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Thom Yorke: ‘It’s not who you steal from, it’s how you steal’

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.”

Listen to the full interview.

19 Comments

  • Happy birthday Thom!

  • Thom!!!!!!! Happy Birthday!!!!!!

  • NOT IN AMERICA IT AINT HIS BDAY.

    also thom needs to be quiet more.

  • Happy Birthday!!!! It’s supposed to be your bday, but you shared your bday gift with us, great interview!!

    :D

  • Great interview!

  • Happy Birthday Thomas!!!

  • This interview is deep, it takes some time to digest

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, THOM !!!!!!

  • Happy birthday thom!!

  • Happy Birthday Thom! Thanks for this interview!

  • Happy BI_R_THD_AY THOM ! GooD LucK !!!

  • Thom is not a plagiarist. I would say that so far the most impressive inspiration for a Radiohead song is “Sexy Sadie” by the Beatles that can be found in the chorus of Karma Police.
    If somebody says that Flying Lotus is the main inspiration for songs like Bloom or whatever, it could be for the similarity of the creative processes, but still in a very remote way.
    Radiohead are a clever band who’ll always steal silently…

  • [...] have the ability within our group with Nigel to move around in all these different areas.’”(atease) swfobject.embedSWF("http://www.vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf", "vvq-89647-vimeo-1", "540", "405", "9", [...]

  • **** ‘It’s not who you steal from, it’s how you steal’ ****

    Shame on you, Thom, shame on you…..

    <3
    ;-)

  • Does anyone know that exact quote regarding ‘It’s not who you steal from, it’s how you steal.’??

  • f somebody says that Flying Lotus is the main inspiration for songs like Bloom or whatever, it could be for the similarity of the creative processes, but still in a very remote way.

  • It’s actually a great and helpful piece of info. I’m glad that you just shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • bonjour a vous tous, je suis un con. Merci

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