‘THIEF’ CAUGHT ONLINE!

And Jonny Greenwood plays down suggestions that 'Hail To The Thief's title refers to George W Bush...

RADIOHEAD‘s new album ‘HAIL TO THE THIEF’ has appeared online – and JONNY GREENWOOD has played down suggestions the album title is a direct attack on GEORGE W BUSH.

Over the weekend, the band’s sixth album was leaked onto the Internet, prompting fans across the globe to download it. This morning (March 31), bandmember Jonny Greenwood made an appearance on the official Radiohead messageboard, where he said he was “surprised” the record was online, months before its official June 9 release date. When asked what was up, he jokingly replied “the album, apparently”.

“Colin (Greenwood) called and said it was up, so thought I’d check,” he wrote. “I feel bemused, not annoyed. I’m glad people like it, most of all. It’s a little earlier than we’d expected, but there it is. Surprised, and still not used to it happening, even after all these years. I worry more that stuff we do won’t get released for whatever obscure reason, and I hate the 3 month gap between finish and release. But not enough to leak it myself!”

Speaking about the album title, Greenwood said they liked the title ‘Hail To The Thief’, which is a line on the opening song ‘2+2=5’, in a more general way. As we revealed last week, the phrase was also an anti-George W Bush slogan used by protesters at the end of the controversial election campaign that put him into the White House.

The phrase ‘Hail To The Thief’ was coined by protesters at the end of the 2000, when controversy famously surrounded Bush’s rise to office. The battle between Bush and Democrat candidate Al Gore came to a bitter end, with the result in the key state of Florida dogged by recounts, amid allegations of unfairness in the voting process.

On the day of his inauguration Bush was greeted in Washington by thousands of protesters with banners, some of who shouted, ‘Hail to the thief, our commander in chief’.

Jonny explained: “Not sure where all that George Bush stuff came from. Hail is no insult, really…We just like the contradictory phrases like ‘2+2=5’ and ‘Hail to the Thief’ and all that.”

Radiohead return to the UK for a sold-out tour of small venues in May.