Published Sep 26, 2009Band members can struggle to differentiate themselves, but for Kyp Malone, of the recently on hiatus experimental rock band TV on the Radio, creating Rain Machine solo is about returning to his solo roots.
"People will attach whatever meaning, positive or negative, to 'Rain Machine' when they hear the music," explains the guitarist and vocalist known for a mean falsetto. "I didn't want to go with my real name because that precludes any collaboration."
Rain Machine ― a pensive, folky, self-titled record filled with layered vocals and rigorous percussion ― is Malone's first solo project since joining the band. "I didn't have a goal in mind except making something I like."
If the track "Smiling Black Faces" ― an ode to Sean Bell, the young black man shot and killed by NYC police in November 2006 ― is considered, his focus could be labelled political. "That song is one of the more overt, conscious discussions about social issues," says Malone. "But I don't even know if you can label it 'political.' I feel like the Jonas Brothers and Britney Spears are highly political."
Malone, who is touring Rain Machine with a backing band, says he feels fortunate for the creative relationship with his TVOTR band mates. "But it's one part of my life," he adds. "There's a whole bunch of other shit that brings me joy that I need to address."