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Ed O’Brien & Thom Yorke at BBC 6Music

As previously announced, Ed O’Brien and Thom Yorke are guests on Steve Lamacq’s BBC 6 Music show today. After a look at the webcam, we saw Ed & Thom come in earlier. 6 Music confirmed us that the show was pre-recorded this afternoon, to be broadcast on the Steve Lamacq show from 18:00 – 19: 00 hrs.

Steve Lamacq asked where the band was on the day of the download of ‘In Rainbows’ (October 10th).
: “It was a Wednesday. We probably had a meeting about it. We had a lot of meetings beforehand about it.”
Thom: “We keep having meetings. It’s alright, they’re nice meetings. They’re just long meetings. (…) I seem to remember sitting at home thinking there’s something I’m supposed to be doing today. I didn’t do anything that day”.
Ed: “I got 10 discboxes…. I spent 400 quid. I think Phil and I are, throughout the world that spent the most on it. A lot of family out there”.
Thom: “My missus is asking when she can hear it. I have downloaded it but haven’t gotten round to it. I thought it would be silly to pay any money. I’d swap it from one pocket to the other. ”

How many songs did you work on?
Ed: Nigel (Godrich) limited us. We had the old blackboard out. Which in the Kid A days had about 60 titles.
Thom: “And I’m the only who knew what they were”.
Ed: And then he came in another day on Kid A and he’d write another 5 songs.
Thom: ‘And then every now and then someone came round and asked, what’s this bit here? ‘ADC-F’. And I’d say: “Oh, well I’ll play it”
Ed: Nigel sorta said: why don’t we hone it down to 15 or 16 songs. By the time we were in the studio with Nigel, we’ve been playing some of these songs for a year and a half. So there was a slight sense of desperation. We had to get rid of them. We had to try to do them as quickly as possible and do them the best we could. So they only way to do that was to really concentrate. To nail it down.
Thom: “I kept coming every Monday night and three days later somebody had wiped them off.”
Steve: “Was it Nigel?”
Ed: “Could’ve been the cleaning lady”

Which track set the mood for this record?
Ed: “The big break through was… We’ve done a load of recording with Nigel. We’ve done about 8 weeks before Christmas, last year. And then we came back and listened to a lot of it. A lot of it wasn’t good enough, but the second day in the studio and we basically cut ’15 step’ in a day. Everybody was playing live. That gave us lot confidence.”

About finally recording Nude:
“I don’t think we’ve been ever able to do that song until now. Even though it’s been kicking around for 10 years. Whatever it meant then is not what it means to us now. I think it’s because i used to hate the way I sung it. It was just too intimate. I felt really uncomfortable.”

About the new version of ‘Reckoner’: Thom: “Beause it’s not the same song. There was a song called Reckoner. I wrote a second part to it and then Jonny wrote another part to it and the song as it was left the building”.

Why wasn’t ‘Down Is The New Up’ not on Disc 1?
: “That was the hardest decision we had to make. It blew my mind. You wait till you heard, cause the recording of it is mental. It’s great. Best drumming Phil has ever done. I just didn’t fit. It’s weird. It just did not fit. We had like two weeks trying to work out what went on?”
Ed: “Yeah, we had 16-17 songs. We knew we wanted to make a record that was concise. It couldn’t really be more than 10-11 songs. So, we tried to make things fit. For instance, Jigsaw almost didn’t make it on to it. That was like the last song that went on. Went it comes to the tracklisting everything’s up in the air. It becomes something else only we you get that tracklisting right.”

Ed also confirmed that the previously reported tour will start in May next year. But said that it’s all up in the air. All unconfirmed, but Glastonbury is on the agenda and the tour will start in America. (more details)

Ed picked a song to play on the show, which was Kings Of Leon’s ‘My Party’.
“If there’s one band I totally love who have made three amazing records, it’s Kings Of Leon. I saw them live at Hammersmith Apollo in the Summer. Just blew my mind. I don’t get jealous when I see other bands but when I see them I think, Man I’d love to be in that band. They’ve got amazing songs. They’ve got that thing. They remind me of those bands I used to love in the eighties, the Bunnymen or something like that. They’re growing, they’re evolving… The first record is amazing. They’re amazing players, the drummer is incredible. They’re all great but he’s really special.”

Steve: When I first heard this record: One of the things I found strange was that there didn’t seem to be a centre to this record. Some sort of focus.

Thom: “The centre of the record is Reckoner. ‘Because we separate like ripples on blank shore’. Everything is leading to that point and then going away from that point. I’ll tell you what though. There’s all these mad theories on the net – I’m not one of these people who ever reads them – but someone read one out to me – It’s all about tens and mathmatically, that IS the centre point. The golden section theory. So if you’re really really really stuck for something to do, you can always read about that”.

The lyrics of the record was focussed on by Ed apparently.
Thom: “Ed was big on the words on this record. He kept sort of focussing back on that”.
Ed: “For me, with music in the last four years I first went through a phase not being able to relisten to music. And the thing I came back to is a song. A song is lyrics. The song is a singer and that’s 80% and the music is 20%.”
Thom: “We’ll discuss that with the publisher later!”
“Well, er it’s about half and half at this day…. That was the notable thing with this lyrics. They were universal. There wasn’t a political agenda. It’s being human. I was getting a buzz hearing the lyrics. On a genuine, profound level. What you’ve done with The Eraser as well. The voice is upfront. You didn’t pull the voice back. That was really good. So we though ‘wow, we need to do that’. And it was just getting the songs right. Getting the background right to the vocal. Get these lyrics heard, because that’s basically what it’s about.”

Steve: “Has the experience of The Eraser shape how you approaced or contributed to this record?”
Thom: “It kinda threw me a bit initially.”
Steve: “All of a suddon there were these other blokes in the room…”
Thom: “Yeah, understatement number 8! Hang on a minute! So yes, that answers the question. No need to elaborate.”

Steve: “A fan said: this is the first Radiohead record which works on shuffle”.
Ed: “Oh really? That’s cool”
Thom: “I’m glad to hear we wasted two weeks working it out!”
Ed: “Maybe you have to find the right ten songs you have to shuffle to make it work.”
Thom: “Let’s unbundle”

Listen to the full interview on the BBC 6Music website.

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  • very exciting! i keep trying to listen in but the connection is extremely buggy today. looking forward to your updates on the interview here. 🙂

  • nice one

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  • Interesting.

  • It’s a shame that RealPlayer is required to listen to it. I hate that program…

  • really great interview…can’t wait til tour in may bitches!!!!!!!!!!!! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • “Why wasn’t ‘Down Is The New Up’ not on Disc 1?”
    “That was the hardest decision we had to make. It blew my mind. You wait till you heard, cause the recording of it is mental. It’s great. Best drumming Phil has ever done.”

    Jesus, I need that discbox NOW.

  • As I’m listening to this Kings of Leon song, I’m imagining Ed dancing along to the beat… Thanks for part of the transcription. Finally, direct answers about In Rainbows. great insight about the album, the tenspiracy and whatnot.

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  • really cool record…just one of those sonic experiences that just grows on you the more one listens to it. Did you know that a medical condition exists where people can “see” music…I think it’s referred to as Synesthesia? The title of the album may be inadvertently quite clever in that at least for me it implies a spectrum of songs that has a great mix of rock-out tunes and languid songs? Thanks Radiohead…your music is making the cold snap in Canada more bearable.

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