After a year-long self-imposed hiatus, Tunde Adebimpe tells Clash why now is the right time to return.
It takes a lot to impress Clash. Recording a string of albums that we love in equal measure is no easy feat, but it’s one that TV On The Radio managed quite effortlessly. 2006’s ‘Return To Cookie Mountain’ and 2008’s ‘Dear Science’ blew our minds, and were critically lauded the world over. At their core was Dave Sitek, a musical machine, whose extra-curricular work (including production duties for Foals and Yeah Yeah Yeahs) was too much to contain within TVOTR’s schedules. So, it was decided that the band would take a year off. “The strangest thing about the hiatus is that I actually didn’t realise that it was an official thing,” singer Tunde laughs. “But we definitely did need to take a break, at least from touring, for everyone’s individual sanities.”
In the interim period, Sitek launched his Maximum Balloon solo vehicle, while Tunde filled his time with “drawing and writing, film making and a visual re-education for myself – just stuff that I’ve always been doing, but it was nice to not have to be anywhere every day for a year.”
But, long before the year was out, the group got together to see if they had enough material to start work on. They did, and went to Sitek’s home studio in LA to record. The album, ‘Nine Types Of Light’, is out now. Tunde says the songs are “less fractured and collage-like than anything we’ve put out before”, though the making of it was “more fractured and collage-like” than usual.
Having taken their time between albums, Tunde is not afraid of TVOTR losing momentum or their audience. “I remember picking up two Breeders records that came out, and being shocked that the previous record had came out seven years beforehand. They didn’t stop existing in my mind,” he says. “Hopefully the interest is still there [for us] – and if it’s not there are other things to be done.”