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Jonny: "Originally it was... Thom recorded the song by himself, just using this old harmonium pedal organ. I suppose influenced by Tom Waits and that kind of singer/songwriter. And I just imagined it having harps and double basses. And so late one night, you know, tried to do a version. Trying to disguise the fact that we didn't have any real harps and we're cutting up all these samples and trying to make it all fit together. I love the sound of harps. The atmosphere we were trying to get was one the Disney films from the 50s, that was a kind music as well we were trying to copy."
Q: "Colin Greenwood said that your musical heroes- Costello, R,E,M,, Lennon, Tom Waits - are an inspiration to aim for, but that you fall short somewhere else interesting."

Thom: "That's the good bit for me. 'Subterranean Homesick Alien' was born out of listening to (Miles Davis's) Bitches Brew endlessly every time I drove my car. I completely missed it... but there again I didn't."
Interviewer - You've met a lot of heroes this year.

Thom: Yeah. Michael Stipe and Elvis Costello were the two people I really wanted to meet. I guess the only one left now is Tom Waits.

Colin: It was very strange. I mean you'd be sitting there on a sofa with Patti Smith on one side and Michael Stipe on the other.
Richard: "So the next couple of years. But I believe... I was reading that five songs are already written possibly for the next album? You've got some songs hanging in the air?"

Thom: "We could go and do it tomorrow if you're talking about the extra material, but that's not really it, that's not really the point. It's more about what sticks with us, and what takes on a significance. Like erm... like you have a song, like, erm... there's a Tom Waits quote about songwriting, he says he'll have loads of little ideas and stuff, he'll leave them in his shed at the bottom of the garden, which is his studio, and he shuts the door, and it's like they're little kids and they all breed and when he comes back there's loads of them... certain things have really flourished and certain things have died. You know, we could go and do it all tomorrow, but... when you write a song, certain songs you just forget about and certain songs increasingly take on a significance and just don't go away, and I think that's the most important stage, really, because I think anyone can just rattle 'em off. But it's what ends up meaning something to you."

Thom: "Erm, ok. This is Tom Waits, Bone Machine, which I just got out... ah yeah, Jesus Gonna Be Here. This is amazing, "I can hear him rolling down the lane I said Hollywood be thy name" (laughs). He's just always been a complete inspiration to me. And the thing that inspires me now is he has a studio at the bottom of his garden, apparently. And he does... he does a lot of other things, and just... he's... as a song writer and a musician and a singer he's aged so disgracefully. Most people sort of end up, you know, going down the Elton John way a bit, they have the blood sucked out of them and... well, literally in his case - erm... (laughs)... he's had so many, was it blood transfusions? But anyway..."
The subject matter of the film Bodysong got me to thinking if things like art, sex, or maybe even just getting drunk are about the closest we tiny humans can come to big galactic things. Or, maybe good music and art is just good and I'm trying too hard to make it something else.

[Long pause] I think when [music's] good and it's really affecting, then it's stupid to be embarrassed about it—about how good it is. You know, there's a certain Tom Waits song that whenever I hear it I, you know, it makes me talk in this inarticulate way that I'm using now, it's so good. It seems to me quite disingenuous to be embarrassed about it. I think it should be ambitious and good music does deal with life and art and all these wonderful things. I used to be ashamed talking about it, but now I just think it's fraudulent to pretend otherwise. I don't even know what I'm trying to say. You just sound like you're being passionate about it and I agree with you. I don't know how else to put it into words. You're the journalist, you should know. I'll leave it to you. If you could hash that out by tomorrow, that'd be great.
NME: Have you found it difficult to find the inspiration to make a new record, given that you don't currently have a record label?

Thom Yorke: "I always wanted us to be in a situation like Tom Waits was when he stopped for a long time and came out and did 'Swordfishtrombones' and 'Raindogs'. He started again and was doing a lot of that from his own studio in his own time at his own pace and it seemed to be a world apart from anything else that was going on.

"I think that was just him finding his own space, and removing himself from the bits he hated about where he'd been before. And I think that's what we're in the process of doing."

My favourite quote of Tom waits is, 'I wish to age disgracefully.' And I'm doing that, that's me. I'm probably easier to deal with but I wish to remain disgraceful, if at all possible. (laughs)
Greenwood once said. When I bring this up, he says he nicked the line from Slowdive, another Thames Valley group. "I think guitars are over-idolised as instruments. All the guitarists I've ever liked have had the Bernard Sumner approach. It's about not practising. I like what Tom Waits said about only ever picking up an instrument if he's going to write a song."