Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker has had the opportunity to collaborate with a handful of rappers over the years. A prominent and relatively recent example of that is “Skeletons,” a highlight from Travis Scott’s hit 2018 album Astroworld. Earlier this week, on September 7, Tame Impala kicked off their comeback tour at the United Center in Chicago, and during the set, the band decided to perform the Scott collaboration for the first time.
In a 2018 Billboard interview, Parker spoke about how “Skeletons” came to be, saying, “[Scott’s] manager got in touch and said he was a big fan [and suggested we] meet up if I was ever in LA, so I went to a few sessions with him. We hung out and played some stuff, and he really liked what ended up being ‘Skeletons.’ That definitely got the biggest reaction out of him. I could tell he liked it. I remember going through this stuff to play to Travis, and just thought, ‘Oh, this is actually really up his alley.’ I know Travis likes his psych-rock. He likes his crusty metal guitar sound. I was struck by how much I thought it would fit Travis’ thing even though it’s not hip-hop-sounding. So much hip-hop is cycled from music that sounds like that — crusty-sounding ’70s rock. There’s so much of that, that kind of King Crimson stuff.”
In that same conversation, he talked about what it was like working with Scott, saying, “What’s cool about people like Travis is that they’re just getting a bunch of people in the room and seeing what happens. For a lot of it, I was just a team player. At some points, there were 10, 20 people in the room. You could just be there and hang out and not do anything for like an hour. And then something perks your ears up, and you can be like, ‘Oh yeah yeah, plug me in, I’ve got an idea.’ We’d go for hours, until three in the morning.”
Watch a clip of the “Skeletons” performance above.