David Bowie Discusses His Contribution To Rock

KURT: One of the most famous platform addicts of the past, of course, was glam pioneer David Bowie. Bowie has long since moved on to other areas of style and artifice, and while his most recent album, "Earthling," hasn't sold all that well, as the legend himself recently told us, he didn't really expect it to.

MTV: Over the course of his 30 year career, David Bowie has demonstrated the ability to adapt to changing musical climates with a shapeshifter's ease [766K QuickTime]. Change remains the constant on his latest album, "Earthling," where Bowie again goes to the cutting edge to appropriate the super sonic dance beats of drum n' bass.

DAVID BOWIE: It's an album that tries to hybrid rock per se with a more technological feel. I think it utilizes the vocabulary of dance, but we regard ourselves as first and foremost a rock band. A lot of

drum n' bass, I don't like very much. At the moment, I think a lot of it is getting kind of boring. And it's in danger of getting swallowed up in itself. I just wanted to sort of evolve it somewhere else that it wasn't going.

MTV: Over time, Bowie's made as much impact on rock history with his visual sense as with his music. Disenchanted with what he sees as the stale state of music video-making, he hired provocative director Floria Sigismondi to create a more viscerally textured feel to his latest clips [1.2MB QuickTime].

BOWIE: I'm more interested in a kind of a video that we're not seeing on television yet, which has a lot more to do with, I guess, environment or something. It's kind of a video that's used in galleries now. It started off as an homage to Susan Sarandon, but it turned into a song about aging or trying to age gracefully. (LAUGHS)

MTV: -- something Bowie's apparently got the hang of. Celebrating his 50th birthday wasn't all that traumatic, he claims, as getting older has made him feel liberated from the pursuit of instant commercial success -- a good thing, since "Earthling" has not been a big hit out of the box.

BOWIE: I'm not a big album seller. I never have been. I think what I contributed to music and sort of what I did to how rock can look probably has been my contribution more than, say, Foreigner, who sell -- at their peak were selling millions and millions of albums.

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