Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Ed O’brien did an hour-long interview with Dave Fanning for Sky TV recently, discussing the struggles within the band as they recorded their seven LPs, the In Rainbows release scheme, and their uncertain future plans (a “mid-seventies dance track”?). The whole Q&A is fascinating, but isn’t online yet, so here’s one of my favorite parts:
“The Bends was our response to Britpop, completely, and OK Computer was our response to hanging out with R.E.M. on tour,” Yorke said, adding that Kid A and Amnesiac were products of his anti-guitar obsession.
O’Brien then interjected that Hail to the Thief was the band’s attempt at making a record “where we all got on and it was harmonious. The problem with that record I think we feel, or me personally and others as well, was it wasn’t edited that well.”
“No, we didn’t spend enough time on it,” Yorke added.
“So you get to a stage where everybody gets on fine, but then you have to edit it and that’s when disagreement comes,” O’Brien continued, adding moments later, “There are too many songs on the record.”
There’s so much talk these days about Radiohead as an infallible band that this whole interview was quite refreshing, in that it reveals how much insecurity and infighting the band struggles with to keep the bar set so high. I’ll update when there’s a full vid, but watch an excerpt here for now.