Just as [artist id="1236818"]TV on the Radio[/artist] were finishing work on their upcoming album, Nine Types of Light, bassist Gerard Smith was diagnosed with lung cancer. The avant rock band announced the diagnosis on its website on Monday in a note that updated Smith's condition.
"As a result [of the diagnosis, Gerard] has been undergoing treatment and will be unable to participate in the upcoming tour," read a statement from the band. "Gerard is fortunate enough to have health insurance and is receiving excellent medical care. Already we have seen dramatic results. Combine that with Gerard's legendarily willful disposition and it might just be cancer that has the problem. We appreciate your concern and support for Gerard and his family." Smith has been in the band since 2005 and was a contributor to their third and fourth albums, the acclaimed 2006 effort Return to Cookie Mountain and 2008's Dear Science.
Light is due out April 12. The group will be performing a number of shows this week as part of the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, including a headlining gig at the AOL Music/Spinner show on Thursday night at the legendary Stubb's Bar-B-Q.
The new album marks a return to action for the experimental rock group, who announced a yearlong hiatus in late 2009 in order to decompress from nearly a year on the road promoting Science. During that time, singer Tunde Adebimpe performed and recorded with his side project, Fake Male Voice, guitarist Kyp Malone released an album under the name Rain Machine, and guitarist Dave Sitek produced songs on albums by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wale and Holly Miranda, and released an album under the name Maximum Balloon.