Last week I spent almost an entire day listening to YouTube interviews with James Murphy while I worked. Most of the discussions with him that I’ve found so far have been great, but they’ve also been somewhat similar in their talking points—the bungled Seinfeld writing opportunity, the correspondence with Steve Albini, the origin story and left-field success of “Losing My Edge.” But there’s a particular subject sitting at the heart of this interview which really drew me in:

Failure.

James Murphy’s willingness to explore his own failure is perhaps the quality I find most fascinating about him. It’s a running theme in the songs he writes as LCD Soundsystem (which is sometimes overshadowed by the decidedly non-mopey music he pairs with his lyrics) but I also find it wonderful that he talks about his struggles so honestly during interviews. To wit: this 9-minute segment takes up nearly half of its runtime discussing the utter mess of Murphy’s early adult life prior to the co-founding of DFA.

I’m not trying to suggest that Murphy’s candidness should be read as a simple “keep trying and eventually you will succeed” ethos. Instead, I think that the the honest approach that he has in exploring his anxieties, and his ability to do so in such a public way, is refreshing.

Also, the face he makes at 5:27, mimicking his friends’ initial reactions to “Losing My Edge” is laugh-out-loud hilarious.

Joel

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