Pitchfork interviewed Thom Yorke, published today on their website. Thom talks about The Eraser, his fears and doubts, and his band’s past, present, and future. About recording without a label and structure:
Thom: “You kind of just have to hang out for a while and focus on something, and once you’ve got past that the channels start opening back up again. Having done something that’s not like [Radiohead] makes me realize how mad the group sort of dynamic is. It’s not something you just take for granted and can switch on and off. It actually takes work and everybody wanting to do it.”
Pitchfork: You’re recording without deadlines, then– or is Nigel imposing those?
Thom: “Yeah, we’re meeting with him next week to talk about what the fuck to do [Laughs]. He picks up the pieces.
I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen [but] not having a label isn’t a big deal. It was interesting doing something with XL because it’s very mellow. There’s no corporate ethic. All [major labels are] like that. Stupid little boys’ games– especially really high up.”
Pitchfork: You matched The Eraser up to XL because you thought it was a good fit for that project. Are you going to try to make separate arrangements for each of your new records?
Thom: I guess so. I don’t know. It’s not such an important question whether we go with a major or an indie or whether we choose to completely do it ourselves. We haven’t really talked about it lately, surprisingly enough.
We were talking about it a lot when we first stopped and we weren’t working, but it ends up being just a pointless question unless, as you said, you’ve got something important and you have to get it out. Then you have to think about it.
It’s funny that some people focus on that. When we stopped, I was really into the idea of trying to mess about trying to fuck with the system, whatever. The system’s in collapse anyway. Just watch it go.
Some people talk about the internet, but we’ve always had a problem with [it], because it will always essentially be exclusive one way or the other. To assume that this technology is worldwide is kind of bollocks, y’know? It’s not there in the same way. So, I mean, I also personally am one of these luddites. I want physically to have things. I want 12″s, and anyway, iTunes never has what I want.”
Pitchfork: Kid A was obviously a huge success but it’s not the type of thing the label wanted to try and sell– was there any fear that if the first one didn’t work out in their eyes, they’d make demands on Amnesiac?
Thom: At the time, it felt like it was a good idea to split them up. It was such an elongated period but it wasn’t like, “They might not like that one, so we may need to come up with something a little bit easier” or any of that shit. It was all way beyond that. And we knew how tolerant they were. No, it’s never been like that ever. Maybe on “High and Dry”. I had my arm twisted on “High and Dry”.
Pitchfork: To release it as a single?
Thom: To put it anywhere. [Laughs] It’s not bad, you know. It’s not bad…it’s very bad. [Laughs]
Pitchfork: Are there any current bands with whom you feel any type of kinship?
Thom: There are bands I look up to. Like I look up to the Black Keys. I’m really excited about Deerhoof. Liars, they’re fucking great. LCD Soundsystem. Modeselektor.
[read it in full at Pitchfork]