In 2000, Tunde Adebimpe and Dave Sitek formed TV on the Radio, one of the most creative, inspired and influential bands of their era. Fifteen years, five albums and a whole lot of ups and downs later, they've still managed to preserve that energy and vision. Which is pretty remarkable.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Ruban Nielson has also sustained a very long creative streak. He'd played guitar in a hard-edged New Zealand post-hardcore band called the Mint Chicks, and when that ended, he found himself in Portland, Oregon, around 2010. He began messing around with music again — making highly wrought, idiosyncratic basement recordings with an odd psychedelic feel. This new project — Unknown Mortal Orchestra — got a record deal, and Nielson began touring and gathering crowds and critical praise. The UMO sound has broadened and morphed over the course of three albums, right through this year's release, the acclaimed and addictively strange Multi-Love.
In retrospect, it's no surprise that Adebimpe and Nielson are huge fans of each other's music — they have a similar creative spirit — and they have lots of other things in common too, as you're about to hear. But, aside from the Mint Chicks opening for TV on the Radio many years ago, they'd never really met. What a great excuse to put them together and see what they talk about. And the answer is: a whole lot of very interesting things, like, when you write a song that comes from a deep emotional place, how do you find it in yourself to sing that song on stage, night after night — and sometimes for year after year? Where does inspiration come from? What does success do to creativity?
And there's a lot more where that came from. Give a listen.
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