TV On The Radio Is Ready To Rock The Hollywood Bowl With Grizzly Bear This Weekend Kyp Malone Speaks With Blurred Culture About The Band, Songwriting & Protest Music
LOS ANGELES, CA- TV on The Radio is a Brooklyn based indie rock band with the core lineup of Tunde Adebimpe (vocals, loops), David Andrew Sitek (guitars, keyboards, loops), Kyp Malone (vocals, guitars, bass, loops) and Jaleel Bunton (drums, vocals, loops, guitars). In anticipation of their upcoming performance at the Hollywood Bowl, Blurred Culture was able to chat briefly with Kyp about the band and their music.
TV on the Radio will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Dear Science, with a performance of that album in its entirety later tonight at the Knockdown Center, but for their upcoming performance at the Hollywood Bowl, they won’t be performing the album in its entirety.
“It’s been super fun working on that in [New York] with a lot of the local music community helping us out with it. I wish we could fly them all out to [Los Angeles], but we’ve got something else planned for the Hollywood Bowl […] I don’t want to spill the beans […] But we’re trying to dress up a little bit”
Word through the grapevine suggests that TV on The Radio has been recording music for their first album since their 2014 album Seeds and when inquired about whether any new music will see the light of day at the Hollywood Bowl, Kyp hedges a bit before teasing:
“Maaaaaaybe. We have a lot of new tunes, but as for as this upcoming performance, nothing is etched in stone yet. Plenty of songs …”
TV on the Radio has been pushing the boundaries of music since their inception. Melding a mélange of musical styles, and writing about subject matter that’s not only socially and politically relevant, but also personally introspective, TV on the Radio’s avant-garde approach to music has been described as being “left of center” yet also capable of “openness to possibilities and positivity.”
I try to cajole Kyp into revealing a little more about the new music that’s been written for their upcoming album, focusing on whether the current social and political climate has had an impact on his compositions:
“A part of me feels like … to the best of my abilities, when I’m writing about that kind of stuff, I’m trying point to a problem, asking the listener, “Can we pay attention to this? Can we address this? Or can we collectively adjust this?” Dear Science was made after years of The Patriot Act and the beginning of America’s second war in Iraq, and America’s war in Afghanistan, and wars of aggression. It was all so [troubling] to me and all the people I knew and wasn’t being called out [at all].”
We spent a few moments talking about the irony of Trump, a person who he clearly has no fondness for, actually being one of the loudest voices to oppose the war in Iraq.
“But we sang those [Dear Science] songs, and the wars didn’t stop.”
But he’s hopeful. He believes in protest music.
“Protest music is a continuum. Inside of empires, there’s always room to be singing about this stuff. There’s always reason to be thinking about this stuff […] Some of this stuff has come home. The fact that there are children in cages. People recognizing the swelling prison population in America. If it’s internal, it’s obvious. It’s like looking at symptoms, and not looking at the history of America’s involvement from the Cold War and beyond.”
Obviously, Kyp is fully aware of all the symptoms” and endeavors to cull from them emotions and subject matter that will result in music that will result in music that can connect with fans.
“Hopefully, I can make that in a nice song instead of me just ranting at you,” he says with a chuckle.
We chat a bit longer about the current times before I realize that my 15 minutes with Kyp is drawing to an end, and I veer the conversation back to this weekend’s celebration of music. Kyp glows about TV on the Radio’s relationship with Grizzly Bear, who are also featured on this weekend’s bill.
“I was very close with the some of the dudes in Grizzly Bear from back in the day. Their growth and their growth as the band … we were all in the same place and from the same community.”
He fondly recalled times of playing small seedy NYC clubs “back in the day”:
“The first time we ever played as TV on the Radio, with Dave and Tunde, I booked a gig at some weird ‘mob’ place in Williamsburgh, and it was a band I had called Fall In Love. All of Grizzly Bear, minus Ed, played a kind of jazz/electornic improv gig under the name Female Jesus. All of that time period back then, a lot of my memories about studio stuff and talking about music and experiencing music, a lot of it is intertwined with talking to and hanging out with Chris Taylor and Chris Bear […] “[It’s] particularly special playing, and sharing the stage, at the Hollywood Bowl with them.”
So this performance, with a group of friends all sharing a heralded stage together, will be like old times. While time marches on, some things change and some thing remain the same. Friendship being one of the things that stays the same, and L.A. can’t wait to see that manifest itself at the Hollywood Bowl
Tickets for the show are still available and you can CLICK HERE to purchase.