TV On the Radio is officially cooler than all of you. No trucker hats, bisexuality or goatee will get you the street cred this band exudes.
Their Young Liars EP relased over the summer was a call to arms to all those who felt “House of Jealous Lovers” was the most pretentious thing you can dance to without strange stares. A southern fried mix of blues, lo-fi electronica and good old NYC guitar rock, it was one of the more painful teasers to one of this year’s best albums, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. QRO sits down with the band to discuss their new album, food and, um, pigeon sandwiches.
QRO: I’ve heard words such as “disjointed” and “incohesive” as words to describe your Young Liars EP. There’s a sense that’s definitely changed for your LP, but what was your mindset when recording that, and your LP?
TVOTR: When we made the EP we were eating mostly vegetables, for the LP, many pizzas were ordered, and there was meat involved. So i guess that the EP was had more vegetables and less meat on it. The LP is like a pedestrian roast beef sandwich in some places, but in others a nauseatingly delightful turducken. Different flavors, but still an insanely good meal.
QRO: Did the acclaim for the EP affect how you were recording the album in anyway?
TVOTR: Not really. We just wanted to make something that we we're satisfied with. Like a strong lunch, or a snickers bar.
QRO: With your connections with the Liars and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, have you found it difficult to escape being pigeonholed with them?
TVOTR: Well, the "pigeonholing" doesn't happen that much actually. We love those guys as people and as musicians, and we've made stuff together, butwe all sound pretty different. Anyway, it doesn't matter. A pigeon would make a delightful sandwich, though. Served up cold with some thinly sliced watercress? Try it. They're everywhere. No one will know.
QRO: With only three of you, how do you plan on (or have been) playing the new material live?
TVOTR: For our live shows we've added a bass player Gerard Smith and a drummer Jaleel Bunton to round out the noise. They will also be contributing to the upcoming album.
QRO: ”Staring at the Sun” makes another appearance on Desperate Youth. Is it the same song that was on Young Liars, or a reworking of it?
TVOTR: It's the same song presented differently.
QRO: A leaked version has been pretty easy to find on file-sharing networks. Is this the polished finish product?
TVOTR: No, there's some more stuff. We've added some things, songs too, but also some "other" things to the overall package that cannot be downloaded or even really duplicated. There's something on the CD and a few things [extra] on the vinyl.
QRO: What’s your relationship with Touch and Go? They seemed pretty enthusiastic when they first signed you. Have they even been supportive as time goes on?
TVOTR: Definitely. They are incredibly supportive, and our relationship is great. We give each other space, talk about the garden, show each other what we've been working on… we're planning a late June wedding.
QRO: I’m under the understanding some of you are video/mixed medium artists. Do you plan on doing your own videos? And if so, what song do you think should get a video treatment first?
TVOTR: So far we're not directing our own videos for this album because we have a lot of other stuff to do, but Helen Park directed a great video for "Dreams" already and there's another being messed with too.
QRO: This ones for Tunde. Where do you channel your lyrics from?
TVOTR: While some people have some obvious influences, I can’t seem to lay a finger where I’ve heard anything similar to what you write.
TVOTR: I steal from the good writer I once was. Oh, man…now I'm crying…damn! No really, scribbling in journals. Writing just to write. That type of thing.
QRO: What’s the recording process like? Does anyone initiate the framework for a song and work around it, or the songs are a result of jamming until something sounds just right?
TVOTR: We use both of those methods. There's a lot of making up of songs and processes as we go along.
QRO: Who helped put the record together? Did Aaron, Nick Zinner and Brian contribute to this album like before?
TVOTR: Nick did a little bit, and Martin Perna is playing flute and sax again. Katrina Ford is back too.it's a party.
QRO: Thanks for your time guys.
TVOTR: Thank you. sorry about all that food talk. so hungry right now.