Jonny Greenwood: "The starting point for that was trying to build a drum machine out of very old style synthesizers, kind of using the same things that I suppose the Roland technicians would have had in 1978 or whatever, to decide how to make something sound like a snare drum out of white noise and how to create the sound of a bass drum, a kick drum out of filters. We basically built a drum machine, and I played a record on top, at random, and had a radio playing, and was just trying to generate all this chaos over this drum pattern. And then Thom cut it into sections, and ended up having a sample of the record I was playing, which is this compilation of electronic composers. They had some competition in 1972 to see who was writing the best modern electric music in a classical style, and it's been a very interesting process, because I wanted to track down the composer to tell him we'd done it, and ask permission and stuff, and at that point he'd been 18, 19, and was in college, and no-one knew what he was doing today, and it turns out he's a professor at Princeton, professor of music. We've been corresponding, and he came and saw the show, and was very excited and was describing the songs in a very interesting way, and he really likes what we do."
Colin Greenwood: "And he said that if you want to come for an interview to finish your music studies..."
Jonny: "...Princeton's the place."
Colin: "Yeah. [laughs]"
Mark Russell: "Now there are a couple of samples on the album, which are quite unusual, one by Paul Lansky, where did you find that?"
Jonny Greenwood: "The true story behind that is that I built a drum machine out of old components, something just generating white noise, and something that was kind of opening and closing the white noise. It was sounding quite good, and I had a rhythm going, but I needed some chaos. And so I shamelessly put on some records on the turntable and tuned a radio in and just wanted to fill it up, because it was far too empty. And I gave Thom a recording of this, about half an hour long, and he cut it into pieces, and repeats it, repeats it, in sections. There's this melody in it, that's really beautiful, and I couldn't remember how I made it, 'cause I was playing a keyboard as well. And I thought 'yeah, it must just be something, you know, I played'. It's only four notes. And it was only a few days later when we'd finished the song and spent, you know, days on it, that I put the same record back on and these four notes came out just clearly... And so I had to track down Paul Lansky. And the record was interesting, because it was made in 1974, when he was a student, and I wasn't sure what he was doing now, I didn't even know if he was still, you know, a musician or anything. This was a student competition record - who can make the best electronic music in 1974. And then I found out he was at Princeton, and a professor of music. So I wrote to him, and explained what I'd done, you know, a bit embarrassed, and sent him a copy of the recording. And luckily he liked it, or, you know, liked what we'd done with his music.”"
Colin Greenwood: "And he came to the show in New York..."
Colin: "...as well, didn't he? And he said if you wanted to... - 'cause he found out that you hadn't finished your music studies, 'cause we'd stolen you in a rusty white van to do a tour when we started, and you were in your first term at Brookes - so he said if you wanted to continue your studies at Princeton, yeah, he'd give you a favourable interview. [laughs]"