Killing a Little Time

Songfacts®:

  • This is one of three songs that was recorded by David Bowie and his jazz troupe during the Blackstar sessions, but held back and redone for the Lazarus soundtrack . Saxophonist Donny McCaslin told Mojo:

    "I love that tune! This was one I was really hoping would be on Blackstar; it's so dark and edgy. The first version, Jason (Lindner) had this really intense synth sound and this was something we simplified when we came back to it in March 2015. I'd lived with the song a while by then, and written these new horn lines, and harmonized them in this dark way."
  • Bowie was battling liver cancer at the time and this song finds him raging on his deathbed.

    I lay in bed
    The monster fed, the body bled
    I turned and said
    "I get some of you all the time
    All of you some other time"
    This rage in me
    Get away from me


    Said McCaslin: "I'm not sure he was happy with the lyric to begin with, but by the time we got to the second session he had refined it . But it was always this angry pissed off song."
  • The tune came fairly late in the songwriting process for Lazarus. Michael C Hall, who portrayed the lead character Thomas Newton in the play told Mojo, this was the only song on which Bowie was specific about delivery:

    "There's the lyric, 'The monster fed, the body bled'… And (Bowie) said, 'It's a bit ham fisted, but intentionally so. And deliver them as if all the world deserves is this crap lyric, just spit it out like that. It was probably the only acting note II gave me but it was brilliant."
  • In 2014 David Bowie and his producer Tony Visconti were in the audience for a concert by Maria Schneider and her 17-piece big band. They were hugely impressed and Bowie decided that he would like to collaborate with Schneider, which resulted in the single "Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)." This song bears the influence of Schneider's work. McCaslin told Mojo:

    "Looking back on it, it reminds me of a piece of Maria Schneider's called 'Dance You Monster To My Soft Song,' which I know was David's favourite song of hers. It had a sinister side and really crunchy chords. So that helps me get inside of that song a little bit."

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