mean I'm not I'm not a I'm. Not like a school, musician, and I, throw. Chords together and put words and melodies on those chords and then you, know when we first started work and I we'll introduce you to the guys when they come back up if. They haven't left already he'll be like. You. Know I was like they're, like oh the song needs a bridge and I'm like what's, the bridge, it's. Architectural. Question, I didn't understand, so so, it's been a learning process for me collaborating, with that I'm sure a learning, process for them and and I will say that one. Of the good things about working with somebody who has no education in. That particular, field and just, as feel, is. That I'm a I make mistakes, that are interesting, sometimes I make mistakes that are horrible, sometimes, but, I also make mistakes that are interesting, and that might that, might make sense here at Google I don't know how, they tell you to be in the culture well fast feel, fast I, don't. Understand, what that mean, it. Means if you're on a bad road get off it quickly yeah, I guess like make mistakes but learn from them best. Is. Always caught this becket thing was was fail again fail better I wonder, if if. It's, been ripped off by you guys. Failed. Fast. All. Right feel fast I'm gonna ponder, on that. Yeah. So related, to that um a, little. Birdie told me or some publication, I read that. You. Didn't pick up a guitar until, like you didn't learn guitar until like three years or, so before hell, or high water, yeah.
Is. There a reason why like. First I guess do you regret picking it up solely and was there a reason. Why. You chose to you know self learn versus, get. A teacher you. Know why don't you obviously have the resources right. You. Guys want to take it over. I. Well. You know it's a good question because I actually have an answer for it which is I, didn't. Want any homework I mean, I didn't want it to feel like I, was, doing it for anybody I just wanted to teach, myself the chords and the songs that I wanted to play on my own in my room by myself, nobody. Ever asked me to sing is you know that first song was rough so I have, trouble, you know I mean it's like my pitches, learned so, I nobody ever said you know David's got to be in the choir because we got to hear that boys sing so. There I am there. I am you know learning my chords and singing, as best I can in my room and the last thing I wanted was to have to all, my life I've been doing homework as you as you referenced I've been in school when. I when I act I got to learn lines I got to show up prepared, I have homework every day I didn't. Want to homework I didn't want somebody to have to you, know you did not practice David, you did, not do your scale so I just wanted to be fun without, any kind of pressure so this. Is the only time in my life it's ever been everything I've ever done, was for, somebody. Else's appraisal, so it. Makes no sense that I would actually bring out this music for other people's appraisal, at this point but that's that's, where I'm at so you want to keep it as your own thing right just you well, no obviously not obviously. Not I bring, it out you know I some. Point I I. Started, to feel like it was worthwhile and, it, was good and I wanted to share and as. Well I'll do it that guy who just spoke Brad Davidson, he was really pushing me to you. Know get better and and and so this you know said the songs are worthwhile and, and. So, you know it. Was just me being pushed eventually. And then it's just ironic that, you, know something that started out just for me you, know ends up being something. That I do in public I. Also. I, think in the Cambridge, sort, of it's. Just I could never get all those guys to come to my house with all their stuff and set up in my living room. I. Think. In the in the Cambridge performance, set so, David also performed, in our Cambridge, office that's. Right you're joking that you know people used to tell you, like. Don't, staying like you know they, told you like you weren't a senior and then you've got a voice teacher and that sort of reminded me of kind of the age-old, question of, like talent. Versus, grit yeah, um I, wanted, to get your thoughts on that like you're obviously, a great singer no no I know. But. But i but i but i have a voice you know and and I get up there and I sing. Well. I I you, know I'm I, can make mistakes you know I'm pitchy. Like this and American Idol you know pitchy but, grit, versus talent I think RIT is a talent, you know I played. A lot of sports in my life and I've seen guys, with, tons. Of talent but no grit and you. Kind of tend to blame people with, no grit in. A way that you wouldn't blame somebody with no talent, yeah and, so and I really do believe that grit is a talent, I don't know if it's learned or if its genetic but, it's. One thing I've tried to teach my kids as a resiliency, I guess it's another word for it is the. Ability to to keep at something when, you soccer and that was one of the reasons why I took up guitar aside. From wanting to place myself in, my room was, I had. Young kids and I I, was, adamant, that I would find something that I didn't know how to do and I wanted, them to beat musicians, not. For, their job but I just wanted them to have that opportunity in their lives and I, thought well you know I'm always preaching at them that you got to keep working so, I'm gonna show them I'm gonna work you know I'll try, to get better at this thing that I'm not good at and. You. Know lucky. Me they both play guitar too my son's actually a really good guitar player at this point so, way. Better than me so you. Know when you start young there's a there's, a real advantage but. There's. Jam together. You. Know. If. I sneak in like like. He doesn't, want he doesn't he doesn't want me there you know but if I sneak in with a guitar. You. Know if he's playing. He'll. Heal me but, he plays he loves, like the music that I grew up with he listens, to like late 60 70 stones he's playing wish you were here but Pink Floyd and he's, like he's in a time warp or that I love and I hope he never gets out it. Is. So, in this, I'm.
A Big fan of grit I guess the fan of talent as well okay but, it's, a thesis yeah. I'm. All I'm all about the grit okay. So. I guess in this album you I. Know like, one of the, songs Jericho, is a song kind of written. To your father, do you have any songs, a particularly, a hold close to your heart or your. Kind of yeah, agnostic. Well I'm agnostic with a yearning, for, you know something. Greater sure I think we all have to be joined, with something, greater than ourselves or, egos. But I. I. Think you, know all the songs I, was, thinking like oh I'm at Google I'm going to say something really clever, that. All the songs are like and I don't know what writing code is but. All the songs are like writing code. Language. Is like writing code I don't. Know what writing code is let. Me just emphasize that, but, but language is a code we think of languages something. That's opaque, and transparent to, our thoughts but it's not it's an act it's an actual code and it's it's a. It's. Slippery and it's it's, inexact and so. When. I write songs I love that fact when I when I speak I don't love that fact when I try and make my heart clear my mind clear does somebody then it's frustrating because words are always inadequate, but in. A song they, can it, can get much bigger than. You. Know the code you're writing about something but it's coding, for something else it's. Not what code means I know. So. Forgive me but I just had that thought coming over here but what was the question Jericho's, about my father. Coded. Yeah. A lot of my song like half-life is you know the code is you know you could say it's divorced, you could say it's midlife, you know there's many different. Ways into that song and I deliberately, am vague. Specifically. Vague enough. To make, it both personal, to me and hopefully universal, to other. Folks so I was like as any artists you leave it up to the interpreter you put it out there and then well. Yeah I mean I think any song I, mean. You know I I could, I could I could sit you down and I could walk you through a song and tell you what I thought I was writing and that'll, be interesting if, you said well actually I thought that song was about this and hopefully, what your, interpretation wouldn't, be about well will something happen in David's life and he did this and he did that but it would be like to your life. So. Yes. There's, something especially. Less, about movies television and, novels. And more about music which to me is very much you, give that to other people and, you you let them kind of make it their own for, them you. Know that's this song now, belongs to you and you make it mean what you want I think more than the other art forms songs, are really like that. So. Before I asked. This final question if you if anyone, in the audience has, Q&A, questions, you can start lining up in the two microphones on, the side now. No. One's getting up okay I. Think. I think. You. Know a lot of us who work here band, okay you guys, want to ask me anything. So. A lot of us who you, know I think people in general strive to keep improving right, so and like. You put out an album and now we have a second one you have three. Books or sorry, you have two books out now you have a one forthcoming miss Subway's, I'm. Sorry a third one coming out may miss Subway's. How. Do you approach your work and just like continuing. To improve I. Think. You just improve by doing you know I think you that's. How I learned how to be an actor I mean I was lucky enough to, to, get a started, fairly late, I heard I thought you know 27, 27. Ish, gone. To graduate school as you make a summer job right. And. It turned into that yeah so so, I really was. Lucky in that one of the first jobs I got was was, the x-files and I got to go to, I had to work every day for. Like 14, hours a day being, an actor and after. A couple, years of that I I, learned, you, know but I didn't, know I thought I knew i I guess what's what's blissful, is that if you think you're better than you are in the beginning that's, I, don't know how you can teach that to somebody, but it's, like have. More confidence than you should have and then you go forward and you try things and then eventually. As you get actual, experience, you realize oh no you actually sucked, back then but that time has passed and, now you're okay, you're actually so, you don't to worry about it so much unless, it's my case when it plays in reruns and you get to watch how bad.
Alright. We're gonna open up for Q&A. I guess we'll start. Here. Cuz there's more people there and. Hey, David how are you I'm, Sarah hey. So. You're clearly a multi-talented. Artist as, we saw you perform. Today, curious. To know which, musicians, dead. Or alive have inspired, you to. Make your music or any favorite songs you have um, well. I mean it's. To. Say that I'm inspired would, be to say that I could, actually, you. Know do something in the vein of them, on purpose I can't do that I mean more I'm more of an unconscious like, songwriter, because I like, I said I'm not schooled in that way so I if I. Tried to write a Beatles song I couldn't do it but certainly, I feel inspired by the Beatles or or petty, or Bowie, or you. Know sly the Family Stone and I do want, to get, a little more funky, in my music you, know I want, in. Us go towards Clinton ah that's, a little too fun it's like super, fun. Atomic. Dog yeah yeah, something like that I mean, really. Slide the family stone for me. You. Know even like 70s, like like like. Ohio, players you know stuff like that but you, know I don't even know we got to talk about doing. Like that. Yeah. We're ready, Fleetwood. Mac is another band that I really like the sound of, you. Know the stones I love but I don't, know how many phones buy them but you know you definitely have a petty sounds. Welcome. Thank. You. Hello. I'm, also a, native New Yorker I appreciate, what you said about loving, it and wanting to leave it I'm actually leaving to move to LA and I was wondering if you could give any advice to a, New, Yorker moving till I home what to do. Sunscreen. I. Think, this could people. Want, to leave LA to I I, don't know where. Are you gonna move in LA you don't know you don't know where I'm not sure maybe Santa Monica oh yeah sure. No. You got your you're fine, you know Santa. I love Santa Monica Venice I love if if, you come from New York you kind of want to see the ocean I feel and then I always I always like to see. The ocean so that's kind, of where I've lived in in LA I feel like I like to see the end of the world at the edge of the world I like to see the edge of the world, I like. Seeing no more people. Just. Fish. Hi, David thanks for coming my name is tippy, my. Question for you is I think fans of yours we all know you, for your sense of humor and I think even back, in the x-files days we saw you inject, humor into what could otherwise be like a really dramatic character and then you kind of finally got to explore that in Californication. So my, question is was. Starting, out in such a serious character in kind of a serious world was that kind of almost. A struggle to be able to show that side of yourself or tap into it. Well. It. Was more it, was more like a perceptual. Thing. For others because, the the character was so well, he was dry but you had to be paying attention if you wanted to think Mulder. Was funny it was very easy to to. Think, of it was not funny at all so and it, was important for me always to, to inject that as you say into the show and it was always something you know even going, back to the last time we did it this, year it's, just, the. Fight is always you, know me wanting to make it funny and real and the. Studio saying but, people, are dead. And. To. Me that this was never a good enough argument, you know. To. Me the funny is the cold. Of it you know so so. It was more but it was more when I was coming off the show just to. People. Didn't. Perceive me that way no other people didn't perceive me that way I mean I it's. Just I don't look funny I think I don't know I don't look like I'm gonna be funny. Or. Something so yeah I'd struggle, with that a little I was it was also finding, the. Right. Comedy, for, me and, then when I when, I got off the x-files the first time, it. Was really the heyday of like, you. Know Ben, Ben Stiller and and even. Going to like Jim. Carrey, Steve Carell Will, Ferrell on these this, is a different, kind of comedy, than I do and. So. I was kind of forlorn, about all that was like hey you know I can't, I can't go against those guys doing that stuff I I, was. Looking for more like 70's, style comedy. And the movies so.
When, I took calificaciones. When I can do you, know articulate, in that way and not like a man-child not, like a boy like a man, in. A man's world and, whatever you, know doing, that stuff so I thought, I could do that. Definitely. It was super hilarious. Hi. I'm Cory thank you for coming in um, you've, worked in a lot of different mediums TV, film music. Writing and, they all have really different ways you've planned in your creative process which. Do you really prefer what, do you think reflects your. Work as an artist collaborative. Work or kind of individual. Heads down in your room alone work. Well. Both I mean I think the novels, represent, my, most. Selfish. Just, me in a room you, know I have an editor and he edits me but it's really just that's. Just coming from from me. That's not collaborative. Music. Is very collaborative, with the band I need. It. Film. And television is, by nature extremely. Collaborative and I love that. A. Good. Director hires, is, like a good president, hires people who are better than he, is or she is at, the things that he or she doesn't do and we. See what happens when. That. Doesn't happen. Although. It's it's, it's almost an impossibility, to think of somebody who's not better than our current president, at. Anything, and. Yet he finds people that are less better at it than he is. Interesting. So. That's what a director does the directors. Like. The immune system, of the film you, know like it keeps all the bad ideas out and lets all other its other people play with their good ideas so, I really, enjoy I do like to collaborate very much but there came a time when I wanted to sit down and just, write in my own voice and that's what the novel's kind of represented. All. Right I'm sorry guys we don't have time, for any, more questions. Um. Yell. It out. My. Male models. Stay ready you do. You and your band have a rich. It was I. Can't. Remember which was the hand that I modeled. Whatever. Watch catalog. Do. You and your band, have time for one. More song yeah cool, you. Asked if if. There, was a song that was meaningful, to me so actually, the last song that we're gonna do. Also. Involves. My father. It's, called stranger in the Sacred Heart and this we. Were touring in Europe and we were in Paris and I. Went to this church called the the Sacred Heart which, is in the neighborhood of the hotel I was staying at him I'm sold by the folks there that. That. People. The. Custom, there is to pray for. Others not to pray for yourself and actually to pray for the, world really. Not. Just Paris, not just French people but actually the world and I thought I'd. Never heard that before and I. Really liked it so the, song. Along. With the fact that my father had died in Paris a few years earlier kind, of came together. It's. Called stranger in the Sacred Heart. Well, my father, died, I. Find. It very hard. To hide. So. Many days, gone by, the. The key just, outside. My, door. Speed. Myself. The town. Sacred. Heart. Everyone. Plays, someone, else's. Part. Strangers. And. Those pray. For people. Strangers. In the, sacred. Crack. The code. In, juicy streets are somehow. Where I need. Just go. Down. To. The, Sacred. Heart. Everyone. Plays, someone, else's. Part. These. Strangers. And, there, was, a. 40. Strangers. In the, Sacred. Heart. Mother's. Time. The universal. Ballast, run. Haven't done. So. This is where I pay, my dues. Now. Most, ancient. Pews. Sacre-coeur. I lost, my pride. That's, how. To mend. Your heart. Well. Someone. Else's. Part. The nameless. And. Pray. For people. Two, strangers. And the, secret. Heart. Almost. Stranger. And the, sacred.