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Tunde Adebimpe: Claymation Inspiration

by Rob Slater on February 05, 2014

With comics or movies, I feel like I’ll watch anything, but with music—in the first three seconds—if it’s not a road I feel like I want to go down, it’s really painful to get through the whole thing,” Tunde Adebimpe admits shortly after wrapping up his latest movie. The TV on the Radio singer and noted actor is
discussing the unique blend of artistic influences which have colored his career and which inadvertently led to his newest endeavor, the fiery Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band.

Film, or more specifically claymation, has always played a large part in Adebimpe’s creative process. “I remember seeing this claymation thing with The California Raisins. I remember these claymation raisins dancing around and I was really fascinated by it. I asked my dad, ‘How does that happen?’”

Adebimpe has music on his mind even when he is working on a film, although the TV on the Radio founder admits that he feels “a little more like a lax
filmmaker than a musician most of the time.”

Adebimpe’s latest project pairs him with Alex Holden, Ryan Sawyer and Josh Werner—longtime friends who joined forces one night at Brooklyn’s Comics and Graphics Festival. “This guy Gabe who owns a local comic store we all go to asked me if I had any projects that I wanted to perform with,” Adebimpe explains. “I basically told him we’d do it before I asked any of those guys.”

That surprise gig blossomed into a five-song, self-titled EP that was essentially built from a ton of improv. “The EP is a really cleaned-up version of the live shows. The songs all have a shape and came from improv, and now, when we do them live, we’re trying to explode them and have the really controlled
pieces coming out of the sort of reckless pieces,” Adebimpe explains.

As for Adebimpe’s more established project, TV on the Radio, the singer explains, “We’re writing a bunch of songs right now—like a lot of songs—but as to whether we’re going to just release them as singles, we haven’t decided yet.”

Meanwhile, projects with Mike Patton (Faith No More) and Adam Drucker (Doseone) also hang in the balance. When asked if he is a busy man, Adebimpe can only laugh and say, “Yeah, pretty busy.”

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