[recording starts here]
[Jingle – 'Radiohead: Head to Head' on the Evening Session]
Steve Lamacq: "It is Radiohead on the Evening Session, and we're in, and here they are, although we're missing one member of Radiohead today. Phil's not here, can you tell us why?
Thom: "Er, well he's just had a baby
Steve: "Phil's a dad?
Ed: "This morning, yeah
Thom: "Times two now
Steve: "So that's why Phil's not here, but the rest of Radiohead are here for Head2Head, this is the concept, we've got lots of questions which came in which we wanted to ask Radiohead, some of them from the programme we did in Paris, others which have come in over the last month and a bit, because it has....so many things have happened since we last talked to you, when we were in Paris, the story has unfolded quite well in a way, you did the gigs around the UK, and then number one in America. How did that happen?
Steve: "Does anyone know?
Thom: "Er...no, I mean least of all the American record company (check 0:55) everybody involved over there. It must have been a quiet week
Ed: "That's what they claimed, yeah
Thom: "Everyone was saying oh, it must have been a quiet week
Steve: "It was a quiet week, yeah?
Thom: "And it was number one in Britain as well, the same week, wasn't it?
Colin: "As number one in America
Thom: "Yes, and where else?
Thom: "Oh, yeah
Ed: "France, well, as you see, number ones mean nothing to us....
Thom: "Nothing at all
Steve: "You just collect them?
Ed: "Yeah, we just....
Steve: "Is there anywhere where you haven't been number one, where you'd like to be number one in? What about the Dutch?
Thom: "Well obviously if......
Ed: "We were number twenty-two
Steve: "Really? What, the Spanish haven't got it?
Ed: "Yeah. No
Thom: "No, they just didn't get it
Colin: "They're more laid back , though, aren't they?
Thom: "I'm not sure if we.....
Steve: "Is that why, do you think? Maybe it just wasn't a quiet week in Spain
Steve: "So, everything's happened.....
Thom: "Eh?! Good point (laughs)
Steve: "So, we've got a bunch of questions, which we're going to get through, if we can in the next half an hour, and what we're going to do, instead of myself asking the questions, we'll put all your questions in a bag, and so what we're going to do tonight is Head2Head, members of Radiohead interviewing each other, and to start this, we can hand you over to Jonny, take the question, and you can either answer it yourself, or you can nominate somebody else to answer it for you....
Jonny: "Oh, right I understand, ok
Steve: "All these questions are from listeners, apart from a couple of curve balls
Jonny: "Oh, right
Steve: "You're not allowed to look. Here we go, question one
Jonny: "It's from David in Oxford, who wants to be anonymous
Ed: "Nice one, Jonny
Jonny: "It's a plant. Ed, what football team do you support? Easy
Ed: "Oh, that's an easy one
Jonny: "And would you consider investing in Oxford?
Ed: "Er, first question, I'm an Oxford red, so I'm a United, Manchester United supporter, and would I invest in Oxford?
Steve: "Who are, as we record this, bottom of the second division
Ed: "Exactly, on what is it, something like seven points?
Steve: "It's not very many
Ed: "It wouldn't be a wise investment, so probably not
Steve: "What, you'd treat it purely on a financial level?
Ed: "Well it's United, yeah
Steve: "So, do you go to Manchester United matches?
Ed: "Yeah, I went to.....the last game I went to the derby at Maine Road a couple of weeks ago
Ed: "And er....nearly got my head bitten off
Steve: "Do you have the usual criticism leveled at you?
Ed: "Of course, I'm past that, you know, I've done it, I was, you know, it was a (check 03:10) game conversion when I was at college in Manchester, walked up the steps of the Stretford end, and United were playing Chelsea, we lost two-one. Never looked back
Steve: "And Thom, before you fall asleep...
Steve: "...after the football moment. Next question
Ed: "Right, Jonny
Ed: "There doesn't seem to be much guitars on the album, do you think guitar rock is dead? Can you think of any examples of people who might be able to bring it back to life? Roddy Murray from Brighton. Come on, rock god
Jonny: "Er.....ah, squirm......er, you know....er, I'm squirming instead of answering..erm...I don't...(sighs) It's such a....I mean it's such a traditional and established thing to do, and an instrument to play, it's like, you know, it's too old fashioned, you know, it's too....it's like people saying you know you're going to revolutionise anything, piano playing or morris dancing whatever, it's not.......it's not exciting for those reasons, for the image of playing guitar, that's not what's exciting
Steve: "Do you think it changes with different generations though?
Steve: "You know, maybe one of the reasons we ask this question is that we've been stuck in this sort of retro chic for a while...
Steve: "And that we're always looking backwards now, that somebody who can......you know, who has just picked up a guitar and learned it, it's still the most exciting thing
Ed: "Yeah, and they say that every eight years you always have this thing that guitar is dead, and it was... I remember the same thing in like about 1980-81, people with, you know, all these synthesisers, sounding great, people said the same thing, it was dead, and it's you know....I mean, we're old bastards, you know. Some sixteen year old who's maybe been into just DJ-ing and decks and stuff like might pick up a guitar and it be, you know, the thing that they look great in the bedroom mirror with it you know, and all that stuff
Thom: "The point about originally picking up an electric guitar is that you can get a really great sound out of it fairly quickly. The point being now of course that there's lots of other instruments that you can buy for the same price that are purely electronic but make just as good sounds....
Steve: "We'll take another question, then we'll play a bit of music. Colin
Colin: "Ooooh! Oh dear, this has got sort of a.......it's quite strict, it's a bit like a note from the headmaster. You approached the marketing and production of Kid A in a fairly unorthodox way, Jonny
Colin: "Did you support......did you get the support you needed, and how did the people around you feel about it? And that question is from Keith Rosencroft, the man who signed you at Parlophone records (laughs)
Steve: "Told you there was a couple of curve balls in there
Steve: "That's a question from Keith
Colin: "Explain yourself
Jonny: "Did you get the support you needed, and how did the people around you feel about it?
Steve: "Given your unorthodox way of marketing the last record
Jonny: "Yeeeaah, I........(sighs). It was only unorthodox because, you know there are no singles on the record, anyway and videos are sort of embarrassing things to make and be in, when you have to mime, and all that kind of........it happened by a series of....there was no grand decision to sit down and market it in a completely different way it was just, you know, one thing followed from another, really, and but everybody, especially Keith have been embarrassingly understanding with it all, haven't they?
Steve: "So, Keith, if you're listening, It's ok
Steve: "It's alright, so no cause to lose sleep just yet. Ok, let's play a piece of music, and then we're back with Radiohead Head2Head. This is the evening session from Radio 1
[Plays Feeder - Buck Rogers]
[Radio 1 jingle plays]
Steve: "It's the evening session, and we're at the courtyard studios just outside of Oxford in one of the attic rooms, you can probably hear the rain coming down
Thom: "Excuse me
Steve: "This is like an English lesson, and every time a question comes out of the bag, somebody looks up, and everyone else looks down. (everyone laughs) “Don't ask me to read, I'm not any good at it!” Radiohead asking questions of each other, well these are questions which you have sent in, and it's your turn, Jonny
Jonny: "Erm, bit of a weird one, I'm sort of going to ask myself, really, hope I don't sound too smug. Have you ever walked out of a gig or a rehearsal or recording session? From Simone in Paris. And I don't think any of us have, have we?
Thom: "What's that? What?
Ed: "One of our own gigs?
Jonny: "Walked out of a gig or rehearsal or recording session
Thom: "Walked out?
Jonny: "Yeah, have we ever....
Steve: "Have you ever stormed out in a huff?
Thom: "And we never have, in your book?
Jonny: "We've sometimes said “today is going rubbish, let's just give up”
Ed: "Yeah, let's go home and have a cup of tea, but......
Steve: "Thom, are you disagreeing?
Thom: "Oh, no, well it depends on how you define storming out, really, I guess if we all storm out at once, there's no storming out involved
Ed: "We storm in, though, people storm in
Ed: "We don't storm out, when everyone gets in a huff, they stay in, they don't go
Ed: "Yeah, when they should storm out
Thom: "Oh, right, so we should do......so what you're saying is we should do more storming out?
Ed: "We should storm out, but we actually storm in
Steve: "That makes it sound like a relationship where you never really properly talk to each other
Thom: "I did try to get out.......
Steve: "Does all this stuff simmer under the surface?
Colin: "No, not really, no, it's kind of....we're too old for that now, so........
Thom: "I did try to get out of the NEC, when we played there, but I couldn't get a train. They were all coming in, they weren't going out
Steve: "What, you wanted to leave?
Ed: "At the soundcheck
Steve: "What, before you went on?
Thom: "Yeah, before we went on
Steve: "Why? Did you just......
Thom: "Well, I was having a bad day, you know
Ed: "A logical reaction
Thom: "I can't really add to that, I was just having a bad day, as it goes
Steve: "Thom, it's your turn. Pick a question
Thom: "This is from Catherine Hart, which is a nice name. Will you eventually all go and do solo albums, and (laughs) which one will be the best? Colin
Steve: "You're nominated
Colin: "Am I?
Steve: "Will you eventually......
Colin: "Solo record?
Thom: "Well, there has been a record.......what's the title of that record?
Colin: "Your Wind In My Hair, yeah
Thom: "Colin's bass opus
Colin: "Yeah, a collection of, you know a variation of the old Spinal Tap acoustic numbers with the St Winnifred's School orchestra
Ed: "Or My Wind In Your Hair was it?
Colin: "(laughs) We can't get the syntax quite right, but we're going to leave that till the sort of the post production stage
Ed: "(laughs) Change it in Protools
Colin: "It's amazing what you can do, anyway, no, I don't know, really, I mean it's just such a Spinal Tap seventies rock thing to do.....
Steve: "And you also run the risk obviously with the solo thing that somebody's going to end up like the bass player from The Jam, or something, but where...how do you stand on a stage (everyone laughs), who else do you play with? Do you know what I mean? Ed, you're laughing, you know what I mean, when you come to make the solo record
Ed: "Yeah, but I mean a lot of that stuff as well is.....I mean, maybe we have it, but it's a whole vanity thing, you know, I mean that whole thing of forty and having done all that and still feel the need to get up on stage and......I don't know
Thom: "Less than ten years away, Ed
Ed: "Yeah, exactly, still probably be there
Colin: "We'll be on the road, the last original member of Radiohead on tour
Ed: "(laughs) The original Radiohead featuring Colin Greenwood and Ed O'Brien. You can take lead vocals
Colin: "(check 10:29)
Steve: "Let's have another question
Thom: "It's you, Coz
Colin: "Is it my turn?
Colin: "Again?! Right, ok. Ed, have you been to any gigs this year.....
Colin: "....and who has excited you live, and have you ripped off any ideas?, and that's from Nicole in London
Ed: "Ok, probably an easy one. Been to two brilliant gigs this year, one of them was this....was a band called Madre Deus at the Barbican, which was amazing in summer, they hadn't played it, and the other great gig was ADF, Asian Dub Foundation that....they only did a like forty-five minute set, it was that Radio 1 thing that was part of.........(to SL) You were compereing it, I think
Ed: "I was standing right next to the bass bin, it was at ULU
Steve: "ULU, yeah
Ed: "And just got the full effect of Dr Das' bass, and it was brilliant, I.......live-wise, I think they're the best live band in the world, by a long way
Steve: "What I can remember about that ULU gig was that you get prodded by a live engineer, producer person, who says “go on, we're about to go on, go and introduce them on stage”, and as I walked out, they just started, even before I'd actually managed to get out into the middle of the stage, and say, “ladies and gentlemen, live on Radio 1, ADF”, they'd already started, so I started having to shout over the top “ladies and gentlemen, as you can see, (Ed laughs) it's Asian Dub Foundation on Radio 1”
?? - And they're all shouting “piss off, get off, listen to the music”
?? - There's some skinny bloke come on
Steve: "Let's play some, why not, eh? Asian Dub Foundation on Radio 1, we're back with Radiohead after this
[Plays Buzzin' – Asian Dub Foundation]
[Radio 1 jingle plays]
Steve: "You're listening to the evening session Head2Head, Radiohead asking some of your questions, answering some of your questions tonight. Who's turn is it? Jonny
Jonny: "Ok, I'm going to ask this to Thom, it's from Mark in Sydney
Steve: "In Sydney?
Jonny: "Sydney, Australia
Steve: "This is obviously one of our listeners over the internet
Jonny: "What's the most amazing venue you've ever played?
Thom: "It was probably Frejus, in the south of France, don't you know? It was really good, really, really good, and erm.....
Steve: "What's it like, this place, you'll have to explain, I've never.....
Thom: "It was about three thousand people, it was a Roman amphitheatre, and everybody was around, but.....I could sort of see absolutely every single person in it
Steve: "It's not....it's not used as a bullring is it?
Steve: "It is?
Steve: "I've been there
Steve: "Astonishing, yeah
Thom: "It's a really, really amazing place to play
Steve: "Do you prefer to see the whites of people's eyes, then, do you prefer to pick out the audience, or is that actually more scary, or do you feel that's actually more personal? We're all looking at you, Jonny
Thom: "Yeah, we're all getting into it
Colin: "Jonny's like more interested in his feet (laughs)
Jonny: "I keep my head down
Thom: "Don't ask me!
Jonny: "Yeah, look up
Steve: "What about the other way, do you ever get stuck looking at people, or are you too wrapped up in stuff?
Ed: "What do you mean by that?
Steve: "You go on a stage, and sometimes it's happened to me when I've gone on and introduced bands, and you just see someone gesticulating at you, and you can't look away
Thom: "But that's great, that's.... I love that, it's like when I get....personally when I get to do my wandering stuff, you know I've really got into just walking around just looking at people, and making no attempt to perform in any way at all, and just looking at them, and sometimes you get stuck on somebody, and you just look at them, and it takes them quite a while to figure out that, you know, you're staring at them, and then to see what their reaction is, it's just brilliant. Sometimes people just don't give a shit, and they're like “what?” (laughs)
Steve: "You looking at me?! You looking at me?!
Thom: "And sometimes they sort of look away and sometimes they'll make rude signs at you, brilliant
Steve: "I mean, I suppose it's odd, do they look over their shoulder “is he looking at me?”
Thom: "It's so much better than.....it's so much better than like, you know, I'd love to be able to do it walking down the street, but you know, you can't really stare at people when you walk down the street, although I do tend to. I mean, you sort of get away with it more when you're on stage, they can't really answer back, it's brilliant
Steve: "Everything you can't do on a tube train
Thom: "Exactly that
Steve: "Really? Let's have another question
(sound of scrabbling about in the bag)
Steve: "It's right at the bottom
Thom: "It's this one
Steve: "And it is?
Thom: "Oh, dear, no.....alright then, yeah it's good to answer this. Alison Samson from Liverpool.....I'll answer this because it won't take long. “Who is Kid A, is it Leo Blair, as you dedicated the album to Leo”. No, Phil's first son is called Leo, that's why. Kid A was nothing to do with that at all, Kid A was supposed to be.......it started off as complete nonsense, but I think that it's interesting, I think it ended up being something to do with the idea that we're giving birth to the life form that's going to inherit the earth when we wipe it out in fifty years
Steve: "So, is that something that you thought of afterwards, or is that something......a developing theory?
Thom: "Well no, no, it's something I thought about quite a lot, but it was some insane conversation I had with someone once about artificial intelligence. I had real trouble when the year 1999 came round, much more so than like the year 2000, I don't know about anybody else, but I had a real problem with that, when it became 1999
Thom: "Don't know, don't know, got no idea, but it just really......when the last millennium occurred, people really, really freaked out and there was like mass suicides and it was a genuinely enormous thing, and when it happened this time, everyone got kind of like nervous when the year 2000 came around, and everybody focused it towards the millennium bug, but I think there was a lot of other stuff as well that people tried to sort of forget about, and I think Kid A for me, a lot of that stuff was....got involved in the music, for me. There was a lot of apocalyptic imagery going on in my head, and I couldn't get rid of it, and it was nothing to do with like anything deliberate, it was literally....I couldn't get rid of it
Steve: "And so what, the only way to make sense of it.....
Thom: "Is always to put it into your work, can't help that, really
Steve: "Well, that's partly....probably why you do this job, isn't it?
Thom: "Yeah, I hope so
Steve: "Yeah, I think so. Ok, one more and then another bit of music, I think
(sound of bag being shuffled)
Ed: "Colchester United versus Oxford...........Have you ever been jealous of another member of the band.......(pauses deliberately).........................Colin?
Colin: "Jealous of another member of the band? What? I mean......
Ed: "Have you ever been jealous?
Colin: "Erm......I......I............erm.........I.......well, I mean Ed and I, you know, we used to share a room together.....
Ed: "Here we go.....
Thom: "Yeah, I knew it was going to happen, I knew he was going to come out with that
Ed: "I knew this was going to happen
Colin: "When we were, you know, before we could you know like.....
Colin: "before we could have our own rooms when we were on tour, you know so I was often quite sort of, you know.....
Thom: "(laughs hysterically)
?? - You were really doing my head in
Colin: "I mean there's a difference between the word jealous and envious that often gets confused in language....
Ed: "Brilliant! Side stepping (laughs)
Colin: "It really, really winds me up, I think what they mean is envious, they don't mean jealous, because jealous means something else, like you know......
Thom: "That's such a mega avoidance of the question
Colin: "Envious is like resenting something for something that someone else has, whereas jealous is when you resent someone because you feel that they have something that you should be having
Steve: "Do you have any specific examples?
Ed: "Envy? (laughs)
Colin: "I always thought like..... Ed like had a very nice line of sort of a certain brand of soap, and sort of, you know, had a nice wash bag, you know, in the bathroom we shared, and he always seemed to have like the nicer sort of tasting toothpaste and stuff like that, and you know......
Ed: "(laughs) You're such a liar!
Colin: "Generally better things like that.....I don't know, I can't say, no, you know
Thom: "Good answer
Steve: "Did I hear “you're such a liar”coming from another corner of the room?
Ed: "I copied you on the soap front!
Thom: "Can we have another question?
Ed: "Yeah, let's have another question
Thom: "We can't end on that one, bloody hell
Colin: "No (laughs). This is a good one. Thom, if you made an album totally for yourselves, accepting that lots of fans wouldn't like it and the result was a number one here and in America, are you starting to wonder what you have to do to get rid of unwanted attention? and that's from Paul in Belfast
Thom: "(Inhales deeply)
Colin: "Just how far are you prepared to go?
Thom: "I'll take a deep breath before this one
Thom: "I think it was really weird that everybody was sort of saying that we were deliberately being difficult, or whatever it was. I thought it was.......it actually sort of kind of freaked me out a bit. I think basically what it is, right, we just moved on and decided to do something else and if writing and being a creative person, or like, if being in a band is about supply and demand, you know, you ask for.....people ask you to produce something to supply the demand for that certain thing, and do you do it and everybody's happy, or do you just move on and do whatever turns you on at the time, you know, and issues about like trying to piss people off or alienate fans, it's like....the only people that we've ever met who ever ask us those questions are people in the press
Colin: "I met this bloke in the supermarket actually......
Thom: "Oh, did you?
Colin: "Yeah, called Mark, who said he like just couldn't get on with the album, and he was a big fan.
Thom: "I didn't know that
Colin: "I told him to listen to it again, anyway
Ed: "He needs a big slap
Thom: "At least you were nice to him
Colin: "Well, yeah, completely, why not?
Ed: "It's that term “willfully perverse”, that kept on coming round, and it was like “hang on a sec”
Thom: "We can do willfully perverse, if you like
Ed: "Yeah (laughs)
Thom: "We're quite happy, if that's what you want, we're talking about supply and demand here, we will supply you with that, but you know......
Thom: "Get a grip
Colin: "I mean......
Thom: "It ain't bloody rocket science is it, really?
Steve: "I think there's one or two questions left at the bottom of the bag which we'll do on the Evening Session with Radiohead tonight after this
[Radio 1 jingle plays]
Steve: "It's Steve Lemaq with Radiohead answering some of your questions tonight. Before we go any further though, there' something interesting which we were just saying about people being linked to nostalgia, and I was thinking as we were driving down here today that one of the things which, although there's been a lot of great music made this year, it's almost as if we've been in this, I think maybe it's a media invented thing this, but we've been suffering from this sort of millennium hangover, the need to make lists and look back to the past, and it's something which I think we had last November/December, and it's run through all of this year where we've had magazines almost obsessed with the top ten this, the greatest this all the time, but there's been one or two points in this year where we've started seeing what will happen next year, and we've almost got this retro thing out of our system now, which makes......again which makes your album almost one of the major points because it's a stand alone record which didn't necessarily access anything you'd done before, it was a new beginning, it's not linked particularly to anything, which to some people was willfully perverse, but for others is a brand new start, a different sort of place to go
Thom: "But that's the strange feeling really because.......I would say that for us it's fairly obvious where it linked from, isn't it?
Ed: "Yeah, but you know, we can see.....in the two years that we're in the studio, we can see the.....we can see how things progress, and that's always the thing about being in a band, we can see the path through it, but other people don't see that, do they? It's.....this is one of the things that we.......one of the problems about making records every two or three years, I mean we see the thread, but other people don't, and often the link before that has been b-sides, and this is why hopefully we're going to get out of that thing that we can..........it'll be a bit more apparent what we're doing
Steve: "Is this why you wanted to make a.....or you know, had enough material to make another record, or is this why you wanted to get another record out quicker?
Thom: "No, I think in order to move on, what we had to do was basically go off in lots of different directions, this is the way I saw it afterwards, and really try things out like sort of getting into loosening up and trying things out, which, you know, which......we weren't particularly good at, but it was quite a struggle, you know, because we were sort of...... when we started we.....I think we still basically let's just go and do this live, you know, rehearse it, record it, that's it, and by the end, I think we'd sort of figured out different ways of working, you know, and we did that by going off in lots of wild directions, and what happened was that there was a certain set of things that formed themselves very quickly, which was Kid A
Ed: "Ah! From a Steve Lemaq in Kennington
Steve: "Oh right! That's mine!
Ed: "Can you recommend a bottle of agreeable red wine I can give John Peel for Christmas? We were having this very discussion....
Colin: "We were having the same conversation about the same thing because we were just sort of organising this little Christmas party for all our mates who were working with us this past year, so we were thinking about what wine we sort of, either Blue Nun or Liebfraumilch
Thom: "Definitely the Liebfraumilch
Ed: "Jonny's very fond of the Black Tower, isn't it? Is it that screw top one?
Jonny: "Anything with a screw top, that's my vote
Colin: "But those are all white, so we have to choose a red
Ed: "A red
Jonny: "For John Peel
Steve: "Yeah, a red for John Peel, an agreeable, a nice agreeable.....
Ed: "Spanish. That's what we..... our conclusion was a Spanish. A Ribera del Duero
Colin: "Yeah, that's the one
Steve: "Ok, thank you very much for that tip. The album will come when?
Ed: "Next year
Thom: "Oh yeah. Is it April?
Colin: "Is it April?
Thom: "Early April
Steve: "Early April?
Thom: "It depends on how soon we get it together, I mean we've kind of got it together now, so....
Steve: "But the wheels are in motion, everything's chugging along.....
Thom: "All these great big cogs, definitely in motion, yeah definitely
Steve: "And on that cheeky smile from Thom, thank you very much, Radiohead for answering all the questions
?? - Thanks a lot
?? - Thanks
Steve: "It's Radiohead on the evening session
[Plays The National Anthem]