NEW YORK -- People listen -- sometimes really carefully -- to music, and Fabrizio Moretti, drummer of rock band The Strokes, certainly appreciates that. But, he says, it's a one-way conversation.
Moretti yearned to have more of an artistic dialogue with the public, so he started one outside the Rag & Bone retail store in Soho, where he's staged a sort of interactive pop-up art installation.
He put up a large display of removable half-religious saint-half-astronaut statuettes on a wall resembling a shrine and invited passers-by to take them. Some did, some didn't. It was his version of a social experiment, he explained.
"I thought it was an interesting thing to see this struggle inside the viewer: Should they do something that's -- in a sense -- wrong, but if they chose to do it, they'd be involved in this dialogue and exchange with me, and they could do it," he said.
Sculpture isn't new for Moretti, 33, who studied the subject at the State University of New York at New Paltz before he started touring. "I went to school for this," he said, "but I'm new at sharing it with the public."
The statues have been taken more quickly than he expected. He displayed them in a group of 24, and the plan was to keep the installation filled until Friday.
Demand has surpassed output.
"Everything else has all come to a halt during this. You should see my apartment now," he said. "I'm making them at home, and it's an absolute mess."
There's still music to be made, and Moretti says he and his bandmates, who released the album "Comedown Machine" earlier this year, are working on new material. He says, though, that he may become one of those hyphenated types -- an artist-slash-musician.
"I hate to sound jaded, but everything else has become routine and a business -- that's what the music industry has become to me -- and I have to remind myself that creating is a privilege. Art has fueled creativity with a newfound fervor," he said.
But his perch in front of Rag & Bone isn't a sign that he's taking on fashion, too. Designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville have no competition to fear, Moretti said with a laugh. "They're cool, rad. But fashion design? I think I'd be terrible at that."