Main Index >> Media Index >> The Bends Media | UK Media | 1995 Interviews

Jo Whiley: "—by talking to Thom from the band, now. We've heard the rest of the band's tales of torture, over the past three years since Pablo Honey.

Thom: "Oh, really?

Jo: "Yes. How was it for you?

Thom: "Oh, just the same, then. Just tortuous.

Jo: "Well was it frustrating for you?

Thom: "Well, yeah. Frustrating to the point of complete madness, really. And there was one occasion, we went down to an MTV Latino thing or something, and me and Jonny were gonna play a couple of acoustic songs or something, all "yeah, great!" you know, "excellent." And, uh, you turn up and of course the producer just sort of sits there and says "Well, you're going to have to play 'Creep,' then, because otherwise, people won't know who you are." And so, I spent half the day arguing with the producer, with the record company, with my manager, saying "I'm not doing this song! There's no way in hell I'm doing it!" And everyone one said, "well, you have to, cos that's you."

Jo: "So what happened?

Thom: "Well, we played the first two or three bars and just stopped.

Jo: "Was this going out live?

Thom: "Yeah, I think so.

Jo: "So it's everyone, then, that you kind of feel under pressure from? And the general public?

Thom: "General public, never really been a real issue. Um, for me. To be perfectly honest, I prefer recording, and writing, than I do touring, cos touring is a real physical thing for me, and I really love it, but if, if I'm ill, like I am now, it's a nightmare. And what the general public think, what the press writes, and what people listen to, is irrelevant, cos if I can't get into the studio, or if I can't get in front of the tape machine, and write stuff, then, you know, I'm going to be frustrated.

Jo: "You say that it kind of got to the point of madness. What was a time when you started acting up?

Thom: "Well, yeah, they come and go. And maybe it's- it's probably just me, most people seem to cope with it.

Jo: "Do the rest of the band cope with it?

Thom: "Oh, a lot better than I do.

Jo: "Do they cope with you?

Thom: "Yeah. (laughs)

Jo: "Do they help you?

Thom: "(still laughing) Yeah.

Jo: "So has this kind of madness surfaced on the album?

Thom: "Madness isn't really the right word to describe it. The word was just sort of, acute paranoia, and you know, it could have gone either way, we could have walked out the studio and given up there and then. But then things started happening. The next album will be a lot less considered.

Jo: "Because this album has been with you for quite a long time, I mean, you're now desperate to get on to the next album.

Thom: "Mmm, yes, thanks, yes.

Jo: "Are you writing?

Thom: "Ahm, yeah. I mean, what we're going to do is just record it in bits and pieces for the next one as we go along. Um, dream on. If we actually get a weekend free somewhere.

Jo: "Can you not just stop the world and get off?

Thom: "No.

Jo: "Do you think you get the pressure because you're the singer and then you're the writer?

Thom: "Probably yeah. You know, I mean, when I was writing when I was younger, when I was at college, I would sit there with a tape recorder or whatever and I'd write it, and that would be it. And now it's so much more of a long, drawn out process, or we go into a rehearsal and it'll be a real laugh, and now it's- I don't know, it's just suddenly, cos we have this thing on tape that I'm really proud of, I just don't want to stop, you know? I just want to go straight into doing it again.

Jo: "Do you care much about the reaction that this album gets from the press?

Thom: "No.

Jo: "Not at all?

Thom: "No. If I worried about the press, I really would go crazy. I really would. Because, the thing is, I'll take everything so much to heart,

Jo: "Okay, so how would you sum up this album and what it says about the state of Radiohead now?

Thom: "Umm, I think we're getting there. I think we're getting better. And, um, I'm really bloody proud of it, and I hope people get to hear it.

Jo: "Okay, and one track you'd like to play?

Thom: "Oh, Bulletproof. It was really fun making that, me and Phil and Colin playing our bits and then we left Jonny and Ed for a whole day, sitting there, playing their guitars, and they couldn't work out what they were going to play, they didn't have a clue, so me and John Leckie said "alright, we'll set the tape rolling and you do what you like, but it won't have anything to do with the track, we'll just tell you when to stop." So because of that, all these amazing, like, sounds and accidents came out of what they were doing on their guitars with cigarette lighters and bits and peices, and I really liked that because it was purely an accident.

Jo: "Okay, here it is then, Bulletproof.