'Nine Types of Light'

TV on the Radio's frontman goes from toonmaker to tunesmith to filmmaker.

Former MTV animator Tunde Adebimpe, frontman of the indie band TV on the Radio, made an hourlong film, Nine Types of Light, featuring all 10 tunes on TVOTR's same-titled new album, which Esquire called the best of 2011. Directed by him with 10 fellow filmmakers, the film was released April 12 for free on Vevo/YouTube and the video for "You" is available at THR.com.

You played the guy who marries Rachel in Jonathan Demme's Rachel Getting Married. Is Demme a big influence on your directing?


But your video for the song "Forgotten" is a stripper zombie film.

Jonathan did work for Roger Corman. I was trying to make a high-end B-movie like Jess Franco or Russ Meyer, with a little Sam Raimi thrown in.

It's about a New York band's reaction to making an album in L.A.

We were down the street from the Modern Institute of Plastic Surgery, which was falling apart. A lot of facade work was done, maybe not a lot of foundation.

Did the lyrics ("Nuclear winter, what should we wear and who's for dinner") come first or the zombie imagery?

The song came first. It just popped into my head that it would be really good to shoot a zombie movie in Hollywood. The production company Doomsday helped get our cast together.

What did the film cost?

The whole thing I believe cost as much as the allotment for one or two videos, roughly like $150,000, a tiny bit more.

Was it a canny move to make a movie of the album?

We'll see what happens commercially. Packaging sounds like a cheap word, but I like a lot of packaging as an extension of the thing you're doing. You give the packaging as much importance as the thing it's holding.

You cover lots of film genres.

We've got stripper zombies. There's a dance contest. There's a very flat 2D kinetic collage, 3D stop-motion and flat table stop-motion, a virtual reality love story. There's a documentary, "Killer Crane" [about the band's tour]. The "You" video can be classified as a comedy.

It's a film festival.

Exactly. Like an anthology of short stories.

What would be a good double bill for Nine Types of Light?

It could be a triple bill with Funky Forest: The First Contact by Katsuhito Ishii and Norman McLaren's Begone Dull Care.