Thom Yorke and Ed O’Brien were interviewed for NPR’s All Songs Considered on Radiohead’s latest album The King Of Limbs.
NPR’s Guy Raz asked how the band reinvents themselves every time and how the band approach every album. Thom Yorke: “We’re not trying to be experimental or anything. When I first started doing demo’s on my own, I was quite a good imitator. I see it in my daughter, she’s the same. You’re constantly learning from other music and then there’s that Lennon thing about it, ‘It’s not who you steal from, it’s how you steal.’ I’m constantly absorbing other music and that’s what stimulates me the most. And to have the ability within our group with Nigel to move around in all these different areas.”
“We had an initial session of about five weeks, and it was really like kids in kindergarten,” O’Brien says. “You had to simplify what you were doing — you couldn’t do loads of ideas. You had to listen to one another. Believe it or not, in a band you can lose that.
“Part of what you do is rejection,” O’Brien adds. “I think everybody finds it hard, but I think part of creativity is bouncing back from that. What’s great about the environment that we have is that no one ever says, ‘You can’t do that.’ You try it, and then it’s judged on whether it’s right for the track.”
“Almost every tune is like a collage: things we’d pre-recorded, each of us, and then were flying at each other,” Yorke says. “You get to a point where you think, ‘OK, this bit needs a big black line through it.’ It’s like editing a film or something.
“I don’t think we really genuinely thought anything would come out of it,” he adds, “certainly not an entire record.”