'I'm Not Quite an Atheist, and It Worries Me'

In an interview, David Bowie talks about becoming a family man and the role spirituality plays in his music.

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Describe the process of making this album.

Very simple. I'd just written some songs, and I amalgamated them with a couple of covers I'd wanted to do. I didn't approach this with any kind of through line involved. It wasn't a conceptualized piece at all.

"Heathen" was very different. It was written as a deeply questioning album. Of course, it had one foot astride that awful event in September. So that was quite a traumatic album to finish. This one hints at that, but it's not really trying to resolve any trauma. [September 11] did affect me and my family very much. We live down here.

"If all the other clichés are true..."
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  • Were you here on September 11?

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    My wife and child were. I was up in Woodstock making the album. It was just unbearable that day--well, actually the next two or three days, coming back down and coming up against the cordon around that part of town. I had to get my wife to come to the barricades with a passport, so I could show the guy that I lived there. He said, "I'm sorry, I know who you are, but I have to see.," and all that. It was really weird. And that fine silt dust everywhere.

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