Sonic Youth: ‘Radiohead made other musicians look bad’

Cult band also talk about their controversial record on Starbucks label

Sonic Youth‘s Kim Gordon has claimed that Radiohead showed up smaller, poorer bands with the release of 2007’s ‘In Rainbows’, calling their release plan a “marketing ploy”.

Radiohead let their fans pay as much or little as they wanted for the download release of the album, with many fans choosing to download it free.

Gordon has refuted the idea that the Oxford band put out the album off their own backs, criticising the plan.

“They did a marketing ploy by themselves and then got someone else to put it out,” she told The Guardian.

She added: “It seemed really community-oriented, but it wasn’t catered towards their musician brothers and sisters, who don’t sell as many records as them. It makes everyone else look bad for not offering their music for whatever.

“It was a good marketing ploy and I wish I’d thought of it! But we’re not in that position either. We might not have been able to put out a record for another couple of years if we’d done it ourselves. And it takes away from the actual making music.”

In the same interview, co-frontman Lee Ranaldo spoke about Hits Are For Squares’, the compilation record Sonic Youth put out on the Starbucks label last year.

“We thought we’d try it and see what happens,” he said. “There’s a certain side to this group that likes perversity, and that’s a pretty perverse concept.

“At that time, Starbucks were selling records when no one else was. The majors were throwing up their hands. The irony is, for all the spewing it caused on the blogs, it is our most rare record. I have never seen a copy in a store, and I’ve never met anyone who’s seen a copy in a store.”

Sonic Youth‘s new album, ‘The Eternal’, is out on Monday (June 8).