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The X-Files star David Duchovny gears up for Australian tour

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The X-Files star David Duchovny gears up for Australian tour

Post by jade1013 on Sat 2 Dec - 3:03

David Duchovny on why you should listen to singers with “bad voices” as he preps Australian tour

WHEN his marriage broke down, David Duchovny picked up a guitar. With two albums under his belt in three years, and an Australian tour, the star’s music is making fans want to believe.

Kathy McCabe
News Corp Australia Network
December 2, 20179:30pm

David Duchovny is the latest Hollywood star to cross over into music, but is refreshingly down-to-earth about his ambitions, saying he is not intent on making hit records. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

'THE X-FILES': Season 11 trailer

AS midlife sea changes go, X-Files superstar David Duchovny was taking an enormous risk picking up a guitar, recording his debut album and embarking on a world concert tour.

He was acutely aware of the cynicism that has greeted actors who try their hand at rock stardom.

Who knew he could even sing?

Duchovny is refreshingly candid about his vocal abilities.

Actor David Duchovny turns his talents to singing. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

“This is not an American Idol thing where you are being judged on your voice on some scale,” he says. “And no one at school ever said ‘Hey David, sing louder’ in choir.

“It’s about expression. I forget who it was but I read a musician talking about how he likes to listen to people with bad voices because they have to use what they’ve got to work with. I get the pathos of somebody working with a limited range to create something beautiful. It’s human.”

Duchovny decided to pick up the guitar again three years ago, in the wake of his divorce from actor Tea Leoni, to fill in the hours of alone time when he wasn’t sharing custody of their two children Madelaine and Kyd.

Duchovny picked up a guitar after splitting with wife Tea Leoni. Picture: APSource:AP

He started composing songs — he was also writing books in his spare time — and sought out musicians who would work with him, including Colin Lee, who would produce his debut 2015 album Hell or Highwater.

Most of the members of his backing band Weather, an indie outfit based in Brooklyn, New York, are graduates from the esteemed Berklee College of Music.

You can imagine there might have been some eye-rolling temptation at the thought of backing an actor playing rock star.

“They are a good deal younger than me. I don’t know if they were sceptical. I never asked,” he said.

“I walked into the situation with the right amount of humility and curiosity for what I didn’t have in chops. I make up for that in other things and they realise I am sincere.

“I am not trying to have a hit record. I am just trying to make music.”

The Californication star certainly showed a fearlessness on the debut album, which critics have stamped in the folk-rock camp, as evidenced by his own influences, which stretch from Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan to Wilco and REM.

It was a brave man indeed who wrote Positively Madison Avenue, a song having a crack at commercialism and inspired by Dylan featuring in a Chrysler television ad, which aired during the Superbowl in 2014.

“I could not be a bigger fan of Bob Dylan. The song is less about him and more about the world we live in, using that commercial as a focal point,” he says.

“I have no problem with him selling out; whatever he wants to do. The song was more representative of how I felt about watching that with my kids.”

Duchovny has recorded his second album via a Pledge Music crowd-funding campaign. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

While he has admitted to suffering a crisis of faith when he first entered the recording studio, the process of songwriting and recording feels more natural the second time around as he has worked on new record Every Third Thought, which he is offering to fans via the crowd-funding platform Pledge Music.

“I don’t think music will ever feel entirely natural to me because it’s not something I have been doing my entire life,” he says.

“To me, it is natural to write words and it has become more natural to sit down and screw around with a guitar, coming up with chord progressions that sound good to me. It’s natural for me to want to call my band mates and say I have an idea for a song to work on with them.”

He surprisingly found the transition to the live stage a little easier to handle.

Perhaps as an actor and writer, he was able to construct a musical persona to quell the inevitable nerves that beset most ordinary humans when they have to walk onto a stage.

But he credits his fans, whether they come because of his star turns in X Files, Californication, Twin Peaks and Aquarius, or are musically curious, for putting him at ease.

His gigs in Europe had plenty of singalong moments with the audience. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

“I would have thought I would have been completely frozen and petrified but I have had a lot less nerves than I thought,” he says.

“There was a distinct moment when I was waiting to go on stage in New York, maybe the third time I was going to be singing in public, and I was getting a little nervous, I could hear the crowd and I knew I had to get out of my own head.

“They spent money, got babysitters and came to this place to have a good time, not to have a bad time. I kept telling myself they didn’t come to see me fail or to laugh at me or to hear how I can’t hit a note.

“So I went out there to have a good time, hit the notes I can hit and f--- it.”

By the time he toured Europe last year, fans had sampled Hell or Highwater and the most dedicated among them were ready to show their support with some impressive crowd karaoke.

It was a rock star moment he will never forget, even if he isn’t destined to achieve the level of musical success of his own heroes.

“In Europe, it was crazy. It was a surreal moment when they all started singing. I did that thing where you hold out the mic out for them and their singing was louder than mine. I could take that verse off,” he said, laughing.

A new season of The X-Files will air from January. Picture: SuppliedSource:Channel 10

Before he tours Australia in February, the next instalment of The X-Files will begin airing in January.

The night before his Australian tour promotional duties, Duchovny had binge-watched four episodes of the next season.

“I was only going to watch one but I had to keep going, they are fantastic, I’m not bulls---ing you, I am not selling it,” he says.

“And yeah, it is weird watching your own show, it’s kinda ridiculous.”

His next challenge is to rehearse some Australian covers for the tour.

“Maybe some INXS or Midnight Oil, we will see,” he says.

Duchovny performs at 170 Russell, Melbourne, February 23, Metro Theatre, Sydney, February 24, Anita’s Theatre, Wollongong, February 25, Nex at Wests City, Newcastle, February 28 and Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane, March 1.

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Re: The X-Files star David Duchovny gears up for Australian tour

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Re: The X-Files star David Duchovny gears up for Australian tour

Post by jade1013 on Fri 8 Dec - 3:08

December 8 2017 - 7:00PM

From The X-Files to fronting a band, David Duchovny is out there | PHOTOS

David Duchovny | PHOTOS
The Hollywood star is coming to Newcastle in February.

Much like his character Fox Mulder in The X-Files, David Duchovny is a bit of an enigma.

NEW ROLE: David Duchovny is about to release his second album and tour Australia with his band for the first time. He will perform in Newcastle in February.

He is quite comfortable, alone with his thoughts, out in left field. He backs himself but is also his harshest critic.

Why, people ask, is Duchovny making music and, heaven forbid, actually recording and touring it, when he is an award-winning actor, filmmaker, director and New York Times best-selling author? Why would he bother? 

The truth is, of course, always out there so Weekender asked the question and Duchovny’s answer was surprisingly simple.

Because he can.

He enjoys it. He finds it challenging. And he doesn’t need anyone’s approval to continue doing it.

Duchovny is, of course, best known for his roles in television series The X-Files, Aquarius, Californication and Twin Peaks. His film credits include Kalifornia, Zoolander, Evolution, House of D, Beethoven, The Rapture, The X-Files: I Want To Believe and Julia Has Two Lovers.

For fans of The X-Files, some good news. Season 11 of the hit series will return in 2018 and star both Duchovny as Mulder and Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully. 

But today, we’re talking music and his upcoming Australian tour, which includes a night in Newcastle. 

Debut album Hell Or Highwater was a collection of Duchovny’s musings on pride, loss and remorse. If you haven’t heard it, it is a nod to his musical heroes: Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Leonard Cohen and R.E.M. His second album, Every Third Thought, is due for release in 2018.

Duchovny supports the D’Addario Foundation and believes music education can change lives, especially those of disadvantaged children.

It has certainly changed his own. 

“When it comes to music education, well, I didn’t really have any,” he says.

“But I do think that as I have learned a little about it, I can objectively and scientifically see how music education increases performance by students in all areas, not just in music. It’s an integral part of the brain that needs to be fed. Now that’s a scientific fact.”

The only instrument he knew how to play “until about seven years ago” when he picked up a guitar was the humble recorder. 

“I don’t know if you had that instrument in Australian schools but in the US it’s what they used to make kids learn. And that was the extent of my music education,” he says. 

“I liked it but I didn’t go beyond the recorder, unfortunately, until I started learning the guitar.”

Recorder lessons were once common in NSW schools, I tell him, much to the despair of many a parent.

I also remind him of something he was once quoted as saying: “I may not ever be a good singer but I can sing.” 

“That’s right. You don’t have to be born with a good voice to be a singer. 

“There is so much about speaking out or singing out loud that is scary to people. People are afraid to be heard in that way if they’re not confident about being in tune or whatever.

“There is a lot of fear involved and there certainly was for me.

“I was lucky enough to find a guy who was a really great teacher of voice, Don Lawrence, and somehow from the first lesson he kind of liberated me and turned me around. I had to work at it though.”

And then there is the question of pitch. Good pitch. Duchovny says he is one of those people “born without it”.

“Some people are and they can just sing. Effortlessly. But if you’re not born with good pitch you can actually get better at it. It is like a muscle. 

“And I don’t think I will ever have a kick-arse voice but I have got my voice.

“I’m not going to win any contests and I’m not going to go up there without a microphone but I’m pretty confident that I can learn my tunes and sing my melodies to within about 80 to 85 per cent accuracy.

“And for a live performance that’s fine. I’m not looking for 100 per cent.”

Duchovny is brutally honest when it comes to his musicianship, too. 

“I’m never going to be even a good musician. I’ll be OK. I can play the guitar well enough to throw chords together to write rock ‘n’ roll songs,” he says.

“But I’m not a composer. I’m not an educated musician. I’m humble enough, and been humbled enough, to have been around some amazing musicians and there is a huge difference between me and them. But what I do is, I throw chords together and I come up with melodies and I write lyrics and I can write songs for some reason and I don’t know why. 

“I certainly never could until about four or five years ago so I’m as surprised as anyone else that I can do it. But it doesn’t have anything to do with me being a good musician, which I’m not. It just happens.”

It is perhaps no coincidence that he started writing songs  in the wake of his divorce from actor Tea Leoni. The couple share custody of their two children.

He is in two minds when asked if he feels vulnerable singing lyrics he has written to an audience. He feels the need to distance himself from his words. 

“It is a vulnerable position but it’s still a performance,” he explains.

“Even when I write a song I don’t feel like it’s me writing the song. Yes, it’s my point of view, but it was mine on the day that I wrote the song. Which is not necessarily my point of view now.

“So for me, all the songs are kind of characters in a way, or all of the songs from an album are similar characters from a similar time. 

“I don’t feel like they are me – I feel that they were me when I wrote the song.” 

He continues on the subject of lyrics, saying that it’s all up to the listener and how they interpret them. That’s what ultimately gives them meaning. 

“I don’t think great lyrics are straight-up confessionals, like what I did today and what I’m feeling and these are my political views,” Duchovny says.

“But I think great lyrics are somehow very personal but also abstract and universal at the same time.

“It’s very interesting to go back and sing a song that you wrote a few years ago and try to inhabit it. That’s where singing on stage is a bit of an acting performance, when you want to convey the emotion of the song.

“In some ways I think that’s why covers are easier to do than your own songs because you’re not covering yourself. You can throw all your emotion into a cover because somebody else wrote it.”

When suggested it takes guts to do what he’s doing because of his public profile, Duchovny agrees. 

“People are going to take their shots and people are going to want to dismiss somebody doing something that they are not known for. That just seems to be the way it goes. 

“You might buy my album or come to my concert because you like my work as an actor but that’s not going to make you like the music. Once you get in there, your ears don’t care what else I’ve done in my life. Your ears are your ears. You’re either going to like it or you’re not.

“All I want you to do is listen to the music. I don’t care why you’re at my show, I don’t care about your skepticism, I don’t care if you’re a fan or if you came to watch me fail or whatever, all those things are fine. But open up your ears and it is very possible that you’re going to like this stuff. That’s how I feel.” 

So, can the Newcastle audience expect him to whip out the recorder during his set?

Duchovny laughs.

“Well, you know, maybe I should. We don’t have enough recorder solos in rock’n’roll. Maybe it’s time to change that.”

David Duchovny performs at NEX Wests City, Newcastle, on February 28. Tickets are on sale now.

Newcastle Herald

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