Thom Yorke slams touring’s impact on environment

Singer plans to get to Japan by train

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has hit out at the environmental impact caused by bands touring, and as a result is looking into travelling to Japan by train.

The singer, who is supporting Friends Of The Earth‘s Big Ask campaign to reduce carbon emissions in the UK by making it law, has threatened to quit playing long distance locations if steps are not taken to reduce carbon emissions.

“I think it’s a necessary part of what I do, to tour or play live, but I find it unacceptable what the consequences of that are,” he explained.


“Some of our best ever shows have been in the US, but there’s 80,000 people there and they’ve all been sitting in traffic jams for five or six hours with their engines running to get there, which is bollocks.

“The way that tours are structured now and the way it works is a ridiculous consumption of energy… I would consider refusing to tour on environmental grounds, if nothing started happening to change the way the touring operates.”

Yorke said he would rather take other forms of transport for tours abroad, but the other band members are against the idea.

“When you discuss it you feel like a prat because you’re saying, ‘I’m not happy with that and I want to do it another way. I want to go to the US by ship’,” Yorke told The Guardian. “The Cure did that years ago because Robert Smith refused to fly, and then I get told that if you take the ship, that’s as much carbon usage.”

He added: “Long haul flights just feel wrong. I’m trying to figure out a way of getting to Japan by train. I quite fancy that Trans-Siberian whatsitsname but apparently it’s a bit scary.”

Friends Of The Earth is lobbying the government to try and introduce new climate change legislation in next month’s Queen’s speech.

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