When the time came for TV on the Radio to make the first video from their upcoming Return to Cookie Mountain album, they decided to go with an age-old axiom: werewolves = cool.
Also, it didn’t hurt that the clip was for a song called “Wolf Like Me,” or that director Jon Watts had previous, um, werewolf experience — he helmed Fatboy Slim’s “Wonderful Night” video, which features a drunken, tuxedo-wearing wolf-man prowling the streets of New York.
In all actuality, the clip is a love story sprung from the fertile mind of TVOTR frontman Tunde Adebimpe, featuring a woman — played by “America’s Next Top Model” season-four winner Naima Mora — who shuns her lover to join a gang of killer werewolves stalking Brooklyn.
“It’s a simple story, really,” Adebimpe said. “Guy meets girl, guy loses girl and he chases after her and realizes she’s in a gang — and he’s just a regular dude and he tries to break into the gang. And he goes after her. It’s really romantic, in a strange way.”
TVOTR shot the “Wolf” video over three very hot days in Brooklyn last month, renewing a friendship with its director that actually started back when Adebimpe and Watts were both in college.
“Our manager was like, ’This guy Jon Watts is coming to talk to you about your video,’ and he showed me his reel and I liked it a lot,” Adebimpe laughed. “We met at this coffee shop and he walked in, and I was like, ’Oh, there’s Jon who I went to school with!’ And I said, ’Hey dude, what are you doing in the neighborhood?’ and he said, ’I’m here to talk with you about the video.’ So needless to say, we decided to go with him.”
In addition to all the hot lupine action, the “Wolf” clip also features a TVOTR performance filmed before an audience of their most fervent fans (they put out an open casting call) and is heavily influenced by some of Adebimpe’s favorite, ultra-arty films.
“The whole thing is all Tunde: the concept, the look, everything,” Watts said. “He’s obviously a massive movie fan. When we were talking about the video, he mentioned references like Buster Keaton to [French director Jean-Luc] Godard to that Lars von Trier movie ’Zentropa.’ ”
The video for “Wolf Like Me” will be hitting airwaves soon, and Return to Cookie Mountain — TV on the Radio’s much-anticipated follow up to their Shortlist-winning Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (see “TV On The Radio Win Shortlist Prize, Topping Franz, Killers, Wilco” ) — is due in stores September 12.
And two days after Cookie Mountain hits, TVOTR will launch a North American tour in support of the disc, kicking off in New Orleans and wrapping on October 21 in Philadelphia.
TV on the Radio tour dates, according to Interscope:
- 9/14 – New Orleans, LA @ Republic
- 9/15 – Dallas, TX @ Gypsy Tea Room
- 9/16 – Austin, TX @ Zilker Park (Austin City Limits Festival)
- 9/17 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
- 9/19 – Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre
- 9/24 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
- 9/25 – San Diego, CA @ SOMA
- 9/26 – Pomona, CA @ Glass House
- 9/27 – Santa Barbara, CA @ SoHo Restaurant & Music Club
- 9/29 – Sacramento, CA @ The Library
- 9/30 – Mountain View, CA @ The Shoreline Amphitheater (Download Festival)
- 10/2 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
- 10/3 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
- 10/4 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox Theatre
- 10/7 – Fargo, ND @ Playmakers
- 10/8 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
- 10/9 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
- 10/10 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
- 10/12 – Toronto, ON @ Opera House
- 10/13 – Montreal,ON @ Le National Music Hall
- 10/14 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
- 10/15 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
- 10/17, 18 – New York City, NY @ Irving Plaza
- 10/20 – Baltimore, MD @ Sonar
- 10/21 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom