TV On The Radio feel no pressure

BMS talks with guitarist/singer Kyp Malone

, Staff Writer

TV On The Radio are a band with seemingly no ceiling to hit. Every release of theirs has consistently been hailed as their best album ever, and their third studio album, Dear Science, was lauded by many as one of the best releases of 2008. The band is on tour again, and guitarist/singer Kyp Malone was kind enough to speak with Boston Music Spotlight about what it’s like to be on such an upward trajectory.

“There hasn’t been much change,” Malone says regarding how the band’s continued success has affected their actions. “There are some, of course – like it’s easier to get a hold of what we need to in the studio. As far as how we go about making music and what we’re trying to put out, though, if it’s changed, I’m not conscious of how it has.”

The band has done a good job of keeping the deluge of press from changing anything musically, as well. “If you start playing to perceived expectations, even paying attention to what is said or written then is a really dangerous road, creatively. We’re just trying to do our own thing and hoping for the best. It’s just a different community, maybe we’re seen through different lenses now.”

Throughout their career, TV On The Radio have collaborated with a number of different artists, including the likes of Trent Reznor and David Bowie. Far from being just one-off anecdotes for the band to tell, these collaborations helped a lot in getting their name out into the open: “I feel like a lot of those things were key to us being heard by more people, just the fact that these people [Reznor, Bowie, etc] are musicians who still search out new music says good things about our band. I’m really happy, and it feels fortunate to have had those opportunities.”&

Part of what makes the band so unique in the spectrum of popular music is their precise fusion of a number of different genres. But this isn’t some grand musical statement on the malleability of art or anything like that. “We’re not trying to claim some kind of bullshit about avant-garde. I don’t think anyone in the band has that much hubris, though there’s plenty. It’s just, you know, whatever sounds right. It attempts to not just repeat ourselves and not just mimic whatever is popular right now.”

Of course, with growing popularity comes an increasingly-detailed look under the microscope, and with music as complex as TV On The Radio’s, claims about their music from the critics become larger and more significant. “Basically I feel like, on one hand, it’s easy to get upset or uptight about it, because if you’re reading criticisms of your work or hearing it secondhand, I feel like the people that are lauding you, more often than not they feel like you don’t know what they’re talking about.”

“The negative people, you avoid them and miss the point. I try not to engage in the conversation at all. I feel like ultimately it’s a distraction from just doing more work. I talked to my friends who are making music and having a forum with them, and I can hear their critiques, so I’m not saying I don’t see any point in criticism of the music – I think what is being said is totally necessary. For me, I have to just do the best I can.”

As far as what to expect from their show tonight at the House of Blues, Malone simply and aptly says “we’re going to do our best to try and entertain you.”

TV On The Radio will perform a sold out show at the House of Blues tonight, Thursday June 4.

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