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Thom Yorke & Nigel Godrich talk to Rolling Stone on Atoms For Peace, Radiohead & DJ Culture

Thom Yorke & Nigel Godrich were interviewed for Rolling Stone. The two from Atoms For Peace talk about Atoms For Peace, Radiohead & DJ Culture.

Here are some questions and answers from the interview:

What do you enjoy most about playing with Atoms for Peace?

YORKE: They’re super-fast and technically just frighteningly good. It’s quite a lot of energy – I mean, obviously, Flea’s very energetic, but the others are, too, in their own particular ways. When we play, it’s quite in-your-face. And there’s a lot of looking to me for direction, which I’m not used to. Well, I am, sort of. [Both crack up laughing.]

Thom Yorke: “I have to say, I don’t like a lot of the DJ culture that goes around it. I don’t like this sort of, get paid a lot of money and the DJ comes and he just fucking does his set. Which is fine, ’cause he knows it works and he’s worked hard at it – but sometimes, you’re like, “Really? What, really?” I mean, my favorite DJ, if you’re just talking about a performer, is Gaslamp Killer. I think he’s fucking amazing, because he’ll just switch styles and he just doesn’t care. When I was in Australia, Mark Pritchard was talking about how for a lot of DJs, it’s their main source of income, so they’ll do what works, ’cause otherwise they don’t get booked. So they don’t take risks. But he was talking about how, like, in the Panorama Bar in Berlin, for example, and in Plastic People when it first started in London, and in Low End Theory [in L.A.], people would come in and play what the fuck they wanted, and they would switch styles, and that’s the whole point!”

Like you said, DJ culture is big business now. Does that turn you off?

YORKE: I mean, it depends on how you look at it. If I’m brutally honest, 90 percent of that whole culture, I don’t get on with. I don’t understand it at all, and I find it really bonkers when, you know, like, a promoter in Ibiza is emailing us, saying, “Do you want to go?” And I’m like, “No!” At the same time, some of the most exciting things that have happened to me recently have been, like, when FlyLo dragged me to Low End Theory for the first time, kicking and screaming, ’cause I didn’t want to do it, ’cause I was jet lagged or whatever, and it was just mental. Fucking mental.”

What do you think of social media? Thom, you don’t really do Twitter, do you?

YORKE: “Uh, not yet. No. I will, though. We do Tumblr – me and Stanley [Donwood] do a Tumblr now called “What Have You Done to My Face,” which is a quote from The Simpsons.”

GODRICH: “Amazing! I actually didn’t know that, but now it pleases me.”

Have you thought at all about when you might work on another record with Radiohead?

YORKE: No, I don’t know, really. We said a year, but I’m sure it’ll probably be slightly longer than that, ’cause I am actually going to have to have a break. For three days. [Laughs.] I really haven’t got a clue, which I quite like. We didn’t, like, say, “Fuck you, I’ll see you whenever.” But it was quite exciting to actually finally decide to take a proper, proper break. We’d never really done that, not by choice.

I’m curious about the songs that Radiohead recorded at Jack White’s studio last summer. You said on Reddit that one of them was “Identikit,” right?

YORKE: Yeah. It was only a few hours in the studio. It was just because “Identikit” felt like it was in a really nice place, and I wanted to lay it down before we got bored of it, which is what normally happens. And there was one other tune, which might work. But “Identikit” was the main thing.

Did it feel like you finished the track or is it something you want to return to?

YORKE: It’s not finished, finished. No. That’s homework. Haven’t done it yet.

GODRICH: Save it for your day off.
Read the full interview over at

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