Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood talks about his “slightly nauseating bromance” with Paul Thomas Anderson

Guitarist also discusses the late Mark E Smith

Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood has discussed working with director Paul Thomas Anderson, as well as his love for the late Mark E Smith.

Speaking on Adam Buxton’s podcast, Greenwood described his “slightly nauseating bromance” with filmmaker Anderson. Greenwood and Anderson have worked together on several occasions, with Greenwood providing the score for Anderson’s films, There Will Be Blood, The Master, Inherent Vice and, Anderson’s latest movie, Phantom Thread.

“He basically likes to take the piss out of me,” Greenwood explained, “and was joking about how unromantic Radiohead is. And [he] said, ‘Come on, you must have some romance in you. Give me more strings.’ And he wanted the music to be really English and really romantic and be written by me, which feels like a big three-way contradiction now I’ve said that.”


Greenwood recently received his first-ever Oscar nomination, with Phantom Thread up for Best Original Score. He told Buxton that he is considering whether to attend the Oscars. “My wife thinks it’s quite ridiculous,” he said. “But then I realised I was quite pleased with myself at the idea of not going, and I think it’s always good to resist that kind of urge, that sort of smirk. So maybe do the opposite to that impulse…. [But] no one wants to see sweaty version of me, shambling around, looking embarrassed. Amusing Paul, I think, is the main goal. Whatever entertains him.”

Speaking about his love of The Fall frontman Mark E Smith, who passed away in January, Greenwood said: “His voice was completely the voice of my teenage years. More than any other singer, easily. When I think of myself in my bedroom, it’s Mark E. Smith talking or ranting through something.”

Recalling seeing The Fall live, Greenwood added: “I remember walking outside of Oxford Polytechnic and standing outside. [I] could still hear all the music and the songs. I just couldn’t wrap my head around what it was. I wasn’t bored, and I wasn’t frightened. It just knocked me over; it was one of those things. And it ended up getting me addicted to what he was doing.”

Listen to the full chat here.

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