You may not know the name Tom Tom Club, but chances are you’ve heard the husband-and-wife duo’s 1981 hit, “Genius of Love.” It’s become one of the most sampled songs of all time, with artists from Grandmaster Flash to the Black Eyed Peas to Mariah Carey repurposing the song. You might also know the band as the rhythm section of influential post-punk group Talking Heads, where drummer Chris Frantz and bassist Tina Weymouth began their rock ‘n’ roll life together.
Married in 1977, Frantz and Weymouth juggled both groups until Talking Heads disbanded in the early ’90s. This year, Tom Tom Club celebrates its 30th anniversary by hitting the road for the first time in a decade. Ahead of Sunday’s Tom Tom Club gig at Ram’s Head On Stage in Annapolis, Express asked Frantz to reflect on the legacy of “Genius of Love” and the Talking Heads — and three decades of collaborative couplehood.
On returning to the road: “At one point, we thought, ‘Oh, nobody’s interested; we don’t want Tom Tom Club to be a vanity project,'” Frantz says. “But then we started getting emails and invitations from a lot of younger bands who wanted to work with us and we thought,”Maybe there is some interest after all.'”
On a potential Talking Heads reunion: “We were hoping that Talking Heads would get back together, but we haven’t been able to convince one member of the band [singer David Byrne],” Frantz says. “We’ve emailed, but I haven’t spoken face to face with David in a couple of years. He prefers to communicate by email, so there you have it. My feeling is you’d have to be nuts not to want to work with Talking Heads.”
On 34 years of marriage: “I know they say a good marriage does not make for an interesting story, but that’s not exactly true,” he says. “If you’ve been in a rock band for 36 years, your life has had many twists and turns.”
On the longevity of “Genius of Love”: “We didn’t know that 30 years later it would still sound hip,” Frantz says. “We’re happy when people sample the song because it gives the song a whole other life again, and it always makes us feel good.”
» Rams Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis; with Dan Wilson, Sun., Sun., 8 p.m., $39.50; 410-268-4545.
Photo courtesy Nacional Records