James Murphy Discusses His Role In David Bowie’s Blackstar

Earlier today, James Murphy went on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show to guest DJ a segment and talk about his picks. At one point, he played David Bowie’s 1983 Let’s Dance track “Without You,” and he prefaced it by talking about his contributions to Bowie’s final album, Blackstar. He performed percussion on two songs on it and, per Bowie’s longtime collaborator Tony Visconti, was originally going to serve as one of the album’s producers but backed out. “I played a little percussion. I was supposed to do a lot more but I got overwhelmed,” Murphy said.

He recalls walking into the studio and not feeling confident in his abilities: “It takes a different kind of person than me to walk into that room and be like, I know exactly… I belong here, I should definitely insert myself in this relationship because they just can’t manage to make a record without me,” he said.

He also said that he reached out to Bowie and said that he’d love to make a record with just the two of them, and Bowie asked him to look him up when he got back in New York and they met up and Bowie played him demos of stuff he was doing with a jazz band.

Listen to the full interview below — the Bowie portion starts around 18m30s.