David Lynch and Kanye West share an affinity for the surreal and shocking – and the two nearly combined their talents on a music video for “Blood on the Leaves,” the eerie epic from West’s latest LP, Yeezus. “We almost worked together, but I never got the ideas,” Lynch told The Daily Beast in a recent interview. “I feel I let him down a little bit. I was going to do the music video…but it never happened. I didn’t come up with any ideas that I thought he would like. Kanye came up to the house one day. Kanye’s a good guy and a great musician. I loved the song, and that’s what brought us together, but I couldn’t come up with ideas that thrilled either one of us.”
Lynch, of course, is famous for mind-altering films (including 1977’s Eraserhead and 1986’s Blue Velvet), but in recent years, he’s ventured into a side-career as a musician, releasing two studio albums (2011’s Crazy Clown Time and 2013’s The Big Dream). And though you can’t detect any influence in his lumbering blues-rock drones, Lynch says he’s a huge admirer of West’s style and relentlessness. “‘Blood on the Leaves’ is one of my favorite songs,” he said. “It’s great. He’s just ridin’ the wave and not takin’ no for an answer.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Lynch reflected on the slow decline of Twin Peaks Season Two (“I’m not happy with it,” he said, “up until ‘Who Killed Laura Palmer?’ I was with it 100 percent, and then it drifted away”) and expressed his admiration for a trio of acclaimed modern TV dramas (Mad Men, Breaking Bad and True Detective).
He even joked about his recent (and admirably strange) Ice Bucket Challenge video, which found the filmmaker blending his ice bath with espresso, playing an off-key trumpet line and nominating Vladimir Putin to pay it forward. “He might want to take part in helping some people,” Lynch said.
Earlier this year, Rolling Stone spoke with Lynch about a variety of topics, including Transcendental Meditation and his appreciation for minimalistic music – including ZZ Top and his old pal Kanye West.
“Oh, I love a minimal thing,” he said. “Kanye West worked with Rick Rubin [on Yeezus], and that got super-minimal, but super-strong. A minimal thing, it doesn’t hurt the mind, and the mind can soar. When there’s lots and lots of things around, it disturbs me.”