Radiohead are among seven acts who have been announced as the inductees for 2019, with the official ceremony set to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on March 29.
Yorke has now commented on the band’s upcoming induction, telling Variety that he and his bandmates have long been “very blasé” when it comes to being recognised by prize-giving organisations like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“So we don’t want to offend anyone. We just think that we just don’t quite understand it. We’ve had it explained to us, so it’s cool,” he said. “But we don’t really understand it as English people.
“I think our problem is essentially that every awards ceremony in the UK stinks. We grew up with the Brit [Awards], which is like this sort of drunken car crash that you don’t want to get involved with,” he said while chuckling. “So, yeah, we don’t really know what to make of it.”
Asked outright if he intended to attend the ceremony in person, Yorke cited an upcoming commitment at the Philharmonie De Paris on April 7 – nine days after the induction ceremony – as his reason for being unable to go.
“I can’t. I know I can’t, because of these piano pieces that I’ve written [for French pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque]. There’s the Paris Philharmonic, so I have to be there for that… I’m booked.”
The band confirmed back in November 2017 that they wouldn’t be attending the 2018 ceremony had they been nominated, and Yorke’s latest comments mirror those of his bandmate Ed O’Brien, who last year said that “we don’t quite culturally understand it”.
“It’s a very American thing. Us Brits are very bad at celebrating ourselves,” O’Brien said. “One of the things I’ve always loved about coming over to America is American bands you can always have a really good chat with and you could talk. With British bands, there was a lot of hostility. It’s in our DNA to be a little ambivalent with award ceremonies. We haven’t had great experiences.
“I would never want to disrespect anything because obviously some amazing artists have been nominated. But if I’m honest I don’t understand it. It’s just kind of a British person going, ‘Okay, thanks, what does this mean?’”
In June 2017, Jonny Greenwood told Rolling Stone that he “didn’t care” about Radiohead’s possible nomination that year. “Maybe it’s a cultural thing that I really don’t understand. I mean, from the outside it looks like… it’s quite a self-regarding profession anyway. And anything that heightens that just makes me feel even more uncomfortable.”
However, Yorke does seem more interested in attending this year’s Oscars, where his composition ‘Suspirium’, the opening and closing theme of Suspiria, has been shortlisted for Best Original Song.
“But the Oscar thing makes a bit more sense, I guess, because I’ve had it explained to me a bit more,” he told Variety about being recognised by the Academy, who are due to announce the five-strong final nominations for Best Original Song and Best Original Score on January 22.
“I mean, I hope it gets nominated. That would be great, because it was a year and a half in my life, and I worked bloody hard on it. So, you know, sometimes it’s nice to be recognised. Sometimes, if you understand what it means.”