Main Index >> Media Index >> Hail to the Thief Media | UK Media | 2003 Interviews

[recording starts]

Jo Whiley: "(inaudible)

Thom: " Is that what you call it?

Jo Whiley: " Yeah, it's a bit like a (inaudible) like you said-

Thom: " I think that's an ambitious title... (Laughing)

Jo Whiley: " I was going to say, when Mary J Blige came in, erm, her PR came in and they put loads of candles all around... scented candles ‘cause apparently that's what she thinks life is like... everywhere- every room she walks into... has scented candles-

Thom: " how does she deal with aeroplanes?

Jo Whiley: " -but we have fire restrictions. I don't know, we had to blow out the scented candles in there though because, err... not allowed at radio1... otherwise I would have scented candles in for you.

Thom: " thank you.

Jo Whiley: " And did you enjoy the gigs? Over the past couple of weeks?

Ed: " I think so, yeah.

Jo Whiley: " You think so? This is Ed

Ed: " yeah, well it's...

Jo Whiley: " Talk into the microphone as well, because it helps

Ed and Thom: " (mumbling)

Jo Whiley: " Have you done radio before?

Ed: " Err... yeah... I... err... I think we did... six years ago... didn't we? I... erm... we... erm...

Thom: " yeah...

Jo Whiley: " (Laughing)

Ed: " ‘cause... we haven't toured for a year... so it's always a bit weird, y'know, doing it again, you not only have to worry about how you play the songs, but how you're going to, y'know, put them across... so yeah, I mean, they were, they were in front of a partisan audience, they were Radiohead fans, which-

Jo Whiley: " Mmm?

Ed: " -made them a lot easier, so...

Jo Whiley: " and yeah well... I know. All the reviews though, have been really good. Apart from the daily mirror. Who I think were...

Thom: " Oh no!

Jo Wiley and Ed: " (laughing)

Jo Whiley: " D'you know what? I'm guessing the daily mail probably didn't have anything nice to say... maybe they didn't review it.

Thom: " I love the daily mail.

Jo Whiley: " I know you do.

Thom: " Yeah, bigots, all of them – it's great!

Jo Whiley: " (laughing) err, playing some intimate venues must be great as a opposed to doing the large stadiums and festivals... Colin?

Colin: " Yeah, it's more intimate isn't it? Yeah, you get some-

Jo Whiley: " That's true.

Colin: " -which is great...

Jo Whiley: " yeah.

Colin: " and err... I can't hear anything (mumbles)

Jo Whiley: " Can you not hear anything? Okay...

Thom: " we went mono there for a moment.

Jo Whiley: " Ok, well you're broadcasting anyway, to the nation. Erm...

Thom: " Are we?

Jo Whiley: " and... you're doing Glastonbury, what are your memories of last time you played Glastonbury? ...cause, y'know, people who were there it was quite special for them, was it for you?

Ed: " No no no... (laughs)

Jo Whiley: " Not at all? Was it a nightmare?

Thom: " It was like apocalypse now... but apparently that's alright, that's what it's always... There were people, err, I mean, err, I, you know, it was the muddy year-

Jo Whiley: " It was hi- Yeah, it was horrendous-

Thom: " -and there were people sort of, we were driving a van at two or three in the morning and err... and there were people lying in the mud...

Jo Whiley: " Mmm?

Thom: " and err, we had to keep stopping to check we weren't running over people in the mud.

Jo Whiley: " Ok, so why the decision to go back this year then?


Thom: " because err, because, well Michael Eavis...

Jo Whiley: " Were you excited about doing it?

Ed: " Of course!


Thom: " ...they kept saying... they kept asking us...

Phil: " and with hindsight, y'know, that performance in '97 was probably... well, one of the most vivid memories for por- for performing for us I think. Y'know it was... it was an amazing experience, it was very difficult but, y'know, it's an incredible festival. I remember sitting there when we opened that set in '97 playing Lucky and just sitting there... looking out and just seeing all the fires going off into the hills and everything. It's just incredible when that comes together... every year

Jo Whiley: " Mmm.

Phil: " so yeah, we'd love to... we want to-

Jo Whiley: " So you are looking forward to it now?

Phil, Ed and Thom: " Yes yes...

Jo Whiley: " Good, alright, well... hopefully it won't rain. I think the rain might have kind of added to the... like you say, the sense of all being very dramatic, and it was, it was, it was...

Thom: " yeah, when we go on tour it rains... I don't know why.

Jo Whiley: " yeah...


Jo Whiley: " You and Travis then... you and Travis...

Thom: " (unsure) err...

Jo Whiley: " So, the album's... I really like the album very much indeed... hail to the thief... there's a lot of speculation about it, that it may be... that it was going to be more accessible than the last two... Thom, feel free to join in this conversation if you'd like to... how would you describe this album?

Thom: " what was the question, sorry? Carry on...

Jo Whiley: " How would you describe this album?

Thom: " Oh! Sparkly and shiny! ...and not in any way political.

Jo Whiley: " not at all.

Thom: " no

Jo Whiley: " no. Erm, it seems to me to be an album of erm, someone who's just had children and kind of realising their own mortality and responsibility and just that kind of... you know... you suddenly think: God, I've got a legacy, and we owe that something to the planet, just the fear that hits you when you have kind, and that's in a lot of the songs...

Thom: " yeah...

Jo Whiley: " Is that fair to say?

Thom: " Yeah... and the crazies are in charge as well!

Jo Whiley: " Mmm. And it's quite fa... but not in anyway political, obviously.

Thom: " No.

Jo Whiley: " No, no. But is that right? That it was... that it was some kind of err, after having Noah, he's two years old isn't he?

Thom: " That's one tiny little aspect of it, yeah. Yes, yes, it is, yes. Hmm, yes. (Inaudible) yes.

Jo Whiley: " Ok... and what are the other aspects to it?

Thom: " err... well it's a bright and shiny record, err...

Jo Whiley: " it's got some great songs on it-

Thom: " yeah, the crazies are taking over.

Jo Whiley: " -and you had a lot of fun doing it?

Thom: " yeah.

Jo Whiley: " A lot of experimentation, really enjoyed it

Thom: " yeah

Jo Whiley: " Ed?

Ed: " yeah, it was, it was

Jo Whiley: " am I saying, am I saying the right things here?

Thom: " no, no, it's good, yeah.

Jo Whiley: " you can pay me later.

Ed: " it's fun, it was done quickly, which was really good for us.

Jo Whiley: " Uh huh?

Ed: " and erm... it was, I think what has happened in the last two years is that we're, I think we realised... what a lovely situation we're in, and how lucky we are to be playing... y'know we've done a lot of touring over the last two years, and the joy of playing together in a room, and that's what we wanted to capture on this record. We wanted to mark this era of the band, and in the last two years, I think we as a band have gained a little bit in confidence which we needed to do... and we've kind of got a bit of a swagger y'know, when we play live... we didn't maybe over the last week, but we will do.

Jo Whiley: " (laughing)

Ed: " and, and we wanted to capture that on record, and I th... hopefully that's what we've done.

Jo Whiley: " D'you think you're going to get through to a new audience? D'you think you've... hopefully (inaudible)... would you care?

Ed: " well yeah obviou... (Sigh) I mean... we just do what we do now really. I mean, of course you want people to like what you do...but if you start... if you get into that second guessing about, worrying about what people might think, it's just another sort of frustration or something you can just do without really. And, and err-

Jo Whiley: " but you are promoting this album a lot more than you've done in the past-

Thom: " we are.

Jo Whiley: " -presumably you do want to win... which is why you're here!


Jo Whiley: " oh no, it's because you wanted to be on my show, that's why right, yeah!

Thom: " Yeah, yeah.

Jo Whiley: " Erm, so obviously it does matter to you, that you do win over more people and err, and get them to like your records... What about America, when you go to America? Are you a bit trepiditious about any reaction you're going to get?

Ed: " we're whores! (Laughing)

Jo Whiley: " You're whores, you don't care... has there been much of a backlash? To the title of the album and some of the... you know, obviously your political stance? Although it's not a political album.

Thom: " it's not a political record...

Jo Whiley: " Mmm.

Thom: " that would be difficult. Erm, Colin? What do you think?

Jo Whiley: " Yeah Colin, we haven't heard from you much...

Colin: " what, backlash? Well by asking me that question, you're sort of supposing that there is one in the first place? or... there isn't-

Jo Whiley: " No, I'm asking is there a backlash? Or is-

Colin: " no, you've said has there been much of a one? said... I think.

Jo Whiley: " No, I didn't, I said are you anticipating a backlash?

Colin: " no, I don't think so... what about? What, about the quality of the music?

Jo Whiley: " nothing to do with that at all! Because the title of the album is Hail to the Thief...

Ed: " (laughter)

Jo Whiley: " ...and because of you... stance on.... The Iraq war!

Colin: " and what stance is that?

Jo Whiley: " (mumbling)... President Bush...

Colin: " what, my personal stance? Or...

Jo Whiley: " No, because you all have very individual stances...

Colin: " yeah, well it's... different posture, yeah. That's right, yeah.

Jo Whiley: " Ok... This is Radiohead, this is There There.

[There There plays]

Jo Whiley: " You'll be on if I give you microphones... There you are, you're on now. Err, Radiohead, There There, It's obviously the current single, which is out... this week, I'm right in saying, aren't I? Err, Radiohead are my guests today, sorry, I should point that out if you've just tuned in. Thom, Ed, Colin and Phil. Where is Jonny? We didn't clear that up before.

Thom: " He's being sick.

Jo Whiley: " Is he? That was curry last night, was it? (silence) ...something like that... Ok, fine. You, obviously, we wanted you to do There There in the live lounge, but it wasn't possible. We should point that out-

Thom: " not really, no. Too many drums...

Jo Whiley: " Ok

Thom: " Too much noise...

Jo Whiley: " Ok, so we can't do that... err, going to go through some listeners' questions at the moment, err, someone von- on the text who err, didn't want to give their name. Did El.. Ed or Phil sing on any of the Hail to the Thief songs?


Ed: " Not much, no.

(More laughter)

Ed: " the trouble, the trouble is, what happens, well, we we, we we played a lot of it live last summer, and so there were great ambitions for these three-part harmonies, and then when it came to the studio, Thom's voice is so good, it's like... these drones-

Jo Whiley: " Back off.

Ed: " -in the background!


Ed: " so not much...

Jo Whiley: " No. Any?

Thom: " ...get there.

Ed: " I err... I...

Phil: " It features on the cutting room floor (mumbling)


Ed: " Are we on 2+2?

Thom: " ...yeah... and of There Th- Maybe?


Ed: " On the chorus, we were...

(more Laughter)

Jo Whiley: " Ok, Rob Evans...

Thom: " They're on There There! Oh, you're on There There, well done! Nigel just said.


Jo Whiley: " Oh, well there you go.

Thom: " that's worked-

Phil: " Really?

Ed: " That's why it's the single, ladies and gentlemen.


Phil: " and I didn't get my vocal... err... (inaudible) on the album!

Thom: " oh...


Jo Whiley: " Another question. Rob Evans: If you had to chose between having only, listen, having only a computer or and acoustic guitar to record an album on, what would it be? Computer or acoustic guitar? Thom?

Thom: " wh- Presumably someone else has got some microphones, he says, trying to get out of the question...

Jo Whiley: " yeah... I was going to... yeah, let's go with that one.

Thom: " Err, yes. So err, so it'd be a computer.

Jo Whiley: " Computer, ok. Rest of the band? In agreement or disagreement?

Thom: " Oof!


Ed: " whatever he says.


Jo Whiley: " ...that goes. Calum Zeff, it's one... at the end of the Kid A/Amnesiac sessions, the band members wanted to kill each other, err, what kept you together?

Ed: " ...inertia.

Jo Whiley: " Inertia? Creeps... Just a sheer love of music, and love of each other?

Thom: " that's... that's it!

Jo Whiley: " I knew you were going to say that.

Thom: " yeah it was, it-

Jo Whiley: " You can disagree if you like...

Thom: " ...cause we went out on tour, and it was like, well actually, we really like this. So... you know, it was, it was, we didn't really want to kill each other, it was just like, this is too stressful. This is too much of a nightmare. Finishing a record is always a nightmare.

Jo Whiley: " Mmm.

Thom: " it's just that making it was a nightmare aswel, ‘cause we were just trying lots of stuff that we'd not done before, and was one of those transition periods, lots of bands go though it, and you either get at, get up the... that day and decide to carry on, or not. Y'know...

Jo Whiley: " Of all your albums, which are you most proud of? Or is it always the last one which you've just recorded? Yeah.

Thom: " I'm still pretty proud of Kid A.

Jo Whiley: " Ok... Erm, Ries Tranter said Kid A was pretty much a media blackout as far as I know, publicity was kept to a minimum- I think we've covered this one –kept to a minimum, why are you now doing all the promotion and stuff like that? Is it a new found confidence in your music or something else?

Thom: " just that, erm...We kind of don't really have a problem with it in the same way. Don't have the energy to have a problem with it, it's like... and in a way, one of the things which really wound me up was, was just the way that, erm, people just, just totally got the wrong end of the stick as to why e weren't doing all of this stuff. We weren't doi-

Jo Whiley: " So what was the right end of the stick?

Thom: " the right end of the stick was that we didn't want to do it... and we weren't trying to piss anybody off, we just didn't want to do it... and, but everyone wants their little two pence, so they all get very very upset and very very shitty with you and it's like... OK. So you sort of...

Jo Whiley: " Who's calling the shots? I suppose.

Thom: " exactly. You feel like one of those kebab things...

Jo Whiley: " (sigh) roasted.

Thom: " (mumbling)

Jo Whiley: " Ok, and...

Thom: " did that make sence? That little... it didn't really

Ed: " (mumble) Kebab (mumble)

Thom: " I've been thinking about them, and it really worries me, those things...

Jo Whiley: " Kebabs?

Thom: " yeah.

Jo Whiley: " Mmm. You're going to perform for us, are you ready to perform now? Are you ready to chat more? What would you rather do?

Thom: " Erm, yeah, whatever. (mumble) You tell me! It's your show.

Jo Whiley: " Ok. (mumble) yeah that's right. Yeah, that's right! Err, why exactly did you stop making videos, and why did you resume? This is from Jemmy. Oh, Jeremy, sorry.


Jo Whiley: " No, I'm going to ask you another question now... Err, yeah, why did you start doing videos again?

Phil: " we didn't stop, they just didn't get shown...


Phil: " ...Like everything else.

Jo Whiley: " Ah dear... Is there much bitterness in this band? At all?

Thom: " No, there isn't, really.

Jo Whiley: " there seems to be.

Ed: " it's humour

Thom: " it's just like old cheese...

Jo Whiley: " is it really?

Thom: " yeah.

Jo Whiley: " Very, very smelly.

Thom: " yeah...

Jo Whiley: " and...

Thom: " A little bit bitter.

Jo Whiley: " Jeremy says, When I told a friend of mine that Idioteque is funny, erm, he replied that Radiohead have no sense of humour. Well I think we-

Thom: " well that's right

Jo Whiley: " No, we've obviously...everybody knows you have a sense of humour after today.

Colin: " you nailed that one.


Thom: " didn't we.

Jo Whiley: " Err, ok, thank you very much indeed. So erm, I think Thom, it's just you, going to go into the live lounge and perform and err, I'll play 50 cent I think. This is In Da Club.

[In Da Club Plays]

Jo Whiley: " Erm, Radiohead here at the moment, just err, about to have Thom in the Live Lounge... I can ask all of you, I forgot to ask this earlier on, what do you make of the Darkness and their version of Street Spirit?


Jo Whiley: " Have you heard it? Have you not heard this?

Phil: " I have not heard this, no.

Thom: " No idea

Jo Whiley: " Oh! They're like a real...they're

Thom: " I know the band but... (mumbling) the version...

Jo Whiley: " yeah. oh, they've done, they did it when they did a session in the... erm, for the evening session. It's exceptional, get it for you. It's really, it's really good actually... Thom?

Thom: " Ok...

Jo Whiley: " Hello.

Thom: " yes.

Jo Whiley: " What are you going to do for us?

Thom: " Yo.

Jo Whiley: " (laughing) go on, say bling.

Thom: " Bling.

Jo Whiley: " Thank You. Err...

Thom: " Noff Rispek

Jo Whiley: " (Laughing) it's all yours, do what you want to do. What are you going to do for us?

Thom: " erm, am I doing all three in a row or what? Two rather...

Jo Whiley: " Err, just do one for us now, please, yeah.

Thom: " ...or eight...

Jo Whiley: " so that we can err, yeah, do eight... for us.

Thom: " Hmm... err, now?

Jo Whiley: " Yes!

(Thom plays first note of No Surprises)

Thom: " I'm going to do no surprises.

Jo Whiley: " thank you.

Thom: " and I'm going to do it for Mr Rumsvelt, who announced today...

(Thom plays first four notes of No Surprises)

Thom: " that they didn't have any weapons after all, sorry.

[Thom plays No Surprises solo on acoustic guitar]

Jo Whiley: " It's Radiohead. Thom Yorke in the Live Lounge and No Surprises. Thank you very much indeed for doing that. I like so much of what you've done, it's really good to have you in there and see you doing it, and err, listening to it.

Thom: " (still with reverb) Thank... You...

Jo Whiley: " You're doing more as well aren't you?

Thom: " Thank you... from the bottom of a cave

Jo Whiley: " Let's have Sean Paul first...

[Get Busy plays]

Jo Whiley: " Sean Paul then and Get Busy on Radio1. Err, we've got Radio...head here. It's a really weird set up, because I've still got erm, Ed, Phil and Colin in front of me in the studio, but Thom's in the live lounge at the moment... Can I just wonder which bands you're listening to, who you're really enjoying. Ed? Go to you first of all.

Ed: " Erm... Err... Everything from... anything from Neil Young through to err...

Jo Whiley: " Sorry, it's a really horrible question to have thrown at you... any new bands that you're particularly enjoying?

Ed: " Erm, erm erm erm erm erm erm erm. Fuff. Err, I can't... it's like going into a record store and you can't remember what you want to buy, so come back to-

Jo Whiley: " can you remember? Ok, think about the last record you bought.

Ed: " I like, I err, Balls of the cannon, I, I'm really getting into (“Geogadi”?), It's, I didn't really get it at first. For me, I have to listen to a record a long time, I can't like... It has to be part of my life. And all that.

Jo Whiley: " D'you like the White Stripes? Any of you... are you into... appreciating that?

Phil: " yeah! It's a good album...

Jo Whiley: " Phil.

Thom: " The Black Keys are good.

Jo Whiley: " Black Keys' album. Playing Black Keys, really good-

Thom: " They rock.

Jo Whiley: " Yeah, they're good. Err, ok, Phil, who else?

Phil: " oh, err, who else did I buy? I bought the Athlete album.

Jo Whiley: " The Athlete- did you? And did you like- did you like it?

Phil: " Erm... yeah

Jo Whiley: " parts of it?

Phil: " Yeah.


Ed: " the same label, it's a fabulous thing on (inaudible)

Jo Whiley: " There's a, there's a couple of really good tracks on there. And err, Colin?

Colin: " the Four Tet record, err Rounds-

Jo Whiley: " Oh yeah!

Colin: " yeah, we took Kieran out on the road with us... on out shows and that's a wonderful record-

Jo Whiley: " Yeah, yeah. Ok, so that's a recommendation, and erm, Thom?

Thom: " Yeah err, Black Keys, (“oh-toh koh-roh”?) as usual...

Jo Whiley: " They're your two recommendations... (Inaudible)

Thom: " Oh, well...

Jo Whiley: " No it's ok, you can stop there.

Thom: " ok, I will... (“b pitch control”?)

Jo Whiley: " Black Keys though, definitely.

Thom: " yeah, (“mode selectron and b pitch control”?)

Jo Whiley: " oh ok...

Thom: " there you go. John Peel knows what that is.

Jo Whiley: " Yeah, I'm sure he does.

Thom: " (Laughs)

Jo Whiley: " Ok? You're going to do a track off the album for us are you?

Thom: " yeah. Where's my reverb? Give me my reverb.

Jo Whiley: " The man wants reverb, give it to him, now. Err, Thom, you're on, what are you going to do for us?

Thom: " I'm going to do Sail to the Moon.

Jo Whiley: " Ok. From the album, then, Hail to the Thief, it's Thom Yorke, Radiohead.

[Thom plays Sail to the Moon and then Everything in it's Right Place solo on a piano]

Jo Whiley: " Value for money. Everything in its right place... and also Sail to the Moon, which is off the album Hail to the Thief. Thom, thank you very much indeed, fro-

Thom: " My pleasure.

Jo Whiley: " Very nice emails coming through, err, nothing's going to beat this all year round, truly amazing. So you can take that compliment.

Thom: " Bo.

Jo Whiley: " I do appreciate you coming in, and also, you're going to be doing Lamacq Live aren't you, in err, a couple of weeks time, from Colin's house! You fool, Colin.

Colin: " ...wha'?

Jo Whiley: " Sorry, wake up!


Jo Whiley: " ...sorry doesn't matter at all. It's going to be coming from Colin's house and that'll be in err, two weeks time, and of course, Radiohead headlining Glastonbury this Saturday night... No! Not this Saturday night... satur-


Thom: " (slowly) don't say that! God damn!

Jo Whiley: " You're not going to turn up?


[recording ends]