They've played gigs from Brooklyn to Berlin, and, not surprisingly, they've grown a bit homesick as a result. Which is probably why, when we spoke to frontman Tunde Adebimpe backstage at last weekend's Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco, he had a bit of news he was itching to announce.
"This was the last show for us, for a while," he said. "We've decided to take, well, the going theory is to take about a year off, because you have to go and live a life and change things up."
Which means, for the next year, things will be quiet in the TVOTR camp, as Adebimpe and his bandmates attempt to readjust to life at home — a process that involves disconnecting from each other, which, after a year spent traveling in a bus together, is sort of a good thing.
"We've been on tour for almost a year now, and towards the end of the year, you do end up getting things out during the show, subliminally, that you can't get out with someone on a bus," Adebimpe laughed. "Because you can say something to someone on the bus, and then after you've let it out, you realize you've got six hours sitting across from that person. Like, 'Remember when I called you a d--- a while ago? That was just, uh, caffeine and all sorts of sleep depravation talking, and I really didn't mean it, and I hope you don't take it to heart, even though I can tell that you are because you're not talking to me.' It's basic cabin fever."
If you think the last thing the guys in TVOTR would want to do is focus on music during their hiatus, you really don't know the guys in TVOTR. Guitarist/singer Kyp Malone is preparing to release a solo record under the nom de disc Rain Machine on September 22, and multi-instrumentalist/producer Dave Sitek is putting the finishing touches on an album he helmed for Brooklyn-based Israeli outfit Pink Noise.
As Adebimpe puts it, they don't know any other way to operate — even if they are on hiatus.
"The funny thing about this band is that I feel like everyone's amazed that we're on tour, and that we're even a band," he said. "Because, if you'd asked all four of us six years ago if we'd want to be in a band, unanimously, it would be like, 'Well maybe for three weeks, yeah.' It's great we've been able to do it for so long, but everyone's kind of got other projects they want to tend to."