Radiohead are making progress in the studio. The band started recording past Winter and are currently in the studio working on the last bits. Ed O’Brien said it will be a matter of weeks till it’s finished and hopes to see the release before the end of this year. ‘It has got to. I hope so’
Guitarist Ed O’Brien was a guest on Adam Buxton’s show on BBC 6 Music today, saying he thinks the new Radiohead record ‘is the best record we’ve ever made’. Ed: “We’re in the heart of the record. It’s genuinely exciting. It’s very different from what we did last time. It’s really nice to be doing this. It’s so good to be making music with the band that you feel is still as good as it’s ever been.”
When Adam Buxton asked if he had any idea when this record would see the light of day, Ed answered: “No, Ideally it would be great if it came out sometime this year. It has got to. I hope so. We’re at the finishing line. When you’re making a record, a film, write a book for ages and ages you think the finishing line is miles away. Now it feels it’s in touching distance. But of course, it being a creative process, at the last bit also, you have bursts of energy, you achieve a lot of things in a small period of time and then you’re nearly there…it might slow down. But yeah, hopefully it will be a matter of weeks.”
With ‘In Rainbows’ you seemed to have turned a corner and having a lot more fun. That’s what it looked like from the outside looking in. Is that fair?
Ed O’Brien: It wasn’t fun making the record. Making records has been hard. It’s always been a slog. Traditionally Radiohead in a studio has been: Don your tin helmet, just see it out, like a war of attrition. And basically at the end of In Rainbows it had taken three years to sort of come together. And we initially started off on our own, pulled in someone else and after a year we worked with Nigel [Godrich] again. It was such a slog. We knew we had these songs. We really believed in these songs. So, we had to do it right. It just took a long time. And we basically decided then and there at the end of that record: ‘We are never doing this again this way’. That was kind of like the end of Radiohead, mark 2. We decided, the only way that worked for us to carry on was to do it in a different spirit. Enjoy it.
On the recording process of ‘In Rainbows’ Ed continued explaining why it was much harder than everybody thought. Ed: “We hear it all the time: ‘it sounds like you had a great time in the studio’. But, oh man… that [In Rainbows] was a slog. It was a really long process. At the end, for instance a song like ‘House Of Cards’ has been recorded six times. Plus the fact: we had this genius idea in 2006 to go on tour and do 50 odd shows, play all these songs, go back to studio and record them. And that’s when we went back in with Nigel. We went in and recorded them having played these songs 50 times. So we kind of got the arrangements sorted. We just wanted to get them down. We played these enough. And we got them down and most of them were rubbish. A lot of work in the creative process is rubbish.
However Ed praised producer Nigel Godrich for his influence on the band. Ed: “The art is to not give in, to carry on, persevere. You just have to keep going. The great thing about Nigel is; he raises the bar. He drives you hard. You think you’ve done the take, you think you’ve done your overdub, you think it’s in there and then he says: ‘Maybe one more time’. He gets the best performances out of you. He’s amazing. Cause he also drives himself really hard as well. The quality of the stuff that he does is really high. So, it’s good to be driven hard.”