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Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich Reddit Ask Me Anything Recap » The King of Limbs Part 2

Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich Reddit Ask Me Anything Recap

atoms for peace ask me anythingThom Yorke and Nigel Godrich answered questions today about Atoms For Peace during an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit earlier.  Nigel posted the following message on twitter moments ago, “You can ask us anything but we reserve the right to not answer ;)”.  Read the questions and answers below.

You can now steam AMOK in full!

Thom Yorke Nigel Godrich ask me anything reddit

Reddit questions: (This is unedited and the text is just as Thom and Nigel typed it on Reddit)

When asked about the recording sessions at Third Man Records studio in Nashville during last Summer Thom replied:

We was at AJck Jack Whites places… we now have two unfinished tracks, one of which is identikit. Its nice there, red and black and white nshit.

err, we work slower than him (umderstatement)\

hi everyone

They were asked about recording and production:

Im a big fan of autotune

How do you feel about the amok leak? And music piracy in generalHow do you feel about the amok leak? And music piracy in generalSomeone asked if there would be an Atoms For Peace From The Basement and about unreleased Radiohead songs:

No plans for FTB..

I like all 50 of the new radiohead songs

this is obviously nigel

They were asked about AMOK being leaked online yesterday:

Well.. unsurprised?

What books have you read recently?

Wolf Solent. john cowper powys..

a protohippie


When you’re tinkering with a song idea, how do you make the determination that “this one’s for Radiohead” vs. “this is an Atoms for Peace song”?

its a grey area. getting greyer. obviously depends on who is being sampled. are you being in sampled?


Thom, how did you become comfortable sharing your voice with others? Were your formative years a struggle to find your voice as a writer/musician or was it more of a painless evolution?

my formative years involved finding no-one else to sing the songs. so doing it myself. and singing into a bucket, but thats another story. stanley donwood has a kind of vibrator on his shoulder right now


My earliest experience with Radiohead involved skipping church to buy OK Computer and listening to it in my car on a cold, winter day in Cleveland. “Climbing Up The Walls” both terrified and astonished me at the same time, and I still credit that experience with opening my eyes to a lot of different styles of music.  What musical artist completely shaped and/or challenged your perception of what good music is?

Thats a lush story! Oh man the list is endless.. it still happens now!

With Atoms for Peace in full swing, Jonny composing film scores, and Phil’s “Familial” out in the wild, has there been any talk of Ed and Colin giving it a go and perhaps recording their own solo albums? Have they shown any interest in doing it?  Also, For Thom: Would you ever be interested in collaborating with Damon Albarn were he to start working on another Gorillaz album?

Thom? n  define “collaboration?”

I love Amok. any plans to collaborate more with Burial?

I very much hope so. Both me Kieran and Burial are all as busy/ vague as each other.. Well ok Kierans more together maybe :) But we talks about it. in fact as usual i gotta write some words


Hello, Thom, do you plan to explore the low end of your range more in the future? I love how you sound on Wolf at the Door.  Thanks for the amazing music to you both.

Yes i would love to. I know its there, ive heard it. its not naturally where i end up. So it’s a good place to head, deep into the woods. The back of the cupboard.. ya nah?


Do you have any pre-stage rituals?

many many many, upside down time. tuning up time. lying down time etc


How can you advocate that nuclear power is bad when in actuality it’s the only realistic alternative to fossil fuels and vastly greener and more sustainable? It seems like a fairly asinine position to take, especially considering modern development in breeder and thorium reactors, essentially nullifying the issues of old technology.

where you gonna put the waste guy?!!!


Hi. As members of acts that are constantly developing, I have to ask: what’s next for Atoms for Peace and/or Radiohead musically?  Also I’d like to thank you both for your sweet ass music and I’m really looking forward to AMOK. Thanks guys.

yey !! you can come again.


whats next? well shit we havent seen each other in a LONG time, we will be in the same room again in april/ may i guess. i hope.


For Thom: Colin Greenwood has recently been quoted saying that Radiohead are regrouping this September to record the next album. Is this definitely in the cards?  Also, Atoms for Peace…also for Florida?

by the time I’ve finished answering these there will be no time left this year.


Will we ever hear “The Present Tense” or “Burn The Witch”?

def the first one!

Where’s Flea?

hes over there>

Some songs played on the Atoms for Peace tour in 2009, such as ‘Lotus Flower’ and ‘Supercollider’ ended up becoming Radiohead songs. What is it that determines a Radiohead song from an Atoms for Peace song?

they were mod definitely radiohead tunes… me didnt have enough material to give to the band by then!!. so i had to err fill some time.


What do you think is the difference in philosophies in how The King of Limbs and AMOK have been promoted? Is it just a “different band, different method” sort of thing, or is there something more to it?  It’s been a while since the last Office Chart, what have you guys been listening to lately?

yes yes office chart. i keep getting close and then being asked……

another question


Thom & Nigel  What are the advantages of recording analog? Do you think high-resolution digital formats will ever become commonly accepted?  Nigel, any news on a new season of “From the Basement”?

Hahaha! Gotta find the tape first. A big advantage for me is watching Nigel standing in a room full of bits of tape and a scalpel.


How do you feel about the amok leak? And music piracy in general

oh did it?

how nice.

Thom — were you actually posing for this picture, or was it a happy coincidence? http://i.imgur.com/kh6ks.jpg

That is not me. This is madam Tussauds. misspelt probably.

Is man good or evil by nature?

Definitely good. That was an easy one. he is not a selfish git by nature. ?

My question for Thom: Will there be a step by step instructional video for the Lotus Flower dance? Or possibly a fitness DVD based on the moves?  and Nigel: Any quick advice for someone trying to make it as a music producer?

Quick advice.. Don’t expect it to be easy… do it for fun and love. If you’re good you will succeed. If you arent you’ll have fun at least! N

Thom, would you do an accoustic album? You have one of the most beautiful voices ever and is an amazing singer. In a way, we crave for an album with only you and a piano/guitar. Please, consider it.

I just asked him that.

Dear Thom, I would like to know if you prefer tea or coffee? And do you use sugar or honey or nothing in your hot drink? It is very important for me to know that, because of my imagination of your “normal-life” and what person you are. :) Additionally, do you like turkish nougat? I think you do!

ah finally something important. today is a strong coffee day. 7am deserves it. im a pain in the arse without if that helps? mostly. thm

Hello Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich! How is it working with the Atoms For Peace group compared to Radiohead?

Like eating ice cream after a lovely dinner. N

Since many people would consider Atoms For Peace a supergroup, what would you say is your favorite (or most influential) supergroup?

The Beatles.. N

What advice do you have for any younger artists starting out? In terms of finding people to play with, dealing with all the other stuff that comes with being a musician?

Enjoy it – making music is a wonderful way to spend your life.. but do it for the love before a career… it’s getting so unforgiving out there – I hate to think of the obstacles in the way now for new artists.. if you love it and you are good, you will be fine.. but be prepared to have to work hard and don’t judge your success by other peoples opinions.. have self belief. N

What is your stance on samples, especially in rap music? I heard when CRS One came out with Us Placers, you weren’t very happy about it. I understand where you were coming, you know artist’s rights and stuff, but it seems like your sound could go (and does already) hand in hand with rap music, any thoughts?

We don’t know what that is.. But we’re big fans of sampling and hip hop.. It was a burgeoning art form which got stamped out in the early nineties due to copyright actions.. and now ironically youtube totally ignores copyright and no one does anything.. Thanks willow. N  I mean sampling … not hip hop obviously.

Hey Thom, Nigel. Any future plans for Atoms for Peace to play in the US (other than New York)? Love your work.

Oh yes!

Which track was the toughest to “get right” in your guys’ eyes?

on Amok? maybe Amok was tricky , only cuz the lyrics came from a really different headspace, which took me a while to feel good about. but its the one im most proud of and gets me in the ass everytime. can i say that? apparently so


You guys are known for being pretty perfectionist and borderline obsessive with your material and the recording process, do you feel like this ultimately hinders or betters your creative output?

I don’t think we’re perfectionists really… just sometimes thiings take time.. not because they end up perfect by any means! But it neither helps nor hinders.. it just is what it is.. happens how it happens.. N

Thank you so much for doing this, Thom and Nigel.  Nigel- I absolutely love Ultraista. I was sad to hear about the tour cancellation, but things happen. Will you guys go back on tour in the near future? (In particular, Chicago? Lincoln Hall would love to host you)

Yes! We hope so… Joey had a baby VERY early so he had to rush back to LA.. It was disappointing but for the greatest of reasons! N

What do you think the biggest differences are between the music you’re making now with Atoms for Peace, and the older music from the OK Computer/Kid A/Hail to the Thief days? Do you still like the older music, or have your tastes changed?

we are in the moment when we work! not quite sure how anything has happened in retrospect. immediately loose the memory of how you’ve got wher eyou are.

which is always my fav bit of listening back to work weve done. thm

Seeing how Atoms For Peace comes from one of Thom’s solo songs, is there a thematic connection between Amok and The Eraser?

NIgel, me An Stanley. and big waves and shit

I’d love to know how you got involved with Stanley Donwood, and what it’s like having someone be such a consistent part of your image over the years?

I met him first day at art college and he had a better hat and suit on than me. That pissed me off. So i figured i’d either end up really not liking this person at all, or working with him for the rest of my life.

Hey Thom and Nigel,

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions.

  1. For Thom, what’s something you enjoy about performing that might surprise those of us who don’t perform for thousands of people the world over?
  2. For Nigel, how does the act of performing the material you produce in the studio change your relationship with it? In other words, do you approach things differently in producing a Radiohead record, for example, when you know you won’t be performing it live in comparison to AMOK where you will be?
  3. For both, what are a few songs you’d recommend produced/written/performed by yourselves that you’d recommend to someone unfamiliar and what are a few songs from other artists that you think others should hear?


Nothing is as conceived as it may seem – You don’t consider what performing something would be like when you’re recording it – you just dont thinnk about it.. It’s a different hat completely. N

Where do you guys think AMOK fits in in your entire discography? More speciically, what’s your favorite song from the album?

It’s on the far right. of the pile. It’s whats in our heads right now.. as is everything when you’re doing/just finished it…. N

Hello Thom. Do you know what music was playing before Radiohead went on at the Optimus Alive festival in Lisbon last year? Do you select that?

i would think that would have been my selecta of aCtress and Zomby

It seems like The King Of Limbs took a lot of influence Remain in Light by the Talking Heads. Does Amok follow a similar course? What are you expressing with rhythm? Disassociation and confusion like Talking Heads, the hypnotism of house and techno, or something totally different?

I think this is not direct or certainly not intentional.. I mean – you like music.. you listen to music.. you make music. But you don’t listen to other music while you’re making new music.. I love remain in light though. N

Nigel, you went to Jiro at Tokyo 2 weeks ago, right? What is your favorite sushi? Tuna?

UNI! only if it’s good.

Firstly, I’d like to thank both of you for making music I love with al my heart.  I’d like to ask Nigel whether he could shed some light on if the “From The Basement” idea will ever branch out like it once did, to a variety of artists? The only recent “Basement” things seem to be purely Radiohead based, it’d be nice to see what other people could do in that studio again.  

Thom, now that Colin Greenwood has been quoted as saying Radiohead will begin work on a ninth studio album around September, could you give us an idea of what kind of things we can expect from Radiohead’s output in the future? Is there a set of ideas you all have ready?  Also, could you explain as to why there were only 3 UK dates on Radiohead’s last tour? A lot of my friends who wanted to see you couldn’t.  Speaking of which, will an Atoms For Peace tour happen soon?

No that’s not true – just radiohead ftb gets the most attention.. we just did a whole new season which was on sky arts in the UK feist, willis earl beale, chilli peppers.. look for it. It seems to buried somewhere. And there is your answer – FTB is a labour of love but it doesn’t get much love apart from a pretty small concentrated section of music fans.. I wish it got more, but I’m not complaining. Quality over quantity I say.. N

Thom have you been to www.tumblr.com and seen some of the stuff under the #radiohead tag? you have some rabid ass fans out there.

oh yes http://whathaveyoudonetomyface.tumblr.com

What is your biggest achievement so far?

ummmmmmmm getting through the last tour despite all that had happened in toronto. and the lights. and having clive play with us. i was terrified about it, then it got dark but in the end we were all very proud of managin to pull it off. even in the O2 in London. it was not an easy time, but it was cool.


Hey Nigel! Which one amongst you initiated the formation of Atoms for Peace?

Well… like… Thom obviously…. :)

One of the great qualities of your music is the way minor details become apparent even after many listens (a now famous example is the “In Rainbows” vocal in Reckoner).  My question – from all the records you have made together, are there any interesting details that you remain surprised no-one seems to have picked up on?  Alternatively, are there any such details in Amok that you are especially proud of?

Ahh.. no one picked up on that? Well obviously you did.. I guess you don’t intentionally hide stuff so when somebdy says its a un-noticed detail then one is always surprised.. Yip yip! N


Atoms For Peace will release their debut album AMOK  on February 25th (Feb 26th in the U.S.) and can be pre-ordered through XLRecordingsAmazon, and iTunes.

Thom was on BBC Radio 6 earlier today with Steve Lamacq to discuss Atoms For Peace and AMOK. Listen to the full interview below.