Published Nov 10, 2014If you've ever heard or read an interview with the members of TV on the Radio, you'll know that the group, and guitarist Kyp Malone in particular, aren't the chattiest bunch when it comes to their own music.
"I don't have any objectivity," Malone tells Exclaim! in a recent interview about the band's new album, Seeds, out November 18 via Harvest Records. "I'm waiting to hear what you have to say about it more than anything."
In between riffs about the return of the Frog King ("It has something to do with the ecological crisis that's enveloping the world") and Bat Queen ("She'll come from the North"), Malone did manage to spill a few details about the record.
"We spent a long time to make these songs, we spent a long time to learn them and perform them," he says noting that a lot of material was written. "It went in a bunch of different directions. The record is the thing that made the most sense together."
Recorded over the summer and fall of 2013 and the spring of 2014, the album marks the first time that singer Tunde Adebimpe and producer Dave Sitek worked with outside songwriters, including Flo-Rida collaborator Marcus Killian and Swedish pop singer Erik Hassle. "That's definitely a new thing and apparently it worked," Malone says.
However for the most part, Malone says the record was made by the group's core members.
While the album certainly retains the band's trademark sound, Seeds sounds like the band's most celebratory work to date. "There's been a lot of personal hard times," he says, likely referring to the 2011 passing of bass player Gerard Smith. "Sometimes you don't want to sing a sad song a hundred thousand times. And that's coming from somebody who absolutely loves sad songs."
Asked whether Smith's passing gave the band and its members reason for pause, Malone scoffs, saying that music, and particularly the music he makes with TV on the Radio, was a form of therapy.
"I've wanted to quit things a thousand times, but losing someone that important to me has never made me want to quit something that brings me healing and joy and also potentially honours that person's memory."
You can see all the band's previously announced tour dates, which include shows in Toronto and Montreal, below.
11/12 Toronto, ON - Phoenix
11/13 Montreal, QC - Corona
11/14 Boston, MA - Paradise
11/16 Washington DC - 9:30 Club
11/17 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
11/18 New York, NY - Apollo
11/21-22 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
12/09 Seattle, WA - KeyArena
12/11 Portland, OR - McMenamins Cystal Ballroom