Thom Yorke interview with The Guardian ‘If I can’t enjoy this now, when do I start?’
Thom Yorke recently spoke to The Guardian about his forthcoming debut album AMOK with Atoms For Peace. In the interview Yorke discusses being happy and says, “I’m 44 now,” he says, with a short laugh. “And I did start thinking, if I can’t enjoy this now, when am I going to start?”.
He also discusses his songwriting process for AMOK and taking things in a more upbeat and positive direction than some of Radiohead’s music. He said, “when I originally wrote that ‘No more going to the dark side’ line, it was kind of taking the piss. And the irony is that Radiohead have just done this big world tour last year and for the most part we had the best time we have ever had. And a lot of dance music is very angry in a good way. But yes, the idea was for once in my life just to enjoy the energy of it and not want to pull it apart. Nigel was constantly on at me: ‘Don’t make it dark!'”
And he further elaborated when asked it it was a permanent shift and responded,”No, it depends where I am, I think. Maybe literally. I’ve been working at home over the winter and everything I’ve been doing is dark as fuck. But we did a lot of this away in Los Angeles and it was sunnier. It was something to do in the afternoon and evening before you went out. There is no way I’m really going to lose the old heavy work ethic. But we got close a few times.”
Thom also answered a few fan submitted questions:
Do you feel as if you’re pulling ideas for songs from different places, compared to earlier in your career? Chris Robbins
I would hope my ideas are from a different place because my life has changed quite a lot in 20-odd years of doing this! I would hope they’ve changed as the times have changed.
Though I still pull ideas from my notebooks, the songs have changed in the same way that the sounds and musical instruments and techniques that turn me on have changed. The way I find the forms or chords or samples that I think vocals could come out of is extremely random. Fumbling around in the dark. Every now and again a new type of light shines on what you have and what you will have… then it will move on. And you’re back in the dark.
You have a lot of songs that have gone unrecorded, either for quality reasons or lack of interest. Is there any chance of getting a sort of Radiohead/Yorke anthology release, where the vaults are opened? Scott Fennelly
I don’t think there are that many, but if you ask others in the band they’d probably disagree. The problem is never what to work on, it’s how to work on it.
And all getting in the same room. And the wind being in the right direction. And still liking whatever tune and connecting with it.
I think a lot of tunes can suffer from being so simple, so either they get over-complicated or their simplicity means the simple way to lay them down becomes the difficulty. It’s daft, I know, but that’s how it be. But yes, finally to nail them, we would all love that as much as you guys who have heard them over the years.
What music are you listening to at the moment? Rich Reid
Right now? Patrick Pulsinger + Dj Glow’s Plowing the Dark.
You love making beats on your laptop. How’s it different from conventional songwriting? Donovan Valle
Do I love making beats on my laptop? I like using hardware way more nowadays. Though I like to work on my laptop when I travel. It’s not songwriting but it is the same to me as playing on the piano for hours or guitar and coming up with riffs that you want to turn into songs.
At the moment I’m enjoying far more using my synths and samplers to come up with melodic ideas. I play bass too and sing, and there is even a guitar here, tuned to something odd.
He goes on to discuss making Michael Stipe dance, bad haircuts, The King of Limbs, and surfing. Read the full interview at The Guardian.
Atoms For Peace AMOK is available in stores tomorrow (Feb 26th in the U.S.).