Phil Selway was interviewed for Dublin magazine Analogue and Ed was a guest on Canadian radio show ‘Strombo‘. In both interviews the drummer and guitarist say they weren’t fully satisfied with their previous record, Hail To The Thief.
Ed told Stromb: “On this record we collectively suffered f rom a huge lack of self-confidence. It wasn’t happening together for a while. That didn’t really happen on ‘Hail To The Thief’, but it happened on every other record. I would consider ‘Hail To The Thief’ possibly not one of our strongest records.”
On ‘In Rainbows’, Radiohead had a different way of recording and releasing their 2003 album ‘Hail To The Thief”.
Phil to Analogue: “The biggest difference really was the length of time it has taken. Hail To Thief was a relatively quick record to make, and this one has taken a lot longer. I think with any of our records, a part of what drives it along is a bit of a reaction to the record that’s gone before. With hindsight, I mean, there’s a lot of good things about Hail To The Thief, from our point of view, but there are also elements that we’ve come away thinking “wish we’d done that differently”, or spent a bit more time on that. So you act on those impulses on the next record you make.”
On the extra CD that came with ‘In Rainbows’, the band have learned from ‘Hail to the Thief’ as well.
Phil: “I think the difficulty came in realising that we’re not going to get everything onto the record. We kind of felt like we put everything on Hail To The Thief, and we didn’t want to do that again. So I think once we got to the point where we’d decided that we want to make a ten-track record, then you actually select the ten tracks that sit well together.”
You did a couple of covers (for the Radiohead.tv webcast), The Headmaster Ritual [by The Smiths] and Ceremony [by New Order] I think, how did you decide which to do?
Phil: “Yeah, our Manchester section really, wasn’t it? It’s funny because when we were at school, we never really played covers. It’s something that we’ve not done an awful lot of either, at any point. We’ve always kind of worked on original material. So to come back at this point and just go in and work on these songs which we’ve all really loved at some point and seeing if we can pull them off… we enjoyed doing those versions of them.”
Read the full interview at the Analogue site, in which Phil answers (or actually doesn’t) the high ticket prices discussion, XL vs. EMI, Thom vs. Bono and of course more on ‘In Rainbows. The interview is available as a pdf file.