David Duchovny, who recently said goodbye to his show Californication, will be making a foray into music when he releases his debut album next year. And even though he recently tweeted a since-deleted picture of himself playing guitar with Marilyn Manson, he says his music would be more beautiful than "Beautiful People." "I can only compare my music to artists that you know, so it's going to sound like I'm bragging," the actor tells Rolling Stone. "But in my wildest dreams, I would sound like Wilco or R.E.M. I'd put it somewhere in there – if I'm lucky."
Over the past few years, the actor has been playing guitar – the first song he learned on the instrument was the Flaming Lips' "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots," which he called a "fun song" – and has amassed 12 demos that he is close to completing. "I've always written poetry for better or worse and once I started playing music, I started thinking, 'Gee, I should be able to write lyrics,'" he said. "And I just fell backwards into the whole thing. It's just been a real pleasure in my life, regardless of who buys it and what people think of it when it comes out. It's been a lifesaver just to be able to play music, write songs and think about singing songs to friends."
So what was up with the pic of Manson reaching around the actor's waist to play his Gibson? "That photo was from [the Californication] wrap party last year, for our finale," Duchovny said. "[Former Eagles guitarist] Don Felder came up and played 'Hotel California' and Manson sang it. I played it. I'm not sure I was plugged in, but I played it. And at one point Manson came and decided to play the guitar from behind me."
Music is not the only thing Duchovny has been writing lately. Next year, the actor – who holds two degrees in English literature and who wrote episodes of The X-Files and the movie House of D – also intends to release a book called Holy Cow. "It's a kids' book and an adult book," he said. "It's a fable, like Animal Farm or Charlotte's Web; an allegorical story using animals for people." Moreover, Duchovny has begun thinking about his next book. "I have an idea but this one is a lot more complicated and it takes some research and I'm so loath to do any research, but I got to do it," he said.
Later this year, Duchovny will be playing a detective on the hunt for another Manson in the NBC crime drama Aquarius, set in the late Sixties. "My character is trying to find a missing girl, a daughter of a friend of his," the actor recently told Rolling Stone. "I play a straight-up Fifties man being introduced to the new world of the Sixties and [Charles] Manson, and the world is changing all around me and I'm not able to change with it."
It's a different role from Hank Moody, the Bukowskian author he played on Californication. When he looked back on the show after its finale ended, he told Rolling Stone that he felt OK with putting it to rest. "It was hard to end, but it felt like a good, long run," he said. "It went longer than I ever thought we were going to get." And for people who didn't watch the show because of its sexual content, he said, "The T&A on the show seemed to be the thing people hung their hat on, but I went to work trying to do really good comedy. It's too bad [the nudity distracted viewers], because I think that people may have missed a really good show underneath that mountain of T&A."