You just never know just what you are going to get when it comes to actor/author/producer/director David Duchovny.

Heck, he even surprises himself sometimes.

“My mortal fear — I mean, my shark attack kind of fear – was the idea of singing in public,” Duchovny says during a recent interview. “It was my nightmare scenario.”


When: 9 p.m., July 31

Where: Joe’s Bar, 940 W. Weed, Chicago

Tickets: $20


Known best for his TV roles on everything from “The X Files” to “Californication” to the NBC summer series “Aquarius,” as well as New York Times best-selling author for his first novel “Holy Cow,” Duchovny recently added rock and roll wannabe to his long list of credits, resulting in the release of his first solo album “Hell or Highwater.”

“It’s weird to be this old and this busy,” the 54-year-old chuckles in that mysterious way the characters he often plays often do. “What I would really like is a nap, which isn’t really rock and roll of me, is it?”

Well, no.

But what IS ‘rock and roll’ of Duchovny these days is the no-hold-barred and life-is-short sort of mentality that he has as he pursue a musical career, something that seemed virtually impossible not that long ago. Because just about one year ago, Duchovny says he had no songs and virtually no confidence to get upon a stage and sing. “I just thought I would be terrible and it would be downright embarrassing,” he admits.

Yet, via a creative streak that had him writing 21 songs in a span of six months, Duchovny says he finds himself in a moment of his life where he is ready to tell his stories through song.

“I just started doing these songs live a few months ago, but before that I was terrified,” says the two-time Golden Globe award winner. “Songs are just stories in snapshots. I feel that the job of a singer is to tell that story and stop worrying about the notes. I may not be a pitch-perfect singer, but that’s Okay. Rock and roll is about feeling.”

“I need to get back to my guitar lessons,” continues Duchovny, who first started playing guitar back in 2010 in an effort to get his daughter to take up the instrument. “I’ve really been focusing on my voice and singing, which has really come from zero to where we are now.”

Describing his songs as “the truest expression that I’ve ever been able to achieve,” Duchovny will perform his album July 31 at Joe’s Bar. “We will definitely play all of the songs from the album,” says Duchovny. “And then, we will do some covers. ‘Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).’ Sly and the Family Stone is one of my favorites.”

Holding within him a creative mind that has produced everything from television shows to novels, Duchovny says that music is allowing him to use his brain in a whole new way, resulting in whole new experiences. “In Chicago, the audience and I will have a one time, one night sort of moment,” he says. “We will have our own experience that night and then I will go play somewhere else and have a totally different experience. But in TV and Film, once you put your work out there, everyone is basically going to hear and see the exact same thing.”

So, what’s next? Is he looking for a big time hit single?

“I’d be a liar if I said that I didn’t want a hit, but it’s hard,” he says. “I’m not in the zone of top 40 radio, but you just never know. I’m lucky enough that I have other jobs to fall back on.”

In fact, many jobs to fall back on to.

“It’s funny that you ask me about my favorite part of my day so far, because it’s certainly been interesting,” Duchovny chuckles. “Currently, I’m working on this thing called the ‘X-files’ and I actually had to learn some cool choreography today.”

So, now you are a dancer?

“Action choreography,” he laughs. “There is no dancing in my future.”

You can never be sure.

Tricia Despres is a local freelance writer.