James Murphy Shares Update on LCD Soundsystem

"You stand still long enough, and it all spins back around. Dreams never end"
James Murphy Shares Update on LCD Soundsystem
Photo: Stephen McGill
LCD Soundsystem have been pretty busy for a band that everyone thought was more or less out of commission. The past few months have seen them play SNL, a fall Brooklyn residency (minus the three shows that were cancelled due to COVID-19), plus an Amazon Prime holiday special. They've also just announced a run of residencies coming up in Boston, Philadelphia, and London.

This has confused some people about the state of the band — are they working on an album? Raking in some last-minute good will dollars before officially calling it quits? Or have they settled into a legacy niche that'll see them perform festivals and special-event residencies into infinity? 

The answer, it seems, is both all of the above and none of the above, and James Murphy has provided a lengthy update on the band that lays out what they're feeling, where they've been and where they might be going. 

Here' Murphy's Facebook post:

it's time for an update, apparently. management are asking. i largely consider playing shows/releasing music to be the main way a band communicates with the world, but then, historically, we also used to do more interviews with magazines and things like that. i think that's been harder lately, with most press things being sort of clickbait by necessity, as there's just far fewer people buying actual magazines and newspapers anymore, and i'm not that interested in clickbait/hot takes. that said, it would be nice to do a good interview again at some point. it means that we don't get to 100% control what gets said, which is healthy if you're in the business of trying to figure out what you actually are in the world, which you don't learn much about when it's just your own voice. nor do you learn it from, like, twitter.

regardless, here we are.

we played 17 shows in brooklyn at the end of last year, and now we're doing mini residencies in a few places, like philly and boston. and then london. you see, we tend, historically, to take big chunks of time off between tours and LPs. and then, after the break, i begin to feel like i want to make a record, or we want to play some shows. but then i start to think "oh man. if i make an album, then we need to rehearse for months to get ready to tour, and you need to book a tour so far in advance, and who knows when the record will be ready?" this happened with american dream. we booked the shows, thinking i'd be done or nearly done with the record, and then i wasn't, and there we are on this full tour with me trying to work on the record in the gaps, which weren't that many… there's a thing with tour, also, where you invest so much time, energy, and cost into "getting ready" that you wind up touring for ages just to make it worthwhile… then you need a big break again. then you are reluctant to start all over again. it's a cycle.

we really wanted to stop living like that, so we talked about just playing some shows in new york, since most of us live here, and not making it too big of a deal. like, just playing because we like it, and because we like one another. just be a new york band for a bit. and maybe we'll do something like that every year. just stay in shape, if that makes sense. and just make records along the way. maybe just singles for a while, so there isn't some "album panic" etc. we don't know. we DO know that it was great to play those shows, and we're looking forward to the rest of the shows we're playing this year. it's not overwhelming, so i can work on new music and we can all be human beings. maybe we'll just play other places next year, moving around to cities we like to play, where we're wanted, etc.

then a few weeks ago SNL asked us to play out of the blue, and that was great for us. a lot of us really grew up on that show. we had nothing new to promote, but they were totally open to us playing whatever we wanted, and we could basically just take a cab over, so it was obvious for us to do it. it was incredibly fun. who wouldn't want to do that?
and lastly, it's horrifyingly going to be 20 years this year of us being a performing rock group. i mean, the "losing my edge"/"beat connection" 12" came out in the summer of 2002, and then we played our first show november 19 of that year. it was in london, at arthur baker and sean mclusky's return to new york party at the great eastern hotel. so we're kind of celebrating, albeit in a more low key way.

and, lest we forget, it's also DFA records' 20th anniversary, as the first 12"s we ever released came out in the spring of 2002. so we're trying to have some good DFA get-downs in a few places. come see us!

you stand still long enough, and it all spins back around.
dreams never end.


oh and PS. i see folks asking when we are going to "reschedule" the three cancelled brooklyn steel shows. basically, we're not "rescheduling" those shows. here are some reasons why:

we just gave everyone their money back, because i hate the idea of holding people's money for some, abstract "future" show. (i have friends who paid for tickets to shows that got cancelled in mid 2020 who are still waiting for the rescheduled show, and while i 100% understand that a given band may not have the resources to just pay everyone back after they spent a fortune putting a show together, it's not something i felt comfortable doing.)

one has to book a venue like brooklyn steel nearly a year in advance at this point, so there isn't some 3 day run available to grab (and if we did reschedule, what about the folks who had tickets but couldn't come on those days? should they just lose their money because they can't make it? what if we picked a different venue that a ticket holder hated. it's a minefield out there!)

we're giving anyone who missed the shows first dibs on our next run of shows in new york, so it's basically an opt-in "reschedule" if you like, which let's people decide if they want go anymore, or maybe they got bored of us and want to go see someone else instead.

so that's that. we'll play again. and it won't be in, like, 5 years, so if you had a ticket to a show which got cancelled, you'll be first in line for those upcoming shows.