Main Index >> Media Index >> In Rainbows Media | German Media | 2008 Interviews
Michael Weber: "OK, so... thanks for taking the time, first of all."

Ed O'Brien: "It's a pleasure."

Michael: "So... I've been doing this website for two years now, and there have been some questions accumulating. You know, it's a website that focuses on the songs and the sessions..."

Ed: "OK."

Michael: " they develop..."

Ed: "Sure."

Michael: "...because most of the songs have very interesting histories."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "If you think of something like 'Nude', and things like that. That's interesting, and so people are curious about it. So, first of all, this is the last gig of the tour?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "And of the European tour... how was it for you, so far?"

Ed: "It's good! Yeah, we've been doing it for about four weeks in Europe, and about three weeks before that in America, and it always... we're ready for a break, you know. It's been full-on."

Michael: "Favourite gigs?"

Ed: "Last night in Arras was really good... Roskilde..."

Michael: "The festivals?"

Ed: "Yeah. Roskilde was good, Bercy was great, Nimes was great, Victoria Park... Glasgow was great, Manchester. Italy, second night in Milan was good. I really enjoyed Hurricane, Hurricane and Southside, they were good. We enjoyed doing those. They've all been... I mean, Werchter was probably the low point..."

Michael: "Why was that?"

Ed: "Sometimes it just doesn't click, and... it was still ok, but it wasn't great. A few technical problems, and stuff like that."

Michael: "And now you have two weeks off?"

Ed: "Two and a half, and then we're over to America."

Michael: "America, and then a whole month off?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "And Japan dates, a few Japan dates?"

Ed: "Yeah, that's right."

Michael: "And then this tour, for In Rainbows, is finished?"

Ed: "Yeah, yeah. Apart from... we're looking to go to South America next year."

Michael: "Yeah, that was a big question! A lot of people have been asking about this."

Ed: "We're trying to get dates. Definitely in Brazil and Argentina and Chile, and hopefully in Mexico as well."

Michael: "You have loads of fans there..."

Ed: "Yeah, and we've never been there. I've spent quite a lot of time in Brazil."

Michael: "Yeah! I've seen that T-shirt, Copacabana..."

Ed: "Yeah!"

Michael: (laughs)

Ed: "And my wife's spent a lot of time in South America every year, so I think it would be a great place for us to play."

Michael: "So this would be March, or..."

Ed: "Looking at March, April. Somewhere around that time, yeah."

Michael: "But nothing can be..."

Ed: "Nothing yet. We haven't finalised anything, we're trying to work out all the detail, 'cause it's quite tricky."

Michael: "And Mexico as well?"

Ed: "Hope so, it'd be nice to go back there."

Michael: "Yeah, that's... 14 years? Or more than 14 years?"

Ed: "Yeah, it'll be 15 years."

Michael: "And that was a heavy tour..."

Ed: "Yeah, you know... I mean, everything was pretty heavy then. (laughs)"

Michael: "But that was... I mean, the tension of... when was it, October?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "'94? When you were making The Bends?"

Ed: "Yeah. It was... that whole time was painful. The record we were trying to make, where we were moving, and I think Mexico brought it all out because we were getting less sleep, we had less sleep, and we were tired. And we'd just been in Thailand..."

Michael: "Yeah..."

Ed: "...and then we had 24 hours at home and then we were back out the other way, so... It was a great tour, it was really one of those memorable tours."

Michael: "And it was filmed, wasn't it? I think there was a documentary planned, but it never..."

Ed: "No, no..."

Michael: "There's footage of it on YouTube."

Ed: "Really?"

Michael: "Professional footage, I think there was some kind of documentary... interviews, and they filmed at the gigs, there's an 'Anyone Can Play Guitar' clip and stuff."

Ed: "Right. OK. Well they didn't follow us around, maybe it was at one show. I don't really remember."

Michael: "Yeah. Maybe there was some kind of documentary planned, I don't know."

Ed: "No, it was never planned... if there was, it would have been like the local TV station or MTV in Mexico or whatever..."

Michael: "Ok... No no, it's some EMI thing..."

Ed: "EMI thing?"

Michael: "Yeah. I don't know what exactly..."

Ed: "Well, they never followed us around. (laughs)"

Michael: "OK. (laughs) Great. Another big fan question, the Bonnaroo DVD..."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "Any plans?"

Ed: "Well it's really good, we should definitely try and bring it out sometime. And it was done by Danny Clinch, our friend Danny. He filmed it, he directed it. So that should definitely see the light of day."

Michael: "Yeah, great! That would be lovely. And the other thing a lot of people asked about... I'm trying to get this stuff out of the way..."

Ed: "Yeah, sure."

Michael: "...'Videotape', the debut version. At Hammersmith. That's probably the most popular incarnation..."

Ed: "Of the whole song?"

Michael: "Yeah."

Ed: "Ha!"

Michael: "Definitely the most popular performance... because it has something. It's the debut, it opens the gig, and no-one knows the's special, a special moment, and I think that comes across in the performance. And it's an amazing thing, and people have been asking... (laughs) if there's any way you can release a soundboard recording of that, or anything..."

Ed: "Well basically, it's probably on YouTube isn't it? Or it's on something."

Michael: "It's strange. You have loads of people filming, but for that song there's just the end section, or something like that."

Ed: "Right, Ok. Oh, Ok."

Michael: "There's no footage of that. Back then, I was doing some kind of project where I was collecting those clips and piecing them together so you get multi-angle edits..."

Ed: "Oh wow!"

Michael: "...of the new songs, and there are all those people at the gigs recording the audio. Because the audio of the clips is crunchy, it sounds horrible, but you can use the audio from those guys."

Ed: "Right, ok."

Michael: "It looks pretty good. It's on the website, and I wanted to do that for 'Videotape', and it didn't work because there was no footage of it. (laughs)"

Ed: "Well, I'm sure in the light of day like all these things... I mean, I don't think we have any plans to release it. I know the version you're talking about, and it didn't work in the studio. It would be one of those things that maybe somebody will flag up later on, and if we put out a bunch of stuff, compile it and put it out like that then maybe we'll do that."

Michael: "Any plans for that?"

Ed: "No, no."

Michael: "I think maybe it would be a good idea not to put too much thought into this. Like if you want to get out some alternate versions of things like that, the fans would love that. But it's a headache for the band. It's enough trouble to sort out the finished stuff... if you have to think about a tracklist of unreleased material on a boxset of stuff, that must be a nightmare."

Ed: "Yeah. Well... I think there'll be a time and a place for it, it's not something that we actually think about. But there might be a time when it's relevant."

Michael: "Because there must be loads of stuff. Do you still have those old tapes?"

Ed: "Yeah, we've got everything."

Michael: "I was wondering about that, because you haven't always paid for the sessions yourself, did you? The Bends..."

Ed: "No, well, EMI own all of The Bends and everything up until Hail to the Thief, so..."

Michael: "But they don't have the actual session tapes in archives?"

Ed: "No, we've got some of them. Yeah."

Michael: "But not all of them?"

Ed: "Yeah, I think we've got most of it."

Michael: "But you couldn't release anything without..."

Ed: "Without their permission, no."

Michael: "Even if it's unreleased stuff like a song that you never released on an album?"

Ed: "No. If it's recorded within that contractual period, it's like a period of time. It's not what you put out in that time, it's a period of time."

Michael: "Even if you paid for the session?"

Ed: "But we didn't."

Michael: "You didn't?"

Ed: "No."

Michael: "The stuff you recorded at your own studio..."

Ed: "No. They paid for that..."

Michael: "Ok. But the studio is yours, you own that?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "OK, so then... new songs. Thom has been playing 'Super Collider'..."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "...a few times, four times, I think. And is there any band arrangement for that yet?"

Ed: "We did a version of it about three years ago..."

Michael: "What? (laughs) It's that old?"

Ed: "Yeah! It's been kicking around... we were rehearsing it in 2005 in our rehearsal studio, and we did a version of it in 2005, when we recorded on our own. Self-produced, with Graeme Stewart. And it just wasn't very good. But it's a great song."

Michael: "Was it called 'Super Collider' then?"

Ed: "No, it was called 'Solutions'."

Michael: "Ah, yeah. Because... maybe you dreaded something like this (shows list, laughs). Because these are some titles from that blackboard. You made the mistake of posting a picture of your blackboard."

Ed: "(laughs) Right, ok, yeah."

Michael: "So we have to, just very quickly... some titles. 'Trills' - people seem to think that's 'Spooks'?"

Ed: "No."

Michael: "It's not?"

Ed: "No."

Michael: "What is it?"

Ed: "'Trills' is a piece of Jonny's that we were working on."

Michael: "But it didn't go anywhere?"

Ed: "No."

Michael: "'5ths' - 'All I Need'? No?"

Ed: "No."

Michael: "Because people were thinking about fifths being involved in that song..."

Ed: "Yeah. No, it's not 'All I Need'."

Michael: "It's a different song then?"

Ed: "Yeah, it's a different song."

Michael: "Ok. 'Burn The Witch'. That's already legendary, I don't know why..."

Ed: "Yeah, it's a great song."

Michael: "Thom has played a few teasing chords..."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "...and people went crazy."

Ed: "Yeah. We've just got to do it justice, it's a good song."

Michael: "Really? We have some lyrics, 'this is a low-flying panic attack', etc."

Ed: "Yeah. Exactly."

Michael: "Ok. But that's something that you'll try and record for the next..."

Ed: "Who knows? You never know..."

Michael: "So you have no idea...?"

Ed: "You don't know. You don't know if it's like 'Nude', if it takes ten years to do. You just don't know. It's when it makes sense."

Michael: "Yeah. 'Morning Mi Lord'... did you do that for Hail to the Thief?

Ed: "'Good Morning Mr Magpie'."

Michael: "Is that what it's called?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "Ok. Not 'Morning Mi Lord'?"

Ed: "Or 'Morning Mi Lord'!"

Michael: "(laughs) Ok. But that was around during Hail to the Thief, wasn't it?"

Ed: "Yeah, it was. I think Thom did a version of it on a webcast, and we rehearsed it, and we recorded it again in that same session in October 2005."

Michael: "Where was that session? I think it was..."

Ed: "Hook End."

Michael: "No, that was August, wasn't it? Six days in August..."

Ed: "Ok. Yeah, you'd know! August. Yeah, end of August."

Michael: "Because this blackboard is from September..."

Ed: "Yeah, yeah, you're right! (laughs) It is. It was the end of August."

Michael: "That's why I'm asking, because I'm trying to piece these things together to write a session history for In Rainbows..."

Ed: "Ok. Yeah..."

Michael: "There's lots of stuff... we have bits and pieces from Dead Air Space..."

Ed: "Ok."

Michael: "...and you certainly didn't post a lot. You started, in the beginning..."

Ed: "I know, but I just... I don't feel comfortable with it, you know. Yeah."

Michael: "Ok. 'A Pig's Ear' was recorded there? Or 'Pigsee', whatever it's called..."

Ed: "Yeah, did a bit of that. 'Pig's Ear', yeah."

Michael: "'Bodies Laughing' was rehearsed for the tour, in 2006..."

Ed: "Yeah, a bit. We didn't play..."

Michael: "It was on that tour blackboard."

Ed: "Yeah, we never really got it together. It's a sort of Brazilian bossa nova kind of thing..."

Michael: "Really? (laughs)"

Ed: "And it was done in 2005."

Michael: "You could play that next year..."

Ed: "We could do!"

Michael: (laughs)

Ed: "We could do. It might be actually the wrong thing to play in Brazil. (laughs)"

Michael: "Ok. And these titles are still correct?"

Ed: "They're kind of... Yeah, they all move, they're a work in progress. But at one time or other, the songs would've been called that."

Michael: "Stuff like this, 'Skirting On The Surface'... that's old, isn't it? 'Skirting On The Surface' goes back to OK Computer... because some lyrics appeared back then, on a website..."

Ed: "Right. Maybe, maybe."

Michael: "Did you do it during Kid A?"

Ed: "No."

Michael: "How old is it then?"

Ed: "I'm not sure."

Michael: "Ok. But it's old. (laughs) Yeah, loads of titles... 'Fela Kuti Thing'? What's that?"

Ed: "That's just a jam that we did. 2005 again. Edited it together, it's like a three-minute jam."

Michael: "Ok. And 'Solutions' was 'Super Collider'... 'No Shame', what's that?"

Ed: "'No Shame'... not sure what 'No Shame' was."

Michael: "(laughs) You don't remember? OK. 'Eye Of A Needle'?"

Ed: "No. Don't recollect that."

Michael: "'Big Cheese'?"

Ed: "'Big Cheese', know what that is."

Michael: "And that's still something that could go somewhere?"

Ed: "Er... 'Big Cheese' was something we were possibly going to come on to. It was going to be one of those tracks that you come on to live. But it didn't work out quite."

Michael: "For this tour, you rehearsed it?"

Ed: "No, we didn't rehearse it, it's the coming-on music."

Michael: "Oh, that's the coming-on music?"

Ed: "It's not the coming-on music. But it could've been."

Michael: "It was supposed to be. What is the coming-on music called?"

Ed: "I'm not sure."

Michael: "It doesn't have a title?"

Ed: "It does, but I don't know what it is."

Michael: "It's a piece by Jonny, or...?"

Ed: "No, it's something that Thom did on his laptop."

Michael: "Ok. You could release it as a B-side, like 'Where Bluebirds Fly' or something."

Ed: "We could! That's right."

Michael: "Yeah. And 'I Am Walking On Stage Now'... was it this thing in 2006... in the beginning was radio sounds and stuff like... this strange coming-on music in 2006... bits from the radio or something."

Ed: "Yeah, that was just something... Jonny had some Mac software, he was mixing it live so we came on to it. And that wasn't a piece of music, it changed every night."

Michael: "And what's 'I Am Walking On Stage Now'? It sounds like it was supposed to be some kind of coming-on music, or..."

Ed: "Yeah, possibly. I can't recollect that piece of music."

Michael: "OK. We'll put that away. (laughs) Ok, good. It's just nice to know that '5ths' is not 'All I Need'..."

Ed: "No, it's not."

Michael: "Ok. So have lots of new songs been written as well?"

Ed: "Yeah, there's lots of new stuff kicking around."

Michael: "There was a recent interview with you and Thom done on the American tour, where you said that Thom did a song called 'Slave'? And that he sent it home to Nigel to mix it?"

Ed: "Mm-hmm."

Michael: "I thought that was very strange, that you record something on tour and then it's mixed?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "Is it that good?"

Ed: "Well, the good thing is that he was able to probably work on it on his laptop. And he could send it as an audio file, and Nigel can pick it up and mix it."

Michael: "And that's usual procedure? No?"

Ed: "No, that's very unusual."

Michael: "So, this new material... is any of that intended for a new solo album by Thom? As you say, it's a laptop thing..."

Ed: "It might be. I don't know, we haven't discussed... we're going to do some studio stuff and rehearsing in November."

Michael: "In November? OK."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "So not in September, there's nothing..."

Ed: "Well, we're in between tours. We can't really. You know, we won't have the gear. So basically come November, we'll have the gear and we'll get into our studio, do a bit of rehearsing."

Michael: "OK. And see where it goes?"

Ed: "Yeah, exactly. So it's all very open at the moment."

Michael: "So, if you wanted to record something while you were on tour you had rare occasions where you could go into the studio. Like the 'Lucky' session, that was in the middle of touring for The Bends...

Ed: "Yeah, that's right. Exactly. And we did some B-sides around there as well."

Michael: "And I think... 'Big Boots', at that session?"

Ed: "No. No, 'Big Boots' was... 1998."

Michael: "But that wasn't the first time that you had recorded it, was it? I think you tried before..."

Ed: "Yeah, it was. The first time."

Michael: "The first time? Ok..."

Ed: "We played it... the first time we played it live was... we did it twice, yeah, we did it twice, you're right. We did it in '98, but we also did it in '97..."

Michael: "For OK Computer?"

Ed: "Yeah, for OK Computer. And '96."

Michael: "Oh yeah?"

Ed: "When we recorded 'Nude'. We went to Chipping Norton studios. I think it was April '96. I think that's when we first did it. Yeah, we first did it. But it was a different session... 'Lucky' was in '95, and we did a load of B-side sessions in '95. We went to Surrey Sound and we did 'Bishop's Robes', and we did 'Molasses', and we did 'Talk Show Host'...

Michael: "Talk Show Host!"

Ed: "That was one session. We did 'Lucky' in the same period, but just for one day. And then '96, when we started recording with Nigel for OK Computer we went into... Chipping Norton was one of the earlier sessions, before we got our own gear and everything, and we recorded..."

Michael: "'No Surprises'?"

Ed: "'Big Boots'. No, not 'No Surprises'. We recorded 'Big Boots', and we recorded 'Nude', and I think there may have been one other, but I can't remember what it was."

Michael: "'No Surprises' was another session... the version on OK Computer is something like the first..."

Ed: "That's the first. That's in our own studio, our own rehearsal room, when we got the new gear. And that was the first thing, literally the first day. I think it was about 1 o'clock in the afternoon, we set it all up and that was the first thing we did."

Michael: "And then you tried other versions of it and it didn't work and you went back to the first one?"

Ed: "Yeah. Exactly, yeah."

Michael: "Great. (laughs) Ok, so... that 'Lucky' session, was there a song called 'We Agree'?"

Ed: "Yeah. But we didn't play it... the 'Lucky' session was for the Help album, and the whole point was one day."

Michael: "What was 'We Agree'? Did anything..."

Ed: "'We Agree' was another song."

Michael: "And nothing ever... it never appeared again?"

Ed: "It was one of those songs around that time that was just kicking around."

Michael: "You had a lot of songs, you could have done an album if you'd had enough time."

Ed: "Yeah, definitely. But that's the whole point, because that whole period gives you the... doing those B-sides with Nigel was the experimentation that gave you confidence to do the songs for OK Computer, and you need to have a lot of songs 'cause you need to... you know, 'We Agree' wouldn't have made the record. It was important that OK Computer was really really strong. So songs like 'We Agree', and other songs, weren't good enough to make it."

Michael: "And another such occasion where you did a session in between touring was during Pablo Honey - and that's a long time ago - I think there was a 'Pop Is Dead' session?"

Ed: "There was a what?"

Michael: "'Pop Is Dead'."

Ed: "Yeah. That's right."

Michael: "Maybe a mistake, but..."

Ed: "1993. Yeah."

Michael: "March or something."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "And then there was 'High and Dry' - must have been recorded..."

Ed: "'High and Dry' was recorded around that time."

Michael: "So the same session as 'Pop Is Dead'?"

Ed: "No, no. 'Pop Is Dead' was recorded with our sound engineer, Jim Warren, in... er... what was the studio called? It was called, erm... well, you know what the studio is."

Michael: "Yeah."

Ed: "And then 'High and Dry' was recorded at Courtyard with Jim."

Michael: "Ok. And was that a demo session where you recorded more than that song?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "Because there are actually... we have some demos from that session."

Ed: "Oh really?"

Michael: "A slow version of 'Pop Is Dead'... it's slower than the one you released..."

Ed: "Yeah, yeah."

Michael: "And there's 'Banana Co.'..."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "'The Bends'..."

Ed: "Where did you get these?

Michael: "I have no idea. There's a bootleg called Radiotick or something like that..."

Ed: "Right."

Michael: "And there are four songs. And 'Nice Dream'. And that demo of 'Nice Dream' was actually released on some compilation."

Ed: "Was it? Oh yeah, maybe. Yeah. The demo."

Michael: "Yeah. And that would be the same session as 'High and Dry'?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "Yeah. There weren't many sessions like that?"

Ed: "No, that was... I remember that, that was those songs, yeah."

Michael: "Yeah. And 'Yes I Am'?"

Ed: "And 'Yes I Am', that's right."

Michael: "Same session as 'High and Dry'?"

Ed: "No."

Michael: "No."

Ed: "'Yes I Am' and 'Coke Babies' were done at the same time."

Michael: "Ok."

Ed: "That was earlier. Slightly earlier."

Michael: "Okay, so then, uh... Okay what do we have next. Lots of stuff. I'm just picking out anything, uh... 'Innocent Civilians'."

Ed: "Oh yeah."

Michael: "(laughs) Have to ask. 'Innocent Civilians', people think this has something to do with 'Sit Down, Stand Up'..."

Ed: "No."

Michael: "Nothing."

Ed: "No."

Michael: "Okay, so it's a different song then, very good."

Ed: "Different song. Yeah, well, it had its moments."

Michael: "Okay, something about 'marching troops'?"

Ed: "Yeah. It was around the time of Bosnia, and we were sort of quite enveloped by what was going on there."

Michael: "It was too direct? Or what was..."

Ed: "Yeah, it was sort of, just a bit too emotional."

Michael: "So it was really a ballad sort of thing?"

Ed: "Uhh, well, I don't think you could call it a ballad. No, it was a bit harder than that."

(both laugh)

Michael: "Okay, so what else do we have. 'Dogwander'."

Ed: "'Dogwander'..."

Michael: "What was that? Some people think this has something to do with 'Knives Out', don't ask me why."

Ed: "No... 'Dogwander'... I can't really... it was one of those bits, those fragments, I think, of songs."

Michael: "Nothing that really... and it will never come to life again."

Ed: "No, I hope not."

Michael: "And the old 'Reckoner'? Is that dead? It's basically a completely different song..."

Ed: "No, it's not dead at all. None of those things, because it's a good riff."

Michael: "Yeah, it's great."

Ed: "It's a good riff. None of those songs are dead. It's like, they can't be dead, they haven't been released, they haven't been finished."

Michael: "You think 'I Promise' has a chance?"

Ed: "No! No, no..."

Michael: "(laughs) Okay, um, 'I Promise', some people think it's a bit like 'House of Cards'."

Ed: "It's a bit like a Roy Orbison number..."

Michael: "Yeah. Okay, 'Say the Word' is one of those songs in your diary."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "'Say the Word'... It's not 'Worry Wort', is it?"

Ed: "'Say the Word' was 'B-minor song'."

Michael: "'C-Minor song', I think..."

Ed: "'C-Minor song'?"

Michael: "Yeah, and uh, that wasn't released? Another one that is..."

Ed: "Yeah, another one."

Michael: "Okay. 'Jonny's Scott Walker Song'... you called it..."

Ed: "'Jonny's Scott Walker Song'... Don't know. Was that from Kid A?"

Michael: "Yeah."

Ed: "Can't remember that."

Michael: "Another one from the diary. When did 'I Froze Up' first come up?"

Ed: "Umm, around the time of Kid A."

Michael: "Yeah, because it sounds a bit like... 'Rows of never opened doors', this lyrical thing that Thom had going at the time."

Ed: "Yeah, that's right."

Michael: "It fits."

Ed: "Yeah, exactly. So it was Kid A. Yeah."

Michael: "Yeah. And you recorded it? Or was it just like... he did it on the webcast."

Ed: "Yeah, we did do a version, Thom and I did a version of it. Or, we started it, and he was playing piano and I was playing some weird guitar stuff. And there were moments, but by that stage we were exhausted and we needed to get out of the studio."

Michael: "So that was towards the end of the sessions..."

Ed: "Yeah, exactly."

Michael: "And 'Treefingers', that was also some weird guitar stuff."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "And how did that come to life?"

Ed: "Well, I just got one of those looping guitar pedals and I used to have a lot of fun to go into the studio and just, like... I guess before we were working during the day I would just make loops for about ten, fifteen minutes. And everything we did in those sessions was recorded, and so it's basically just guitar loops. But what Thom did was very clever. He took the tape and put it into a sampler and - like the good songwriter that he is - arranged it into bits and then made a song out of it. So it wasn't played like that. All those sounds are from my guitar and the loops. But it was him... it's a really good way of working, he just took that one..."

Michael: "It has to be one of the most unusual guitar tracks."

Ed: "Yeah, I mean, you wouldn't have thought it was guitar."

Michael: "Yeah."

Ed: "I mean, I know when he played it back, it was like... I mean, I never remember when I've done that stuff. I never remembered doing that. I remember going and doing lots of loops and stuff like that, like at the end of 'Idioteque' and stuff like that. Um, but I never remembered... I remembered he would play it back and I'd say 'what was that' and he said 'That was you', and he had just cut it up."

Michael: "Yeah, that's great. That's wonderful. And the emotional impact after 'How to Disappear' on the album is..."

Ed: "Yeah. It kind of cleanses you. Yeah."

Michael: "Yeah. Let's see what we have. 'Lift'. Of course, I have to ask about 'Lift'."

Ed: "Everyone asks that, yeah."

Michael: "So Jonny said that the 2002 approach was rubbish. Would you agree?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "Some people like it a lot, the way you did it then, but most people agree that the older one was..."

Ed: "That was the one."

Michael: "Do you think that the band would be in a position again where that makes sense again?"

Ed: "I doubt it. I mean, we've tried to, but the thing is about that song is that we've really tried to rehearse it. We even tried in 2005. The thing about that song is that it had its moments, and part of it was... all those parts... we recorded it for OK Computer, there is a version."

Michael: "And it doesn't sound good?"

Ed: "It's not good enough. If we'd have done it, well... it probably would have been the best song on the record."

Michael: "The most popular live version is Pinkpop Festival."

Ed: "Yeah. It was magnificent."

Michael: "That was great."

Ed: "It was really good, and that's when we should have recorded it. We shouldn't have thought about it. Just do it. And it was one of those songs when we supported Alanis, Alanis Morrisette. We always used to play all the new songs, we used to play 'Creep' each night, because our audience didn't know... they weren't really listening, but we played 'Lift' one night in Detroit, and the whole audience, probably about 15,000, the whole of the audience was totally into it."

Michael: "Really?"

Ed: "People dancing. And it was just magnificent."

Michael: "Because you scared them with 'Climbing Up The Walls' and things like that."

Ed: "I don't think so. It was more to do... they weren't noticing that, it was more to do with the fact that we'd locked in onto a groove and there was something very powerful about the song and people were just drawn into it."

Michael: "And 'Paranoid Android' just had this amazing, long..."

Ed: "Not so amazing. Long, though, yes."

Michael: "Okay, and that was taken out, then."

Ed: "Oh, it was obvious that it didn't work, it was..."

Michael: "Jonny's thing at the end."

Ed: "Yeah, it was preposterous, it was twelve minutes long, things that might work live, you'll find a lot of the time won't work in the studio."

Michael: "Yeah."

Ed: "The studio is less forgiving."

Michael: "Um, 'Arpeggi' was... or do you call it 'Weird Fishes'?"

Ed: "Yeah, 'Arpeggi' I call it, yeah."

Michael: "Okay, um, this was premiered at the Ether Festival, an orchestral arrangement. Did you try and record a version like that with orchestral instruments for the studio?"

Ed: "No."

Michael: "Never intended."

Ed: "No."

Michael: "Would have been nice, I think. A lot of people love that version a lot."

Ed: "Yeah, it's good, it's very good."

Michael: "And yeah, what do we have... I'm jumping around... 'Down Is The New Up'."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "The way it was recorded. It sounds to me like there were bits from different arrangements that were used to create the final..."

Ed: "No, what happened was, the backing track, the drums, was Thom and Phil playing together. Uh, I've got a really good dynamic backing track and we just had to very carefully add stuff onto it. The strings were added in the strings session. Jonny and I did a couple of ??? on a Friday night doing some guitar stuff and then, um, I think Coz added some bass right in the end."

Michael: "Okay. But there were some songs where you did that, where you took bits from different versions?"

Ed: "Yeah, 'Arpeggi'."

Michael: "'Arpeggi'?"

Ed: "It's from three different versions."

Michael: "And 'All I Need'?"

Ed: "'All I Need'... Nnn--yes. Well, yeah, the backing track came from a session and then some of my guitar and Jonny's Rhodes came from an earlier session."

Michael: "Ok. And one of my favorite recordings is 'Bangers and Mash'."

Ed: "Yeah?"

Michael: "Because of the way it's done, it's all loops."

Ed: "Yeah, that's right."

Michael: "The bass, the drums, everything, it's just all bits. And was that intended, or did you try and record it straight?"

Ed: "That was done in 2004, and Jonny, Thom, and Colin spent an afternoon... it was on a 24-track tape machine. Jonny did it on Bodysong. You just turn the 24-track into one big tape loop. And you can have... by the time it goes around, you can be any length, but I think the loops are like a second and a half. And you just record a fragment for a second and a half. And then the idea is you have them all on faders and you just go up and down and you ???. So you just mix it on faders and..."

Michael: "And that was done before you started rehearsing in 2005?"

Ed: "Yeah. But it wasn't finished, it was just some of the backing tracks. And we added extra guitar. The bass was changed. The drums were added, Phil overdid drums. Then there were vocal lines and stuff. Backing vocals and stuff, I did after. The general core of the track was done in 2004."

Michael: "And that's what's was released on the discbox?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "Great. So what's the general idea about this additional CD? Is it a collection of B-sides, or is it as integral to the whole thing as the first?"

Ed: "No. It was supposed to be... well, it was a very hard thing trying to tracklist the record and bring it down, and there were tracks on it that conceivably could have made the record. And we just wanted them to see the light of day, and we wanted it to be... we wanted to do a boxset, we wanted to do something special.2

Michael: "Yeah."

Ed: "And we thought, well, this is the ideal thing. It's an exclusive thing for those who want to buy the boxset..."

Michael: "Yeah.

Ed: "...and get the vinyl and the CD and get eight really good tracks. Not like some throwaway stuff. Proper tracks."

Michael: "'Mk 1', 'Mk 2'..."

Ed: "Yeah, exactly.

Michael: "These two little pieces - the one, 'MK1', is like as if it was an outro or intro to 'Videotape'."

Ed: "Mm-hmm."

Michael: "Was it made for that purpose, or...?"

Ed: "There were all bits and pieces that were made for bits on the record. That wasn't made for... 'MK 1' was made as an intro for, er... I forget the name of the track. It's on the second CD."

Michael: "'Go Slowly'? No..."

Ed: "No, not 'Go Slowly'..."

Michael: "'Up On The Ladder?' What else is there... 'Bangers and Mash'?"

Ed: "No. Erm..."

Michael: "'4 Minute Warning'?"

Ed: "'4 Minute Warning'."

Michael: "It has another intro piece now, it's like a piece of sound that builds..."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "OK, and 'MK 2' - that's 'MK 2'? Is that a Mellotron?"

Ed: "Yeah - no, it's AS synth."

Michael: "Oh, OK. And that was for '4 Minute Warning'?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "And the other thing was for 'Videotape'?"

Ed: "Yeah.

Michael: "So, two tracks have been released as B-sides, and... 'Down Is The New Up' is a B-side - that's a bit strange, it could have been an album track, I think, and now it's a B-side."

Ed: "Well yeah, it could've been, but, you know, that doesn't matter - we've got a tradition of doing strong B-sides, so we don't see B-sides as throwaway tracks, they're tracks that we want people to hear."

Michael: "I think some favourite B-sides are the Amnesiac B-sides..."

Ed: "Right."

Michael: "'Cuttooth' or 'The Amazing Sounds of Orgy', and stuff like that."

Ed: "Yeah, yeah."

Michael: "I have another... it's the only one I have, the only other list (shows list). This is the tracks on Amnesiac and the B-sides."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "And the ones that are green are in the diary. And the question was just, were these songs finished along with Kid A..."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "All of them, or - I mean, there were additional sessions..."

Ed: "There were additional sessions that we did 'Cuttooth' after, erm... yeah, we did 'Cuttooth' after..."

Michael: "Really? There's a lot of stuff in your diary about 'Cuttooth', and I thought it might have been one of the ones that..."

Ed: "It's tricky to remember actually."

Michael: "Yeah. I think definitely 'Packt Like Sardines' was, I think..."

Ed: "Oh yeah. 'Packt Like Sardines', 'Pyramid Song', er... (reads list) 'Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors', 'You and Whose Army?', 'I Might Be Wrong', 'Amnesiac Morning Bell'..."

Michael: "Where's that from? Which version is it?"

Ed: "'Morning Bell'?"

Michael: "Copenhagen, or..."

Ed: "That's from - no, that's from Batsford."

Michael: "Oh, and the one on Kid A?"

Ed: "Copenhagen."

Michael: "That's Copenhagen? So that's earlier than...?"

Ed: "Batsford is... yeah, it's earlier than Batsford. Batsford is the 'Morning Bell' on Amnesiac."

Michael: "So the Amnesiac version is later? You sort of already had the 5/4 rhythm and everything, and then you tried something else with it?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "Great (laughs). Ok, and 'Life in a Glasshouse' was done with Humphrey Lyttelton?"

Ed: "That's right."

Michael: "And that must have been strange, asking other people to record something that you didn't... perhaps couldn't play yourself?"

Ed: "Yeah... well, we could do, but Jonny had this thing about the whole New Orleans funeral march, and he wanted Humphrey Lyttelton and his band to play on it."

Michael: "Really? Yeah."

Ed: "Yeah. And it's again just another one of those things that, you know... they spent a day at RAK Studios - Thom singing, the band playing, Jonny playing it to piano. And it's really good."

Michael: "You did it live once."

Ed: "No, it was plenty of times."

Michael: "'Life in a Glasshouse' was only done once, with Humphrey Lyttelton..."

Ed: "Yeah, but it was over a seven-hour session."

Michael: "No no, I mean you performed it live, to an audience, once..."

Ed: "No. Oh yeah, once, that's right."

Michael: "Yeah. Yeah... 'Arpeggi' - some people think Jonny wrote the song, I mean, the whole music and everything... did Jonny write these..."

Ed: "He wrote some of it. That's right, they wrote it... but that's not true to say, because Thom and Jonny both wrote it, because they both wrote it for the Ether thing."

Michael: "It was specifically written for that occasion?"

Ed: "Well, I think they used it. I don't think it was specifically written for Ether, but they definitely used it."

Michael: "Yeah, great. And the Mark Stent sessions... you started with him in early 2006, something like that..."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "And then not long after than you start rehearsing for the tour, and this decision to go on tour was made because the sessions didn't go anywhere?"

Ed: "No, we were going to be going on tour anyway. When you go on tour you have to commit about eight or nine months in advance, so the decision had been made to go on tour."

Michael: "So it was clear from the start that the period with him would be short?"

Ed: "Yeah, it was. He had a recording commitment in America. He could've cancelled it if it had all gone really really well, but it was basically just to try to test out the waters, try it out between all of us. And Thom specifically wanted to get Spike in because he'd seen him work with Björk, and at that stage... what Spike does is he, you know... Björk and Massive Attack just send him loads of stuff, and he kind of arranges and edits it for them. There's a lot of stuff... he's the surgeon, you know, and Thom believed at that time that that's what we needed, someone just to come in and pool what was good and what was not from it. But Spike was good, you know, those sessions were good, and we might have not got musically... but he was the first person who came in and he said - he heard what we'd been doing, and he just said, 'I just don't think this sounds good enough'. And he was really encouraging, he really encouraged me and he encouraged all of us to really go for it, and he was great... a great vibe man in the studio. He gave us a lot of encouragement, and that's what we needed at that time.

Michael: "But still, you went back to Nigel, and then..."

Ed: "Yeah, because it wasn't quite right with Spike. And Nigel had been working with Paul McCartney, so he'd been busy. So we hadn't seen a lot of him, and I think we just decided that what we had with Nigel was a special thing, so..."

Michael: "Yeah, it is."

Ed: "So it was important for it to continue."

Michael: "Ok. (looks through notes) Oh yeah, one of my favourite topics - the Hail to the Thief demos."

Ed: "Right."

Michael: "We have some information about them because you talked about it."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "Fifty tracks..."

Ed: "Fifty?"

Michael: "Some fifty tracks, three CDs. Hail to the Thief demos. Thom sends out stuff, and..."

Ed: "Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah."

Michael: "And that's a lot, you know, on Hail to the Thief you have fourteen tracks and some B-sides, but fifty..."

Ed: "Yeah, it was about that."

Michael: "So all of that was finished songs, or just doodles and pieces and..."

Ed: "Some were doodles, some were finished, you know."

Michael: "Eraser stuff, that he would later...?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "Do you remember anything?"

Ed: "Don't remember, don't know..."

Michael: "But some of it was?"

Ed: "I would've thought some of it was, I couldn't be certain."

Michael: "Yeah. And any highlights you remember from those discs?"

Ed: "The only one I remember really is 'There There'. That's the only one I remember."

Michael: "That was released, that was a B-side..."

Ed: "Was it?"

Michael: "'There There', I think, yeah."

Ed: "What, the demo?"

Michael: "Yeah. Along with the L.A. version of 'I Will'."

Ed: "OK.

Michael: "On the 2+2 single."

Ed: "Right, OK."

Michael: "And that was generally the thing I was wondering about - I think many Hail to the Thief tracks have their roots in the Kid A period. Of fourteen songs, I think nine of them are definitely going back to... 'Backdrifts' and 'The Gloaming', even the recordings were used from that period. 'The Gloaming' was a piece that I think Colin did with Jonny?"

Ed: "No..."

Michael: "Something like that, but it's sort of old stuff...?"

Ed: "No, no, no. No. The Gloaming was something that Thom did..."

Michael: "I thought it was a locked groove thing that Jonny did..."

Ed: "No."

Michael: "Not sure. With Graeme Stewart, I thought?"

Ed: "No. Don't think so."

Michael: "Ok."

Ed: "I might be wrong, but... I don't think so."

Michael: "And 'Backdrifts'?"

Ed: "'Backdrifts' was pretty much done... again, that was something that I think Thom had done on his laptop. Yeah, he did, because when we were recording we heard it and were like 'oh, that's great!'"

Michael: "The sound that the whole thing's based on, that's..."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "And 'Myxomatosis' - recorded during Kid A already?"

Ed: "No. No, we recorded that during Hail to the Thief."

Michael: "Yeah?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "And 'Sit Down Stand Up'?"

Ed: "Hail to the Thief."

Michael: "Not before then? Ok."

Ed: "No."

Michael: "'We Suck Young Blood'? That was a bit older..."

Ed: "Hail To The Thief."

Michael: "But you rehearsed it during the Amnesiac tour, I think. Because there's a Rolling Stone interview from... I think, the Japan tour, October 2001, and David Fricke says there's a new song called 'Bring On The New Blood', and it should be 'We Suck Young Blood', I think. So it's possible that it was around then..."

Ed: "Yeah. Maybe... well, I don't think we rehearsed it, but maybe Thom played it on the piano. But we certainly didn't record it until... I mean, the thing is, what you have to understand is a lot of these songs... Thom will have an idea, a vocal idea or a chord progression or something, and it will be just that. But we won't have rehearsed it or arranged it or written the parts until we do it. So inevitably there would have been songs that Thom had that he would have started in that Kid A period, but as far as band stuff was concerned, we didn't, there wasn't any... all the material from Kid A/Amnesiac was done, and then we started afresh with Hail to the Thief. It had to be like that. It had to be different."

Michael: "Yeah. But still I think there are a lot of connections between Kid A, Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief. It's like a trilogy..."

Ed: "No, I don't..."

Michael: "Don't you think?"

Ed: "No. No, no, no. Because you can say that about any body of work that we've done, because there were, you know... 'Life In A Glasshouse' we were rehearsing on tour in Europe, you know, '97, on the OK Computer tour."

Michael: "Yeah, yeah."

Ed: "And it didn't see the light of day until four years later."

Michael: "Yeah..."

Ed: "The point is that, with us, what happens is there's no trilogy, there's no things that are linked. There are things that start, you know... 'The Bends' was written as a four-track, Thom wrote that as a four-track when we were making Pablo Honey with Sean and Paul in the summer of '92."

Michael: "Yeah."

Ed: "So that was a four-track. So there are things that have started, have been seeds, that started back, and then they come to the band or something later on, or we're aware of it, or we rehearse it. But there's nothing that's... there's no trilogy, there's no solid piece of..."

Michael: "No no, it's not intentional, definitely, but I think that after OK Computer... with Kid A there was sort of a break point."

Ed: "Yeah, in terms of the way we might have recorded, but in terms of some of the songs, no, because 'National Anthem' was done at the end..."

Michael: "Yeah, you're right."

Ed: "And 'Life in a Glasshouse', and 'How To Disappear' we rehearsed back then. There were plenty of examples, er... what's the last track on Kid A?"

Michael: "'Motion Picture Soundtrack'?"

Ed: "'Motion Picture Soundtrack' was demoed..."

Michael: "Yeah, John Leckie did it."

Ed: "Yeah, that's right. So it's not like that at all. It's like, if it's a good song, it will live on."

Michael: "Alright, just because you mentioned it... there's 'Motion Picture Soundtrack' at the end, and then there's a bit of silence..."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "And then there's a final blush of sounds. Some people have the idea that... it used to have a third verse, that song. 'Beautiful angel, pulled apart at birth'..."

Ed: "Right."

Michael: "And that was originally part of that song, and it was taken out and replaced with silence, because it fits..."

Ed: "Right."

Michael: "...right in."

Ed: "No."

Michael: "No? That's just coincidence? Ok."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "But this piece at the end, it's not a hidden track, it's part of 'Motion Picture Soundtrack', isn't it?"

Ed: "Yeah, that's right."

Michael: "You have the silence, and then... whatever, death, silence, rebirth..."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "Something like that. You would agree with that?"

Ed: "Well... no, I wouldn't say 'death, silence, rebirth'. It's like... the great thing about music is that you can interpret it as you will, but we don't make... you know, we're not sitting around going 'OK, that signifies death and that's rebirth'. It's like that classic thing, it's like in anything, you have a bit of silence and then there's just an echo of something..."

Michael: "Ok."

Ed: "That's all it... There's no hidden message or intent there."

Michael: "Ok, but now you know that some people listen to it like that!"

Ed: "Yeah, yeah!"

Michael: "Yeah. 'Gagging Order' and 'I Am A Wicked Child' were two songs that you released as B-sides from Hail to the Thief."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "And I think those recordings come from the Kid A sessions... is that possible? 'Gagging Order' used to be called 'Move Along'..."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "And the credits sort of make sense with that, I think..."

Ed: "No. 'Gagging Order' was done in the demos and the build-up to the rehearsals that we taped for Hail to the Thief."

Michael: "Yes..."

Ed: "And 'I Am A Wicked Child' was done... Thom brought his ProTools on tour, and I think we were in France. I remember him doing some stuff with it in France."

Michael: "Which tour?"

Ed: "2002... 2001, 2002?"

Michael: "OK. So then he brought that in and you added stuff to it, or was it just Thom?"

Ed: "'I Am A Wicked Child'... Jonny added some harmonica. 'Gagging Order' was Thom and Jonny."

Michael: "On acoustic guitar..."

Ed: "Yeah, exactly. Yeah... Last question, Michael. (laughs)"

Michael: "Okay, then, my last questions - last question is... you singing lead vocals on anything. Have you ever considered doing that, because your vocals on 'Arpeggi' are like... I mean, that's the moment of the song for me when you do those harmonies. That's just perfect. And, uh, I don't think it would make sense if Thom did those parts..."

Ed: "Well, Thom tried to do it."

Michael: "Yeah, but then he agreed that yours are better!"

Ed: "Yeah, he couldn't do it. I mean, for some reason I could do it, which is very unusual, because normally he can sing everything."

Michael: "Yeah, they are a bit reminiscent of what you did in 'Lift'...."

Ed: "Yeah, that's right, definitely."

Michael: "Even lyrically, these two songs, if you think about it, 'the bottom of the ocean'... 'Lift' and 'Arpeggi'... ok."

Ed: "Yeah! Yeah, yeah."

Michael: "But could you ever imagine doing lead vocals?"

Ed: "Definitely, yeah!"

Michael: "But on a song that Thom has written? Or..."

Ed: "I don't know. It would probably be a little bit weird if... probably couldn't do it on a song that Thom had written. It would have to be mine, because we have very different vocal ranges. His is higher than mine and his is low, and he would probably write in a different key, but..."

Michael: "So you're writing songs?"

Ed: "Yeah!"

Michael: "But none of the stuff that has been released so far has been written by you as a complete song? Apart from..."

Ed: "Well, things like 'Meeting in the Aisles' and... What was the complete song... obviously 'Meeting in the Aisles' was music that... and there was a B-side on... it was on OK Computer..."

Michael: "'Lull'?"

Ed: "'Lull', exactly, yeah."

Michael: "And they are on the same single, 'Meeting in the Aisle' and 'Lull'."

Ed: "That's true, they are, aren't they?"

Michael: "And you wrote that?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "Great! Okay, so any songs kicking around that you..."

Ed: "Yeah, I've got some stuff, but it's one thing whether it's appropriate for the band, you know. Because, uh, I'm going out with Phil, and we're hopefully going to ??? with Neil Finn and do that thing again at Christmas."

Michael: "Really? That was great!"

Ed: "Yeah, thank you! And they're gonna do it hopefully with the same people, maybe play a couple with Wilco as well. We're gonna go in the studio, so that might be a good time to, like... some stuff that's not maybe suitable for Radiohead, it would be good to put that in that."

Michael: "Fantastic. And Phil has been working on some sort of stuff on his own, as well..."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "So it's branching out a bit."

Ed: "It's really good."

Michael: "It's coming out? It's a while ago since..."

Ed: "It's still... it's a work in progress. I've heard some stuff and it's really good."

Michael: "But he's not singing, is he?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "He's singing?!"

Ed: "Yeah. He's got a really good voice."

Michael: "That's GREAT (claps)! That's fantastic. Because it puts the spotlight away from Thom being the one who does his solo thing. If the other members do something as well, that's great."

Ed: "That's right, it's good."

Michael: "Jonny has his..."

Ed: "Jonny's got the soundtracks."

Michael: "Yeah, his classical pieces."

Ed: "And Phil's singing is really good. I'm definitely going to do some singing stuff."

Michael: "That's awesome."

Ed: "Yeah, it's just really good to do."

Michael: "I'm looking forward to hearing that. And let's stop here?"

Ed: "Wow, that was pretty intense, Michael."

Michael: "Oh yeah, I'm sorry."

Ed: "No no no no, I should've..."

Michael: "I was thinking you... what you were into... I was trying to make that clear to Chris, that I was interested in stuff like this, because that's the nature when you do such a website."

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "You ask about things that other people haven't asked. It's the little bits and pieces of... and any other normal music journalist will not ask about some version of 'Big Boots'."

Ed: "Yeah, that's right."

Michael: "You should do that again, that song."

Ed: "Well yeah, but again it's a song of its time, you know?"

Michael: "It's a Bond song."

Ed: "It's totally a Bond song, we knew that."

Michael: (laughs)

Ed: "That was the one that I co-wrote, that was... the music for that."

Michael: "The riff?"

Ed: "Yeah."

Michael: "It's bloody brilliant."

Ed: "Thank you."

Michael: "You should write a Bond song, then. You can do it."

Ed: "Wow, umm... No. It was, um. Songs have their moments, and that's one of the frustrating things, but it would be a great album of lost songs of ours."

Michael: "Yeah. But that's such a shame, they shouldn't be lost songs. I mean, 'True Love Waits'..."

Ed: "I know. Yeah, that's right."

Michael: "...on I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings, people don't accept that as the definitive release of that song. It's nice to have an acoustic rendition, but people want to hear something else."

Ed: "Maybe one day we will."

Michael: "And all you did was cut it up and do 'Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors'..."

Ed: "Yeah, that's right."

Michael: "It's used somehow for that. But the original version, from OK Computer, being able to listen to that would be great."

Ed: "Yeah. Good luck Michael. Nice to meet you."

Michael: "Thanks again."