Artist Interviews

Q&A: TV On The Radio

By | Published on Tuesday 30 April 2013

TV On The Radio

Announced last year, TV On The Radio will headline and curate the latest ATP festivals next month. Also featuring artists including De La Soul, DOOM, WHY?, Death Grips, Thee Oh Sees and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, amongst others, it will, it turns out, be one of the last of ATP’s holiday camp-based festivals.

With the festival looming, the band’s Tunde Adebimpe recently revealed that the band are now working on material for their next album, their first since 2011’s ‘Nine Types Of Light’. He also announced that the outfit have now “parted ways” with Universal’s Interscope imprint and will instead be working with Federal Prism – the label owned by the band’s Dave Sitek.

Ahead of his weekend in Pontins, CMU’s Andy Malt spoke to Adebimpe about the festival, the band’s new material and navigating the modern music industry.

AM: How did the ATP Festival come about? When did you start work on it?
TA: The people who run the festival asked us if we’d be interested in curating, and we said yes, absolutely. We started working on it around last summer.

AM: How closely have you worked with ATP and what guidance did they give?
TA: They were great with everything, they basically had us submit a list of names and then they did the harder job of tracking bands down and making sure their schedules allowed for them to play the festival.

AM: How did you select the bands you chose to put on the line-up?
TA: There are lots of bands we all want to see live, lots of people we deeply admire, and lots of new and old friends.

AM: Which acts are you most looking forward to seeing play?
TA: Absolutely all of them!

AM: You’re working on new material at the moment, what stage are you at with that? Will we hear any new songs at ATP?
TA: We’re at the stage where some of it is finished and some it, not so much. We will definitely be playing some new songs at ATP though.

AM: Do you have any sort of plan for a release date for the new album?
TA: Nope.

AM: You’ve worked with independent and major labels, and had success with both. What originally attracted you to Interscope?
TA: Well, it’s like you’re eating spaghetti every night – and you love spaghetti, but one day you go, “I wonder what lasagne tastes like?” Interscope was that lasagne.

AM: Now you’re out of the major label system, do you have ideas for working differently? Are there things you couldn’t do when you were with Interscope?
TA: I think the plan is to keep working the way we have been, and to stay genuinely interested and inspired. Things we couldn’t do with Interscope? There wasn’t much, but we’re fine with it being over.

AM: How has the music industry in a more general sense changed since you first became involved in it? Is it a brave new world, or do you yearn for the old days?
TA: There’s more music, or more portals to make you aware of new (and old) music, so naturally it can be a lot harder to keep track of what’s going on, but I don’t think you really need to know about everything. I saw a magazine in an airport last year whose cover read “150 new bands!” Instant migraine. I don’t particularly yearn for the old days but I definitely miss the mystery that used to come with knowing a band mostly through their music.