Once More Into The Cookie Jar: TV On The Radio Hit The Road

Bandmembers sketched out new songs, worked on Beck, Massive Attack tracks during self-imposed break.

TV on the Radio began 2007 perched atop many critics’ top-10 lists for their second full-length album, Return to Cookie Mountain. But while the Brooklyn, New York, band was being anointed one of the most original rock outfits to emerge in years, its five members were taking a self-imposed break from promoting the lauded disc.

That vacation is now coming to its end as the group kicked off a six-week North American headlining tour Thursday night in Providence.

“It’s incredibly important to [step away] for a while, because I think it’s the things we do outside the band that makes time in the band that much richer,” singer Tunde Adebimpe said. “I’ve been sleeping a lot more, drawing a bunch.”

“I’ve been cooking, reading, hanging out with my daughter,” added guitarist Kyp Malone. “Everyone is active and doing creative work still, and that’s part of the process of taking a break. You need to live some life so you don’t end up writing a record that’s only about the Village Voice or being on tour.”

TV on the Radio have no immediate plans to record a follow-up to the disc, which generated the werewolf-laden video for single “Wolf Like Me” (see “TV On The Radio Cast Werewolves, ’America’s Next Top Model’ In New Video” ), though Adebimpe has begun sketching out several songs. “The plan now is to take a bit of a break after this tour and do something next year,” he said. “I’ve been writing like I always do, but I don’t think to myself, ’This will make a good TV on the Radio song.’ But if at the end of a couple of months I have a bunch of songs, [Malone] is the first person I’ll bring it to and see if it works.”

Guitarist Dave Sitek spent his time off producing new music from Massive Attack and remixing artists like the Knife and Beck; both Adebimpe and Malone have performed solo shows in the last month around New York. It’s a good way, they say, to keep the accolades for their band in perspective.

“It’s incredibly flattering and encouraging,” Adebimpe said. “But it’s also easily the weirdest thing in the world. Sometimes people will put an immediate and final stamp on what you’re doing, something you made a long time ago, and it’s not even a conversation you’ve had with yourself yet.”

“We’re fortunate that it didn’t happen overnight and that we have a really strong community of friends we’ve been fostering for 10-years-plus,” Malone added. “Those people are still there, and they know who we are outside of whatever media persona is being projected on us or that we’re projecting outwardly.”

TV on the Radio tour dates, according to the band’s publicist:

· 3/2 – Boston, MA @ Avalon
· 3/3 – Montreal, QC @ Olympia de Montreal
· 3/4 – Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
· 3/6 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
· 3/7 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
· 3/8 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
· 3/9 – Louisville, KY @ W.L. Lyons Brown Theatre
· 3/10 – Columbia, MO @ Blue Note
· 3/12 – Chicago, IL @ Metro/ Smart Bar

· 3/13 – Chicago, IL @ Metro/ Smart Bar
· 3/15 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
· 3/17 – Kansas City, MO @ Voodoo Lounge
· 3/20 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
· 3/21 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

· 3/23 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
· 3/24 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
· 3/25 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre
· 3/28 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
· 3/29 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
· 3/30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Music Box @ Fonda
· 3/31 – Los Angeles, CA @ Music Box @ Fonda
· 4/1 – Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
· 4/4 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
· 4/5 – Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa
· 4/6 – Houston, TX @ Meridian
· 4/7 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks
· 4/9 – Orlando, FL @ The Club at Firestone
· 4/10 – Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Culture Room
· 4/12 – Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club
· 4/13 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse

· 4/14 – Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
· 4/15 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
· 4/17 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
· 4/18 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
· 4/20 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Trocadero & Balcony Bar
· 4/21 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ Vassar College