Main Index Kid A Sessions Amnesiac Sessions
Kid A/Amnesiac Influences
OLIVIER MESSIAEN more info
Mark Russell: “There is the Ondes Martenot on this album, you can hear it, and it's an instrument that's associated with Messiaen, of course. Was he an influence on what you were doing?”

Jonny Greenwood: “When I was at school, and studying music, I just got very excited as a teenager to hear of this composer who was still alive, and still writing music, and music that was so exciting and fascinating, and mysterious and had all these sounds in it. Partly I find it so wonderful because it's often just violins, it's often just standard instruments that are creating these wonderful new textures and sounds. So the Ondes Martenot was something that I just... my adolescent dream was to find one. I didn't even know what they looked like, I just knew... I used to read descriptions of them, and one day dreamed of finding one, and did amazingly.”

Robert Sandall: “Where did you find one?”

Jonny: “The grandson of Mr. Martenot, who invented the original one in like... sorry, it's all getting all very Encyclopaedia Britannica, but in 1928 it was first invented, and the grandson started to make them again, and made a few, and I managed to get hold of one, and it's a wonderful invention, great instrument.”

Mark: “So what's your 'desert island' piece of Messiaen, then?”

Jonny: “Probably the first thing I heard, the Turangalîla-Symphony, the first thing that fascinated me.”
ALICE COLTRANE more info
Robert Sandall: “Let's talk about some of the other influences on the album. I gather Alice Coltrane - a piece by Alice Coltrane - was quite influential on one of the tracks.”

Jonny Greenwood: “Yeah, there's a series of records on the Impulse label that just all seem to feature lots of tambourine shaking and bell shaking and harps, people like Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Saunders. That was again something that we found only fairly recently. Wonderful textures to the records, and very atmospheric recordings, which is a criticism that some people often make of jazz, that the recordings can sound dry or sound like they're a bit clinical, but her records have a depth to them that we try to emulate.”
MILES DAVIS more info
Mark Russell: “You mentioned In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, and the way that they were recorded was they were live jams, and the records that we now know were pieced together in the editing. [...] Was there an editing element in Kid A? How were the songs actually put together?”

Jonny Greenwood: “I'm not sure we have the ability as a band to play for a great length of time and be inventive. I am concerned that it sounds very smug when we mention all these influences, and we fully realise that we can't do these things and so, just hearing that, hearing the idea of hours and hours of tapes being cut together, I mean that's something we aspire to with bands like Can, the fact that they recorded in a similar way, and Faust even, of playing together the same thing endlessly and endlessly, then cutting parts of it out. But that's something we certainly try and do as a drums, bass and guitar idea. So yeah, that does go on.”
CHARLES MINGUS more info
Jonny Greenwood: “[The National Anthem] started with Thom saying this track should really sound like... by the end it should turn into a Charlie Mingus track. [...] And we pretty much just got a brass section into the room, and I scored out the rough tune, and Thom and I stood in front of them conducting, sort of... I say 'conducting', it wasn't Simon Rattle, it was more just jumping up and down when we wanted it to be louder and faster and calming them down at certain points. [...] We wanted them to play around with the rhythms of what was happening, and do crossbeats, and be taking it in turns to take solos, really. A bit like Charlie Mingus, the organised chaos of that, the fact that it's not random. There's a structure going on, but it's very loose around the edges.” [...]

Robert Sandall: “Charlie Mingus - as a musician - obviously is tremendously diverse, extraordinarily prolific arranger and performer. Which bit of Mingus were you aiming for here?”

Jonny: “I suppose like the Blues & Roots era. It's funny, I always find it very comforting to find that a whole style of music, that I'd always been contemptuous of - like big band music - without knowing any, and just sort of never thought much of. And then someone played me Charlie Mingus, and I just thought 'that's just fantastic, that's amazing'. And so suddenly it opens up all this other music that you'd previously been contemptuous of. That happens a lot to us.”
Mark Russell: “You mentioned In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, and the way that they were recorded was they were live jams, and the records that we now know were pieced together in the editing. [...] Was there an editing element in Kid A? How were the songs actually put together?”

Jonny Greenwood: “I'm not sure we have the ability as a band to play for a great length of time and be inventive. I am concerned that it sounds very smug when we mention all these influences, and we fully realise that we can't do these things and so, just hearing that, hearing the idea of hours and hours of tapes being cut together, I mean that's something we aspire to with bands like Can, the fact that they recorded in a similar way, and Faust even, of playing together the same thing endlessly and endlessly, then cutting parts of it out. But that's something we certainly try and do as a drums, bass and guitar idea. So yeah, that does go on.”
FAUST more info
Mark Russell: “You mentioned In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, and the way that they were recorded was they were live jams, and the records that we now know were pieced together in the editing. [...] Was there an editing element in Kid A? How were the songs actually put together?”

Jonny Greenwood: “I'm not sure we have the ability as a band to play for a great length of time and be inventive. I am concerned that it sounds very smug when we mention all these influences, and we fully realise that we can't do these things and so, just hearing that, hearing the idea of hours and hours of tapes being cut together, I mean that's something we aspire to with bands like Can, the fact that they recorded in a similar way, and Faust even, of playing together the same thing endlessly and endlessly, then cutting parts of it out. But that's something we certainly try and do as a drums, bass and guitar idea. So yeah, that does go on.”
WARP RECORDS more info
Robert Sandall: “You've brought in some interesting CDs to illustrate some of the thinking that went behind the album.”

Colin Greenwood: “If Thom was here, one of the things that he was very into was the whole Warp records, or aspects of Warp records, sort of the different sounds, just wanting to... sick of hearing the same sounds, and the same things make the same noises on some of the records, and just trying to find different sounds, and rhythms. And for him, what was coming out of that was the most exciting, the most different, revolutionary, and forward aspect of contemporary music.”