The UK music magazine Q once named OK Computer the greatest album of all time, and they’ve perched Radiohead’s 1997 classic atop multiple greatest-albums lists since then. So maybe it’s not surprising that Q is the first publication to interview Thom Yorke since the release of A Moon Shaped Pool.
The big takeaway from Yorke’s interview is that he’s surprised anyone still cares about Radiohead. Pitchfork excerpted a passage from the feature, which is only available in print right now, in which Yorke responds to a question about the positive reception:
“We expected the opposite. I cherish the band, but I don’t expect anyone else to,” Yorke told Q’s Niall Doherty. “He wondered if people would care, given how long it had been since The King Of Limbs,” Doherty writes. “There were times when he wasn’t sure if there would ever be another Radiohead LP, but he says that he thinks that every time.”
It was the equivalent of when we did “Everything In Its Right Place.” We got that and then we were, “Right, OK, this is it…”
There’s also this story about how “Creep” made its way back into Radiohead’s setlists, which includes some fascinating “No Surprises” insights from Yorke:
Yorke says that the idea to play “Creep” came up two nights ago in Amsterdam when someone in the crowd spent the majority of the gig shouting for it. “I kind of wound him up by starting to play it, which was a bad idea as it was like lighting a fire.” The band decided they would perform it during the encore only for their crew to veto it because they weren’t prepared. But the idea had been planted — “Creep” was back on the rota. “We just said, ‘Let’s see what the reaction is, just to see how it feels.'”
Yorke continues: “Like we played ‘No Surprises’ just to see if it feels alright. Songs go into phases where they don’t feel right and then they come back. ‘No Surprises’ was out for ages. We didn’t play it once on the whole of The King Of Limbs tour. … If you play it right, it is fucking dark. But it’s like acting. It’s on the edge of totally hamming it up but you’re not. It’s just the words are so dark. When we play it, we have to play it so slow. It only sounds good if it’s really fragile.”
Purchase the issue here.