Thom: "There's lots and lots of different interpretations. I mean, the lyrics are incredibly ambivalent. Deliberately. But it sort of came from a certain type of light that I saw, a certain type of smell. It's not particularly anything, that... it's sort of basically this pure blind panic, which I kept encountering in various different forms, and that ended up being a song called 'Backdrifts'. It's a sort of fluorescent light. That's probably not very helpful... I can't really explain it. I mean... 'Backdrifts' to me ended up being, I mean if we're talking lyrically, ended up being very much about the slide into... the slide backwards, that's happening everywhere you look, you know. There was a time when everybody sort of felt like Maybe the world was progressing and Maybe we were getting better, sort of understanding other people, you know, that there was a high level of tolerance and compassion and so on. And then someone literally flicked a switch and the light went on and everybody just scaried for the dark. And that's to me is sort of the best... that's quite a good way of describing the sort of general atmosphere of that song."
Colin: "It was the point when we managed to work out how to make all the boxes and machines talk to each other, I suppose. And I guess that's what happened with it, really. But I think it started off with a loop of Thom's of sound, right at the beginning of the song. And I suppose it's, I don't know... 'Backdrifts'... I mean, it's sort of like snow or whatever."
Phil: "It's one of those tracks that came out from when we were actually still doing the Kid A and Amnesiac sessions. And initially Jonny and Colin disappeared off to a different part of the house and emerged a week later with this really dynamic sounding rhythm track, really. That's where the song emerged from."