Main Index >> Media Index >> Amnesiac Media | UK Media | 2001 Interviews

[recording starts here]

Steve Lamacq: "Radio 1, playing tracks from the new Radiohead album tonight, with the fans over here, and the band over here. Colin, Thom and Ed join us. Thanks very much for coming in. We're going to play a track in a second, 'Knives Out', which is one of the ones which was... was it in or out of the tent set? It was certainly... it was in Barcelona for a while, but didn't make it onto Kid A. Why?"

Thom: "Err... why? It was... yeah, we did play it a bit... erm, it didn't fit on Kid A, definitely didn't fit on Kid A."

Steve: "And what's your criteria?"

Thom: "You obviously have to be there at the meeting to understand our artistic reasons, but er..."

Ed: "Some people didn't even like the song for a long time... (laughs)"

Thom: "Yeah, well, I can't think of anybody myself, but..."

Steve: "Right, so someone in this room might not have even have had it out at all? (background laughter). We were talking about songs that you've recorded that you've thrown away or haven't used. Mark, which one were you talking about earlier on?"

Mark: "Erm... oh, God, can think of a batch of them... erm... 'True Love Waits'."

Thom: "Yes, we'd love, love, love to record that. We'd love to find a way to do it, other than like just on acoustic guitar, that's... we were doing that just the other day, weren't we?"

Ed: "Mmmmm."

Mark: "I remember Ed saying in his diary that you sort of... you'd nearly got... you'd nearly got..."

John: "You've been reading his diary now?"

Thom: "We've been there, haven't we?"

Mark: "You'd nearly got close to nailing a final..."

Ed: "Oh, several times."

Thom: "We have an entire section in our tape store just for 'True Love Waits' versions."

Ed: "That was the song that... I mean, we first did that around OK Computer."

Thom: "Yeah. In fact every time we start a version of 'True Love Waits', we get a different song."

Amy: (laughs)

Ed: "Yeah, it's true."

Thom: "Yeah, the OK Computer one we got 'Push/Pull' out of. 'Pulk/Pull'."

Colin: "It's actually perversely productive, yeah."

Steve: "So you just play it again and again?"

??: "To write other songs and see what happens."

Colin: "Yeah. That gives us a good enough excuse to stop trying to record it, and we can work on something else instead."

Thom: "Yeah."

Steve: "So it's almost like the pacemaker, then? It sets out at the front and you run after it."

Colin: "It is. It's like the little hare at the dog track, yeah."

Thom: "I'm not so sure about the use of the word pacemaker though, actually. I'm a bit touchy about things like that at the moment."

Colin: (laughs)

Steve: "Tempo. Yeah, of course. Talking about... did any of you see the tent shows? The tent gigs?"

Amy: "Yeah. September 28th."

Steve: "Which one was it, Amy?"

Amy: "The one in Glasgow, the first one. It was good."

Steve: "Because they were very proud of their tent."

John: "I've not seen the tent. Is it the same tent that's going to South Park?"

Ed: "No, we're not having... there's no tent."

John: "There's no tent at South Park?"

Thom: "No tent as such, no."

John: "Denied. No tent."

Thom: "Denied."

Steve: "What happens if it rains?"

Colin: "Everyone gets wet."

Thom: "Yeah."

Colin: "There are big trees, though, so..."

Thom: "Yeah, there's big trees, and there's lots of toilets."

Steve: "I can't believe I asked such a dumb question..."

Colin: (laughs)

Steve: "...just for that old gag. Ok, listen, we're playing tracks from Amnesiac, which in a way... we haven't gone through and said exactly what we all think it is, so I'll start, shall I?"

Thom: "Yeah, go on."

Steve: "Not so much the sequel, more a different level of a similar computer game. What about that?"

Thom: "Yeah, it's not bad, yeah, yeah."

Steve: "Ok, you gotta beat that."

John: "Do I have to come up with something as good as that now? (laughs)"

Steve: "Well, just one thing before we play this track, 'Knives Out'. Is that it now, we're talking about songs, which, you know, haven't made it on. But virtually, is that it? There's no more? There's no more? There's no third album after this?"

Thom: "Oh, no."

Steve: "There's no more stuff around? Or there's bits which may see the light of day at some point?"

Thom: "Yeah, well, there's always recycling going on, but no, I think that... erm... as you say, there's lots of songs that are kicking around, old songs that we will try and attempt to do at some point, but really it's nice to get it all out, where you can move on."

Steve: "Ok. This is from Amnesiac, it's Radiohead on the Evening Session, and this is 'Knives Out'."

['Knives Out' plays]

Steve: "This is what it actually says. This obviously came with the record. It says: 'Having worked on previous records by The Becketts and The Family Cat, PJ finally releases her debut solo single, Dress, backed by some of the West Country's finest musicians. Check out the acoustic B-side. PJ will be touring heavily in support of this and I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more of her in the future.'"

Ed: (laughs)

John: "Awww. Hasn't she done well?"

Steve: "You probably had press releases like that yourself."

Thom: "Oh, yeah."

Steve: "Talking about records, though, what's the most rare Radiohead record? Are there real collectables?"

Ed: "Drill."

Thom: "Is it, still?"

Ed: "Yeah, it's Drill, the first EP, because EMI lost... (laughs) four thousand... (laughs)"

Thom: "No, no no, didn't they press like a whole load and it was Whitesnake?"

Ed: "That was... there is that, yes."

Thom: "There is that as well, isn't there?"

Ed: "Yeah, there is that as well."

Thom: "Yeah, they lost a few thousand copies to Whitesnake."

Colin: "Joe Cocker."

Thom: "Was it Joe Cocker? Right, yeah."

Colin: "It was Joe Cocker, yeah."

Steve: "What, it was pressed up with a Joe Cocker B-side, or something?"

Colin: "Yeah, people were pleasantly surprised when they put the record on."

Thom: "Yeah."

Ed: "Lovely."

Steve: "None of those copies ended up going for review did they? That would have been quite spectacular."

Thom: "Yeah, probably, yeah."

Ed: "Probably would have had a response from the NME, yes."

Thom: "Careful, he was there at the time."

Steve: "Do you, I mean... we were talking - sorry the BPI, and sorry the publicists, if you're listening - but we were talking about bootlegs. Everyone must have bootlegs, do you have Radiohead bootlegs? You can 'fess up."

Mark: "No, (laughter) It's not mine!"

Steve: "Ah, we've actually got one. What's that?"

Ed: "An Amnesiac one."

Thom: "Woah."

Ed: (laughs)

Steve: "So that's a bootleg of the new album?"

Thom: "They could have used a proper printer, that's my only criticism."

Steve: "Do you, the band, have you got live material which you've got from other places?"

Thom: "Oh yeah, I used to buy shedloads of REM bootlegs."

Steve: "Did you?"

Thom: "Yeah, doing 'Lion Sleeps Tonight' and stuff."

Steve: "But you were saying... obviously this brings us to Napster. I mean, do you do download?"

Ed: "Of course you do."

Thom: "I've never done it, it's really hard to do. I've never bothered. I don't have time on the internet. I've never ever been to Napster, I don't even know what it looks like."

Steve: "Ok, listen, let's play another track from the album, and this one, also familiar from the live set, this is Morning Bell."

['Morning Bell' plays]

Steve: "...tomorrow, the session from eight. Mark outside has got this artwork. Have you seen this?"

Thom: "Very good."

Steve: "Where was this? Are you studying art?"

Mark: "Yeah. I'm studying HND, first year in graphic design at Salford, and yeah, basically it was just sort of, erm... we could go off and do our own thing, and I'd not seen any sort of... this was before like you updated your website, and I'd not seen any sort of new stuff, indications on where you were going with the artwork, and just managed to get sort of a tracklisting, and then basically just went off and... I think just... by the time I'd just started doing it, you did the Big Issue thing..."

Thom: "Right."

Mark: "And it said, it just had this quote to go off... it's like stepping into a fire, or something like that."

Thom: "Yeah."

Mark: "Something similar to that and basically I just went off that..."

Thom: "Right."

Mark: "And just started throwing paint around."

Thom: "It's interesting how the colours are quite similar, actually, some of the colours you used, obviously the red, but other things as well."

Mark: "I wanted to... basically I thought, I watched the film Memento."

Thom: "Oh, right."

Mark: "I don't know if you've seen it."

Ed: "It's a great film."

Thom: "Everyone keeps banging on about it, I haven't seen it yet."

Mark: "It was just the whole thing about a guy sort of like losing his memory and stuff, and writing things on his arm, I thought: Imagine if you knew you were sort of losing you memory, and losing your mind a bit, and you wanted to get at the things that you couldn't remember but you knew they were in there. It was like ripping your actual head, and just pulling out all these random pictures, and the red's like the blood really. (laughs)"

Thom: "Yeah, nice, nice."

Steve: "Just in case you hadn't got that one. Ok, I'm sure now we have the band here, you must have questions you want to ask them. Amy, do you want to go first?"

Amy: "Yeah, you said you had like a whole bunch of..."

Steve: "I like the start of that one, you said (laughs), you did. Sorry."

Amy: "You said you had a bag of all your live CDs. Will we ever see those as like a... individually like Pearl Jam did, or will we ever see them at all?"

Ed: "The thing is, they're all on the net now. I think that's the thing is that... I mean, basically all of those songs are on the net, and I mean, I really... I thought that Pearl Jam thing that they did was really cool, loved the fact that, you know, there are however many, what did they do, kind of like fifty different versions of the..."

Steve: "Yeah, it was every gig, wasn't it?"

Ed: "Yeah, and it was really cool."

Steve: "It looked great on the chart one week when they had about nineteen new entries on the top two hundred."

Ed: "Did they really? That's really good."

Steve: "Not so good if you were running down the chart, I don't think, but..."

Ed: "But it's all free there now, you can download it, and I think that..."

Thom: "We have talked about it a lot, because we have, you know, we've got all the DATs and stuff of the gigs, and there's obviously a difference between recording it off the desk and all that sort of stuff."

Amy: "Yeah, you could... some of the bootlegs aren't that good quality, so..."

Thom: "Exactly, yeah, yeah, no, in a way it's worth doing, I think."

Ed: "It's a good idea."

Thom: "It basically... the problem with it is some poor person has got to volunteer to sit through it all and select the good stuff, because we wouldn't just put it out as it is, you know, not every one, but I think we will have to do it, really, because... especially because there are certain songs like 'I Might Be Wrong' and 'Dollars And Cents', that are so different live, and it would be great for people to hear that version and be able... you know, 'cause they're really good, they're good in different ways from the record, but they should be widely available I think, really."

Steve: "What makes it that different?"

Thom: "It's just totally, comes from a different place, doesn't it?"

Ed: "Because we can't play what we played in the studio live, so we do it differently."

Steve: "Yeah, of course, right. Well, funnily enough that's the track that we're going to play next, from Amnesiac, it's Radiohead, the Radiohead fans, Steve Lamacq, Radio 1, and this from Amnesiac is 'Dollars And Cents'."

['Dollars And Cents' plays]

Steve: "Before that, Radiohead, from the Amnesiac album, and that was 'Dollars And Cents'. And a couple more questions, because we're running out of time. John, do you want to go first?"

John: "Erm... Yeah. You came so close to splitting up, well, apparently you did split up and reform, was that a phrase that I heard? What actually made you go back into the studio together and reform and become a band again? Why did you choose to carry on?"

Ed: "I think that's always... it's always kind of been... ever since we've been a signed band, there's always been that whole thing of nearly splitting up, and whatever it is, momentum, inertia or whatever, you're in the studio, just you know, and you kind of... we see it through, really, and I think it's a good thing that we have that... that... that edge to almost breaking up, because it means that you don't carry on doing it for the wrong reasons, you carry on... you don't do it for a lifestyle, you don't it... you do it because either the music's not happening or, you know, it's not working out between the five of you."

Thom: "I do it for my lifestyle. (laughs)"

Colin: "We had all this studio time booked, and if we cancelled it, we'd have been liable to fifty percent of it, so we just had to go, frankly (everyone laughs). Sorry."

Ed: "Can we ask questions to them?"

Steve: "Yeah, of course you can."

John: "Go on."

Thom: "Can we not play the record and just..."

Ed: "Do you... you can answer this honestly, we're not going to attack you, but do you ever think we get up our own arses?"

John: "To be honest, no. I think like if you read NME or anything like that, they try to portray you as though you are constantly... that you live up there, if you like (laughs), and if they're listening, Thom's actually sitting there with some razor blades now, toying with them."

Colin: (laughs)

Thom: "I could draw you a picture."

Mark: "I'd agree with that as well, yeah."

John: "I don't think, sort of having met you now, I wouldn't say that at all."

Ed: "But would you take... I mean, is there a thing like, do you take what the NME, or do you take whatever, you know, whoever's... the press and the media who's saying that, do you take them..."

Amy: "It's just somebody else's point of view, you can't really tell until you meet them."

Ed: "But do you kind of say that... then that's fine, that's... you know, it's just them being like that or whatever, and it's like the band aren't like that, you know."

John: "I know a lot of people do believe it, and there's a lot of anti-Radiohead people out there, but I mean you have to take everything they say with a pinch of salt."

Steve: "It's almost to a certain extent like some people want to believe, do you know what I mean?"

John: "Some people really love the change of direction, so that they could have actually something to throw back at you, but I think there's a lot of diehard fans out there."

Steve: "Having said that, you have come out of your shell a little bit, haven't you, recently, don't you think, particularly you, young Mr. Yorke?"

Thom: "Yeah, well, you know... I just... I don't know, I was really... but the aftermath of Kid A was a real shock to the system, and I couldn't quite get my head around it, like you were saying, like people just loving the opportunity."

Steve: "We'll do one more question before we play another track. Mark, do you want to go next?"

Mark: "Erm... oh God, you've probably been asked this many a time, but with reference to the Kid A album, sort of songs on OK Computer you were sort of... you know, you had sometimes up to three guitar parts, and then you totally stripped it down to sort of Kid A and very rarely there was a track on there with an actual guitar in there. I just wondered if you sort of... you know, the arguments that followed were to do with like people's roles in the band."

Thom: "Er... yeah... sort of, to an extent, but not... it was... it wasn't sort of as sad as that, it wasn't like everybody sort of fighting their pitches, like, well you know, 'I do this, and you do this' and that, and I think the idea that everybody is involved, but like swapping instruments or... you know, like as soon as you start getting into computers, and chopping and sampling and so on, the issue of who's playing what becomes a little bit irrelevant anyway, because you're starting to use the studio and you're starting to use different methods. I mean, I think it was... that was a fairly easy thing to sort out, I think the difficult thing was then trying to work out what to do instead, and like everybody sort of being involved, because basically sitting there in front of your laptop all day, waiting for something to happen isn't exactly the most rewarding musical experience on earth."

Amy: "Do you think the computers can get in the way of the music?"

Thom: "Totally, I mean they got in the way for weeks."

Colin: "We were trying to get them to work."

Thom: "I'm not exaggerating. You know, even trying to get them to talk to each other."

Colin: "Yeah. (laughs)"

Thom: "It was just daft. Absolutely bloody daft. And, you know... but at the same time, I think, we definitely all subscribe to the thing now where you don't have to be playing electric guitar, bass and drums in order for it to have soul, you know, so that was good, that was a step forward, I think."

Steve: "So, now you've done that though, and going back to whether you repeat yourself or not, is the next thing that you do, will it be some sort of reaction to what you've done, or would you..."

Thom: "It'll definitely be all guitars, yeah, yeah, like The Jesus And Mary Chain, or something. (laughs)"

Steve: "It's a nice idea, but no, just the actual thrill of picking up a guitar again, because you haven't done it for a while."

Ed: "Mmmm."

Thom: "Definitely."

Ed: "Definitely, I mean, you know, if you - personally speaking - I like... when we were making those records, I had a crisis of confidence in the music itself, I know it sounds stupid, but when you just can't listen to anything, and you're not moved by anything, and then you put this thing around your neck, and it's like, really just don't feel anything for it, and anything... any sound you make or anything is... is rubbish, and now, it's just one of those very bizarre things, you come back to it, and it's like..."

Thom: "That's because you've got two hundred pedals."

Ed: "Yeah, well, you know, it does help. (laughs)"

Thom: "I've only got four."

Ed: "You've got about nine now!"

Thom: "I have got nine, yeah."

Ed: "You've got nine, I counted them yesterday."

Thom: "That's true."

Steve: "And on that..."

Thom: "Colin's got three..."

Ed: "Sshhh."

Steve: "...moment of pedal envy, we move onto another track."

Mark: "Pedal rage."

Steve: "Pedal rage (laughs), another track from Amnesiac on the session, this is 'Like Spinning Plates'."

['Like Spinning Plates' plays]

Steve: "Taken from Amnesiac, the new Radiohead album, 'Like Spinning Plates'. Immediately Amy said: 'this is my favourite'. Why?"

Amy: "It's just... it feels complete in itself, and it's drifting but it's fixed, I don't know, it's kind of hard to explain."

Steve: "It's strange, also Amy was saying earlier on that the album feels smaller and bigger at the same time than the last one, and Ed, you're nodding your head..."

Ed: "Nodding... yeah, no I think it's true, I think there's more dynamic to the record. I think... personally, I find... I mean, I love Kid A, but I find it sort of feels on one kind of level, really, it gets smaller and bigger in different places, and erm... I'm waffling."

Thom: "Yeah, you are. (laughs)"

Steve: "We have to wind up. There is one very quick question. The two albums, Amnesiac and Kid A, is that going to make it more difficult now, does it give you more freedom to do what you want, or does it in fact then go 'no, the parameters have now moved so far we can do anything, which will then take us five years to make a record we're happy with'."

Thom: "(laughs) No, I think Nigel's kind of laid the rules down on this one, we've got like... err... you know, when we next do it, you know, he's setting a bit of a time limit, poor chap.""

Steve: "Really?"

Thom: "Yeah."

Ed: "He has to."

Steve: "How long have you got?"

Thom: "Otherwise he'll go stark raving... we will kill him, we will actually kill him. Erm, you know, the idea... you know... it would help if next time we went in we had a rough clue what we're going to do..."

Steve: "Ok."

Thom: "...when we start. I think that would probably speed things up a bit."

Steve: "Ok, thank you very much, Thom, Colin and Ed from Radiohead for joining us tonight, and of course to our fans, Mark, Amy and John. Tomorrow, Radiohead in Verona with Mark and Lard from one o'clock on Radio 1, playing acoustically on the show, or at least with a piano."

[recording ends]