The Radiohead frontman tells of his torrid time in the aftermath of 'OK Computer''s incredible success...
THOM YORKE has admitted that he was “a complete fucking mess” after Radiohead had been through the mill with ‘OK COMPUTER’.
Speaking in an interview from next week’s NME, he said: “When ‘OK Computer’ finished, yeah. I mean, really, really ill. Just going a certain way for a long, long, long, long time and not being able to stop or look back or consider where I was, at all. For like, ten years. And not being able to connect with anything. Basically becoming unhinged, in the best sense of the word. Completely unhinged.”
He said the entire band felt similarly dislocated in different ways and to varying degrees – “we’d lived a certain way for so long that we weren’t really functioning properly ” – and added that although it had taken a while, they have rebalanced: “I think by now I’m supposed to have fucked myself up permanently or be dead. I’m supposed to be so fucked up now that I can’t work any more. But I’m not.” He said he started being a bit easier on himself after they finished recording their new album ‘Kid A’, released on October 2: “All the way through making ‘Kid A’ I was thinking maybe it’ll never happen. And the fact is it did happen, we produced something I was happy with, I managed to get sounds that I wanted out of my head and on to tape as much as we could. It meant that I could be a little bit happier about the place I was at.”
Yorke commented on the accusations that it was a piss-take, as has been speculated. He stated: “I wouldn’t be involved in it if I wasn’t aware that it was going to be a product. I always wanted whatever I did to end up in the high street, no matter what it was, because to me, there isn’t anywhere else to go. It is art, but then, it’s not. It’s music! And I’d be wary of thinking, oh, it’s challenging, because that’s not it either.” And he confessed: “I worry that people will think that, within my neurosis about what we’ve done in the past, I have just gone off and said, ‘We must be electronic, all this is shit.’ That wasn’t the point. You can’t just sit in a room together and play in one way for the rest of your lives and expect it to be wonderful. It’s not going to happen.”
He also spoke about his interest in the issue of globalisation and his involvement in the Jubilee 2000 campaign, which has been promoted via the band’s website [url=]www.radiohead.com. He said he had been present at the May Day protests, and described them as “pretty nasty affairs”, but said the World Bank should be dismantled by whatever means necessary.
He explained: “I was really happy to get involved in Jubilee 2000 because it is a mainstream, acceptable face of resistance against the antics of the IMF and the World Bank. But equally, I am interested in the unacceptable face of it, in terms of the media coverage, the disruptive elements, the anarchists, because I don’t really care what methods are used to make the IMF and World Bank so incredibly unpopular that they dismantle it. I don’t really care how it happens, as long as it happens.”