Ed O’Brien Interview “You’ve got to find a voice” Part 2

Here is Part 2 of Ed O’Brien’s interview “You’ve got to find a voice”.

Source: All Tuntun

Second part of our interview with Ed O’Brien. Chat gets loose, so does Ed, and everything turns into a relaxed conversation. Ed speaks us about some of his personal tastes: music, football and Carlitos Tévez in particular.



C- At some point you said you were a bit worried by the lack of guitars in Kid A or Amnesiac.

E- Yeah, years ago.

C- Do you enjoy now to play more with the sound effects?

E- You know when I said that I was talking about a time at the beginning of the recording sessions and it was that long (very short sign with the fingers). It was an adjustment that had to be made, you know, we went from making three albums which had been all guitars and you played your thing, and suddenly like there was no scope for that, so inevitably, when change happens in anything in life you feel like, you know…

C- Did you have a moment, as a band, that you would decide how to stand in front of the audience? Because we recently watched the Astoria concert in 1994 and you were looking more rockers.

E- What you do up on stage you don’t even think about it, it just happens. We were probably moving around a lot more.

S- Yeah, for example you were jumping.

E- Yeah, yeah I can’t do that, it’s not appropriate, that music it was kind of appropriate because I was young, younger(laughs).

S- Do you think the music on the records is following the maturity of the band, or of yourself?

E- I think what happens is as you get older as a person, you personaly change, you move and then you have the way a band changes because the people change so, music is a very honest thing, so if you change, the music changes, it comes out of you so it’s inevitable.

C- Do you personally have a place, when you want to disappear from everything, you turn to?

E- Well, after having children it’s getting difficult to do that, but I guess it would be home, when I want to disappear I go home. And I like to spend time with the garden or go to the woods, camping with my friends, but I don’t, you know, it’d be nice to have time to disappear, I don’t have time.

S- But now, as a band, do you give yourselves more personal time than before?

E- Yeah, I mean when you are getting children, you have a new responsability, and when we signed as a band in 1991 we didn’t stop until 1998. You can’t be a father, you can’t be a husband, so now there has to be a little of balance, because you have a responsability, it’s important to have children grow up to be beautiful balenced human beings, so that means they need a father sometimes to find their way along so it’s all good



C- How do you do it to be still together after all the years?

E- Because, first we love doing it, playing in a room together, playing music that we fundamentaly love, it’s a part of us. And second, we’re brothers, you know, like in a familly we don’t hang out all the time, but we’re brothers, there’s a lot of love behind that. But mainly we could be brothers but we wouldn’t have to do this, but the main thing is because we still love doing music, you know, we’re very lucky.

S- And it does happen that sometimes, you want to kill your brothers ?

E- Yeeeaaahh of course!

C- It wouldn’t be real love if you didn’t want it.

E- Yeah exactly!

C- What are your personal projects at the moment?

E- Well, I set myself to advance as a guitarist so I’m living in that way. I’m writing songs, I’m also spending time with my children, they’re not going to be young forever, they’re seven and five. I’ve been idle for the last six weeks, we had a great holiday, we’ve been driving through France, camping and stuff like that. But really I mean, my whole thing is that I like setting myself for Radiohead. I’ve done other stuff, I have little projects and also involved with musical projects with other people. I’m also involved in the Featured Artists’ Coalition that is a coalition of artists coming together to have a voice in the industry, you know, there is a lot of stuff going on int he industry at the moment, a lot of artists being traditionally riped off, so we found this coalition, we’re trying to get a voice at the table, what’s going on with the negociations, and it’s good, it’s interresting. So you know, I’m very busy.

S- So are you thinking about releasing a solo album one day, maybe ?

E- Maybe! I don’t want to just put out another album. There’s so many people just put out an album. There’s enough ok records that go out. I’d want it to be really great so wether I can do that, I don’t know.

S- If the possibility…

E- Yeah, absolutly, I’d very much like to, whether I would singing or someone else to sing I don’t know. Maybe someone else singing it. You have to find the right people. I don’t want to work on my own. I wanna work with a great great group musicians.

S- And working with members of Radiohead, is it an option, maybe?

E- Maybe, absolutely. I mean, why not?

C- I would love to hear an album with you singing, I’m a big fan of yours.

E- Really? Aaww thank you. Well you know, my voice is getting better. You’ve got to find a voice and I haven’t found it yet, but I’m getting there.

C- Actually you use the voice as an intrument sometimes, for exemple in Karma Police when you do the backing vocal, I love when you do that, it’s like a plenitude.

E- Oh thanks, it’s nice to hear.



C- So you were talking about helping to get the artists voice heard in the industry. How do you see the future of the music industry ?

E- I don’t know, I think it’s very hard for young bands, I mean it’s always hard for young bands. There’ll always be great musicians and people always will want music so those are all positives so how that works out, I don’t know, I’m not sure.

S- Do you think the fans are ready to pay for the music online now and stop downloading it for free? We know you’re not against downloading in the way to spread the music wider.

E- Listen, I deal with people who, I think it’s important there’s a contract… I mean you know, when we were kids there was an exchange that goes when you pay for something, when you buy it, you listen to it, you really listen to it, because you pay so you have to. And I know when I’m given a cd like from a record company or whatever, I don’t really listen to it, I’ve got them and it’s all great but if I buy something I listen to it. What I think happens if you download for free, you don’t really listen to it. I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong.

C- I think it’s right because when people give value to something…

E- Yeah, when you’ve got all this music, you don’t have time to really really listen to it. when you really really connect to music, you have to listen to it a lot. I don’t listen to a lot of music, but what I do listen to, I listen to a lot so what gets in there and I hear it a lot. But if you get it for free, you get the song now and… (makes a gesture of trhowing away). I think musicians need to be paid. I’m not talking about us but young musicians. The problem is you know, the record companies have treated people who want to listen to music and fans badly, and now what’s happening is a result of that so you gotta make it easy for people to pay small amounts of money to buy something, I think. But you know, the generation of young people out there that wont pay for music, and if I was their age, I wouldn’t do either so I’m not gonna be that guy…

C- Yeah, it’s like it’s right there and you click on it.

E- Yeah it’s a shame, but that’s how it is.

C- Sometimes it happens that with this possibility you get to know things that you would never know in another way.E- Absolutely, Yes , exactly, is like a way of discovering and that is really good, I really like when that happens. That’s very exciting, it’s like when we were kids, someone would buy the album, would make us copies of it, we listen to it and if we like it, we really really like it, we buy it.

S- So that’s why you made the “pay what you want” for In rainbows? It was to discover the value people wanted to put into the music ? And you used it for The King Of Limbs?

E- Yes, there was a whole debate about what should an album cost, what should an album be, and was turning around, we were all around a table ‘what do you think it’s worth? It’s good, it gets people talking, I like to, you know, hear about families where the 14 years old wanted to buy the record, and he didn’t have a credit card so he had to ask his dad, and talk about it ‘what do you think an album’s worth?’, you know, it’s good!

S- So you were happy of the result of the experiment in rainbowns, it was quite a lot of buzz on the internet.

E- Yeeeah, it was amazing!


Music, football, etc.

C- And what music are you listening to lately?

E- My favourite album of the last few months is a band called Tame Iimpala you know them ? I really like that band, that is my favourite album, what else do I like, I kinda quite like Adam And The Ants, I like, you know the things that are like the sound of School of Seven Bells, I like, in terms of an album Tame Impala is my favorit one. I also quite like Caribou, the album Swim. I went to see a band live last week who I love called Other Lives and they have an album coming out called Tamer Animals and there’s a track called For 12, first track of the album. The album is great, they’re really great young band from Oklahoma.

C- You like The Smiths, so do you still listen to The Smiths, or Morissey?

E- Humm, occasionally I listen to things like that, I don’t know, I mean, I might hear it on the radio but no, I wouldn’t play a Smiths record or aMorissey album nowadays, sometimes, very, very occasionally.

C- Do you think it didn’t age well?

E- No, once I was checking in a hotel and in the reception they played music, and they played This Charming Man by The Smiths and it sounded amazing you know, and maybe it is that I’ve heard this so many times, it’s not like it aged, I may wanna hear something else.

C- So what do you like beside music?

E- I like football, I like cricket, like the sports

C- Football, playing it or watching?

E- Watching, both watching, I love football.

C- You are a Manchester’s fan?

E- Yeah, Manchester United. I’m very interrested in about River Plate being relegated, and what all the shenanigans about that…

C- I am River’s fan.

E- Oh, are you? I have a friend who’s family has seats in River Plate and she said whenever you come to Buenos Aires next time you have to see a game, I’d really love to. I remember the world cup 1978, so that team: Mario Kempes, Passarella… Kempes was in River Plate, wasn’t he? And he was a star. Passarella was the captain. That was my first world cup I remember watching, I know it was a very troubled time in Argentina.

C- Yes , actually it is said that the world cup was a set up.

E- The game against Peru?

C- Yes, it’s said that the dictatorship there used the whole thing for covering, and with all the people who disappeared in the country at that time…

E- Yeah I know it’s terrible. You know there was Johan Cruyff who played for the Netherlands and he refused to go to Argentina because of what was going on, which was a great gesture. I wished more players and more teams had done that, but you know, it’s a World Cup, that’s the problem. I always remember the lights in places like Córdoba, Mendoza, the ticket tape that came down, it was very very graphic, it was amazing.

C- It happens, no? That when you are a kid and you watch the world cup is like very graphic, you keep the memories.

E- Yest true! Which one do you remember?

C- 1990 in Italia.

E- Oh yes it was a great one!

C- And Argentina went to the final.

E- That’s right!

C- And you like Carlitos Tévez?

E- Carlos Tévez? Yeah! I mean, he’s an amazing footballer, he could be the best footballer of the world, but the problem is with his attitude. He’s like, I mean I understand that he wasn’t living with his children and stuff like that, and he’s split up with his wife, but he could have been a hero in Manchester United, and he went to Manchester City… He was an amazing player you know, we remember the people with integrity and real heart, people like Cantona… And Tévez isn’t that. He’s a mercenary.

C- Yes he’s playing for the money.

E- It’s a shame because he could be like Cantona but he’s got no cojones.

C- So how is Manchester now?

E- Good! Young team, very, very young team, really exciting. We won’t win the Champion’s League but we could win the Premiership. It’s a good team, brilliant team. The average is 22 years old, amazing.

S- It’s easier for Manchester United to attract great young players.

E- Yeah, they have a very good academy.

C- And do you have a relationship with cinema?

E- Yeah I do, I don’t see enough but I do. I love Stanley Kubrick.

C- You like Wim Wenders, don’t you?

E- Yeah, I like Wim Wenders. I haven’t seen all of his films but Paris, Texas was a huge film for me when I was younger. I love also the British actor Peter Sellers, I love good comedy. There is this movie also by Charly Braun, Por El Camino, a beautiful roadtrip in Uruguay between a boy and a girl, and a beautiful romance. I loved it. We let him used our music.

C- Now that you mention the music and the films, you have been in different movies like Twilight. Do you really like to be a part of this kind of film?

E- The one that is interesting is Twilight the first one, lots of people said “oh I hear your music in that film”, and I saw it with my wife and I really enjoyed it. I can totally see if you’re a teenager, you really like that, even as an adult. I enjoyed it. I don’t know about the others. But also, what was good about that was that a lot of young people heard our music with that film and they really liked it, we didn’t do a lot of big films like that. We get asked a lot to do things.

C- It’s great what you just said that people get introduced to some music through the films.

E- Yeah! Absolutely! I’ve been in the music of Ry Cooder I got into it through Paris,Texas and I was “What is this music? Amazing!”

C- And with the power of the image it makes it be much better.

E- Yeah!


We thank Julie Calland and Richard Walsh for making all this possible and very especially Ed for his kindness and good vibe.


Source: All Tuntun

To read Part 1 of  “You’ve got to find a voice” click here.