What TV on the Radio’s Learned After 7 Years, 4 Albums, and a Couple Lineup Changes

Kyp Malone, vocalist/guitarist

[Photos courtesy of TVOTR]

> It was like an open mic/karaoke night gone awry. I could hear songs through it all but it was really loose and not really my thing.
> This new record is intentionally clearer with less broad brush strokes.
> Hearing about how gloomy we are gets tired.
> We’re trained by the media to give people their emotional conditioning, so they know how to react to certain stimuli. That’s kind of unfortunate, you know?
> The whole experience is a continuum. Things are always changing.
> The potentials were clearer in the beginning because the structure wasn’t there. The process of putting ideas through everyone’s filter hasn’t changed though.
> The contributions that people bring are more intangible than what I could say in a couple words.
> The constraints of economics are the final editor.
> It didn’t make me depressed to listen to that music. I simply identified with something in it. It made me feel less alone, you know? If I could be that for someone else, that would make me happy. It’d be a real form of success for me.

David Andrew Sitek, producer/multi-instrumentalist

> The fact that we both had art supplies and no furniture brought us together.
> I said, “I’m not going to get another job when I’ve already been fired from 70. I need to do my own thing.”
> I was never concerned with musicianship–it wasn’t my vibe.
> It sounds really egomaniacal to say, but I’m really in my own planet.
> The idea was preceded by 7-and-a-half hours of me drinking espresso, playing with the keyboard and smoking grass.
> While other electronic musicians were trying to make ‘songs’ and ‘records,’ I was in an infinite process of discovery.
> There is no shortage of ideas. The hard part is not following each whim.
> It’s like, “What are they going to do this time? Make an all-brass record? Maybe; I mean, they are TV on the Radio.”
> The overlap of music in this band is totally fucking nuts.
> We say things like, “Do you remember that drum fill from that Maxwell song?”
> If we wanted to make the same record again, no one’s attention span would allow it and everyone’s musical tastes would prevent it.
> The guitar player was freaking out, the drummer was freaking out, and Kyp was just standing there with a cup of coffee the whole time.
> Tunde and I are straight-up nerds. Kyp is pretty nerdy but he can pull off the cool part. [drummer] Jaleel [Bunton], he’s cool as hell, and [bassist] Gerard [Smith] is just weird–a genius who’s picked up various crosses over the years.
> It’s absurd that Kyp and I are even holding a guitar when Jaleel and Gerard are fucking bananas.
> If something bothers me in the slightest, I mute it out.
> I bathe myself in sound constantly. In fact, I get a hearing test every year.
> We always wanted it to sound like this grand four-track thing.
> Whether you’re rich or poor, there’s no way to escape how all of humanity is going through the same thing.
> Last year, I drove to Hollywood, spent the night, and drove back to clear my head.
> My greatest criticism of most bands is how fear dictates what they do.
> Some of the darkest songs are the more upbeat ones. “Crying” is fucking heavy, dude.
> We’d have to bring an 18-wheeler to reproduce the new album live.
> It’s a sandbox mentality. No one needs to know everyone else on a record.
> A lot of bands have something to say; we have something to ask.

Tunde Adebimpe, vocalist

> It was great to meet somebody and say, “Here’s my box of weird shit. Let’s see yours.”
> It’s pretty funny that we’re in a ‘band’ at all.
> Dave said, “If we’re a two-person band, Kyp will be the perfect third person.”
> I had coffee with Kyp in Pittsburg eight years before we met again and I remember thinking the whole time, “Who the fuck is this kid? I don’t know about this dude.”
> Gerard is complicated like Shaft: only his woman understands him.
> Most of us are usually thinking, “Please god, just make the song turn out right.”
> As heavy as some of the songs get, the joking around that goes around between the five of us gets out of control sometimes.
> Like Bukowski once said, “I write all of this stuff to get away from it.” Writing is a meditation, an exercise to put away all these painful things.
> Sometimes you look back and think, “Man, things aren’t that bad,” not when you open the paper and see how a 17 year old just got his face blown off during a cock fight.
> I just stopped and said, “The best way for me to honor those people is to make something they’d want to listen to.”
> It’s too easy to feel crushed by negative feelings.
> People are afraid of death, but that song is kinda saying fuck you to the idea of it being your last chance, saying, “I’ve got no empirical evidence of that being the case.”
> There’s a fine line between drawing attention to a situation and exploiting it.
> Everyone in the band is a more seasoned musician than me.
> Somewhere there’s a country version of “Wolf Like Me.”
> It’s like we learned a bunch of bike tricks–how to actually land them.
> We were like, “Why not have a party every night instead of a séance?”
> We’re not CNN.
> My opinion is subjective. If I had answers, I probably wouldn’t be in a band.

TV on the Radio’s latest LP, Dear Science, is out now through Interscope.