B-Side magazine Jul/Aug 1995
written by Sandra A. Garcia

Rumors and gossip: everyone loves these tantalizing monsters. Only high-minded liars and clerics profess to be above them.
There's always cattiness whizzing around the decayed music biz. Writers wouldn't know how to exist without employing them. After Oxford's loudest sons smacked the world in the face with 'Creep,'their bitter ode to vulnerability, gossip central began to work overtime about Radiohead. They were splitting up, they had become drunkards, they hated everyone: the usual cliche material. The unkindest gossips reveled in Radiohead's one hit wonder status, gained thanks to the remix debacle of their second American single, 'Stop Whispering.' Ouch, whispered marketing managers. Ha ha, sneered less talented bands.

Before we get too giddy about Radiohead's 1995 renewal, let's return that ugly scenario: why did Radiohead ever allow the ill-mixed 'Stop Whispering' to live? One fatal error and their chance to mine a long life from a strong album did a flaming Hindenburg.

Our interview victims: Thom York, resident pugnacious blond vocalist and Jackie 0. look-a-like/guitar genius Jonny Greenwood. Drummer Phil Selway is back in Britain while bassist Colin Greenwood and guitarist Ed Brien are doing the soundcheck for this duo's acoustic showcase: these two wish Ed and Colin would also perform.
The single's destruction caused Thom pain. "It hurt." There's a brief use until he adds, "It hurt me anyway."
Jon quickly points-out, "I was for releasing 'Blow Out."'
Thom isn't sparing any venom. "It was bloody stupid."
In a charitable moment Jonny begins a solid explanation. "Capitol came and said radio will play this..."
An appallingly arch American accent emerges from Thom's mouth to kill Jonny's attempt. "'Radio will play this. It will be great.' It wasn't."
The duo freely admits this occurred since they hadn't learned the ability to scream NO. 'Creep's' rapid success thrust Radiohead into a brutal marketing nightmare with dizzying consequences to the band's confidence. Thom explains, "We hadn't realized that the only way to create music is for the five of us to be sitting in a room creating music, rather then going, 'what should we be doing now, sir? OK, suck Satan's cock.'We hadn't learned yet, and now we have," he declares. "So things have changed. We were just bloody stupid."
Jonny again takes the more regained tack. "I was upset, but they had been right about all those other things. You have to rely and trust them to extent. So I think it's really foolish for bands to take the 'we hate our record company' line. It doesn't make much sense. You just have to be inteIligent about it."
A epic sigh gusts from Thom's small frame, followed by a testy, "Yeah, but the problem was we didn't have the distance from it to work out what the hell was going on, to work out that the song didn't sound any good, that the mix was shocking and we spent too much money on the video. Its the usual follow-up syndrome. We just wanted to move on, really. It was just like 'oh fuck. 'We had done so many versions of 'Stop Whispering' that you wouldn't believe it. Now Radiohead have this rule: you never ever record a song more than once. Never, unless it's live. One of the vital aspects of Radiohead is spontaneity, and that only happens once. And if we don't give it the opportunity to happen, then that's it. It's because we're been through it so extremely, with 'Stop Whispering' and the over-analysis of the first album, it's great, because we know there's certain perimeters you have to set to create. And we have set them, and it's brilliant."
Better that Radiohead learn that self-defense mechanism on their first album then on their fourth. Stupidity: get thee gone!
Ever hear their latest single 'Fake Plastic Trees' on the radio? When its fragile tones are displayed against the frightening din of Bush or White Zombie you remember it. It's the album version, too... no remixes allowed. Gossip, gossip: allegedly the war over releasing a remix held up The Bends release date...
No rumors on how long they'll stay out on tour this time around. They're scheduled for two weeks to start but that could turn into two months ... but never two years.
It's a shame that interviewers haven't eradicated their own stupidity. Jon and Thom were relaxed for their photo session, ready to chat. Oh, someone who missed their allotted time showed up? In a rare moment of stupidity I allow the other scribbler to slide in.
But once back in Jon and Thom's presence I discovered these affable Brits had abruptly become the tension twins. Once prodded they apologized, confessing that their previous interviewer, working for a CD ROM zine, started off by asking how 'Creep' had affected their lives. "Worst interview I've ever done," mutters Thom. Jon is almost speechless at the sordid memory.
That's the last time I am gracious. Oh, now MTV wants the band a half hour earlier then planned? Lovely. Interview them in the limo going over then catch up with them later? I love this business.

There's something bizarre happening in Radiohead's life... Jon describes there were legions of screaming teen-age girls at their recent Japanese shows.
"I would prefer that to some scary groupies,' murmurs Thom. "There's always this feeling that you're somehow this extension of the Coca-Cola thing, like on MTV: you're always proceeded by Coca-Cola."
"Or sponsored by them,' frets Jonny.
"Yeah, you turn up at some gigs, and what was that one that was sponsored by Pepsi... oh fuck," hisses Thom. "I don't even drink the stuff..."
Jonny mocks, "It's like we are the West and we have arrived..."
Thom sniffs, "Here's the cultural void: we're here." He's in a fine mood.
Screaming sweet young things never crossed Radiohead's wildest imagination. "It's a bit of a shock, really," agrees Thom.
"We couldn't even imagine being in a band that would be leaving England, really," adds Jonny. "We couldn't imagine any of it, but then again, I am sure when we signed our name on the dotted line we hadn't got a bloody clue of what we were doing," mutters Thom.
Oh stop it. That idea doesn't hold true. When I first interviewed Radiohead in the UK right before the shitstorm hit, they possessed confidence: yeah, we're good, we're better then the rest and we deserve something. No one knew yet if the rest of the world agreed with the five guys from Oxford's confidence, but their success couldn't have been a complete 'oh gosh guys, they really like us' shock.
Jon stresses, "We were good in each others eyes and ears."
Thom explains, "But the whole experience of other people partaking of the thing that we enjoy is still a novelty, really. It makes you nervous, because you make this album and you start thinking, 'ahh, people might hate this album completely.
"But it's difficult once you start pleasing people, 'cause you have to turn around and say, 'no, we've got to do it for us.' Obviously people expect certain things. Every time we play or something they say why does it sound like this, and they'll tear it apart, because suddenly the opportunity is there to be torn apart. You have to ignore it, and say 'l like this anyway, who gives a fuck?' We worked and toured our nuts off..."
Jonny quickly heads off Thom's minor rant. "It's a shame that so many bands have to rely on America and England and look no further afield. We get a big kick out of being able to do that."
Our prince of pessimism continues his streak. "There was a point where it got downright silly."
"Yeah, you do become jukeboxes," Jonny concurs.
Thom continues, "You're not really playing, you're just fucking standing there and the amps are going."
"We spent over one and a half years without any rehearsal on any new songs, which was rather surreal. Even if we had a few new songs to put in, but we didn't even have time to write those. So that was really frustrating," sighs Jonny.
Working on the new songs saved their future. Thom exclaims, "It clicked, and we were like 'shit, this is what we're doing it for!' It's ridiculous."
The two spend a few minutes trying to sort through how many tours they had done in the past years, weaving a travel skein dense enough to scare a road atlas planner. Thom concludes by proudly asserting he writes constantly while on tour, but no songs on The Bends whine about touring. Good lad.
This is our new song/ just like the last one/ a total waste of time.'
'My Iron Lung,' the cunningly snide single that heralded Radiohead's return to reality in Britain, has a distinctive pedigree.
'Iron Lung' was supposed to be just another nail in the coffin.. the final nail in the coffin, really, in the coffin of the previously song that shall remain nameless." Thom offers a strained little smile before he continues. "But it just wasn't that at all... we released it because we found it very exciting when we listened to it. It was essentially a live recording tidied up, the audience taken out. We didn't went to release it sounding live and have the audience cheering... that would be really crap."
In my fruitless quest to understand the music industry, I must ask what was the point of 'Iron Lung' being released as a single only to college stations in America? It slid out and died months before The Bend's' release.
"Slid is a good word for it," laughs Thom as he stares into the distance.
When one asks why was it allowed to die, there's no straight answer. Since the band couldn't support the single, because they were finishing the album, it wasn't a priority... or something like that.
Thom mumbles, "Funny, we never got any straight answers either." He even took his questions to the top brass but that got him nothing but a reputation.
Jonny carefully recites like a child repeating a hated lesson. "It was released to colleges, and suddenly it was being played by some other stations, but there was no real release planned, but oh never mind, we'll just see what happens... it's like..." Jonny affects a totally confused air. "It's like you don't have to play it, that's all right. What? This is strange. I don't think any harm would be done by people hearing it outside of colleges. People can hear it: I'm not embarrassed by it,"
"I like it. I can hold a tune," scoffs Thom. "It's fine, bullocks, who cares." Thom and Jonny obviously do.
Radiohead's extended road trip gained them new fans, but the novelty began to wear off once they realized the loop they were trapped in. Their desperate need to create new work began to destroy their excitement. "The only trouble with doing all this touring is it just slows you down, it really slows you down," frets Jonny. "The first album was recorded two and a half years ago..."
"We just finished touring it. It's fucking crazy!" Thom declares.
It drove them so fucking crazy that they decided to go back out in the midts of creating The Bends. Huh? Help me, guys!
Thom claims this allowed then to get perspective on the album's creation. "Obviously as it was the second album, it was difficult to make. The best way to see clear is to get out of the studio again and to do what we're quite good at, then go back in."
Hence the release of the Iron Lung EP. Thom describes it as a section of songs that didn't fit into the album. "You could say that they are out takes, but they're a bit more than outtakes, really. They are songs the just didn't get on the album. So we said fuck it, we'll release it as a set of songs. The EP was just for fans, really. We made sure that it would be available throughout the world. It's for Radiohead fans and we think they're good otherwise we wouldn't have plugged them on."
They are good. So's the whole album. Not an instant hit single in sight what a relief. Just a clutch of luscious broken glass and tonic cocktail that go down with stunning ease... which explains why it went in at number 200 out of 200 on the Billboard charts. People's tastebuds are to numbed by the bland wilderness created by world class talents such a White Zombie and Bush to enjoy Radiohead's dangerous bouquet.
It's time to pile into the towncar. These babies are surprising wonderful places to do interviews. I never realized that: they're very soundproof, and if you went a captive audience look no futher. Thom and Jonny, trapped knee to knee with me. Besides, British bands usually don't want to go running off unescorted into the NYC night.
Where were we... does it matters There's a new dynamic in Radiohead's song writing: Thom's voice follows the music with such aching precision that certain songs, especially the stunning 'High and Dry,' meld with your mind from the first listen.
"There's a lot of harmonies," offers Jonny.
Thom reasons, "A lot of it has to do with that we're using the melodies as much as the voice, rather then here's the voice, here's lots of noise here's some drums in the background, which is what everyone is doing and it's really fucking dull."
"And a waste of two instruments," declares Jonny.
"There"s just a lot of bands around [doing that], and I won't name name cause I've gotten out of that habit, " Thom jests.
Jonny quietly adds, "Smart move."
Radiohead have a refreshing perspective on music. Raw power combined with subtly make Radiohead the descendants of Sonic Youth in the intricate foreplay between slashing guitars and voice. But what a voice that marvelously flexible instrument is cable of angelic tones and torture snarls within the same lyrical sequence.
In short, Radiohead is not the new Smiths or the new Beatles: intead Radiohead is a musical black sheep.
Thom is amused at the thought. "We certainly are outsiders in Britain "There are so many bands that all sound like each other, and that's a very healthy thing at the moment," stresses Jonny.
Thom waxes generous, confessing, "But there are a lot a lot of brilliant bands in Britain at the moment. There is a lot of confidence, which there wasn't before."
"A pinnacle for bands isn't the success in America, conquer America thing," Jonny adds, "it doesn't really hold much water with bands in Britain right now, because they look at the bands that have failed, like the Smiths and the Stone Roses, and they know it's not the British band's fault."
"It's all just bullshit again, but then it always is: it's the nature of business. For the moment, we're trying to get around it, because we could easily find ourselves in the same position," muses Thom. "Second albums can be great if the band had no success on the first album. The plan was to work on the second album... we were all ready to go then..."
The song that shall remain nameless propelled Radiohead into the public ear. Thom hates talking abut 'Creep,' since that song broke the band in more ways then one. It's understandable: would you enjoy being known as that 'Creep' guy? When Thom mentioned he had a steady girlfriend the press howled how dare he: he's supposed to be a tortured creep. No, folks, Thom's much more the prince of perpetual pissed offness then of shattered vulnerability. He's a cutting cormplainer, not a whiny creep. But he gets no pity for Radiohead's success. He'll just have to get over that tragedy.
When we shared hot tea before the release of Pablo Honey Thom's mindset was this is the album where the band searched for themselves: the second album would be where they found it. Oceans of tea and maps of miles later, have they found Radiohead?
Thom is answereing before my thought is finished. "There was a point when we were in the Manor, when we were all sitting there going 'yes, this is US!' Hello! We were shaking our heads "That's our thing, isn't it: we were in the studio and we were enjoying it, for the first time completely enjoying it, and getting a real kick out of it. The first album was just as Radiohead, but this one is more in-ti-mate, it's not very brash, it's not punk at all, or whatever word you Americans want to use today. Punk... right..."
Watch it, bud. I don't hang with psuedo punkers.The only thing Radiohead has in common with Green Day is both vocalists affect British accents, only in Thom's case, there's a logical reason. He's British.

When the limo makes its final hard left Thom and Jonny quickly explain why they decided to work with veteran producer/ miracle worker John Leckie.
Thom sums him up in three words. "He's a genius."
"He didn't treat us like he had some kind of witchcraft that only he understands. There's no mystery to it, which is so refreshing," enthuses Jonny in a rapid torrent. "All the time he would just sit back and say, 'well, you do it, you take control,' but them sometimes we'd get out of our depth and that's when he'd step in and calm us down."
Thom wraps up. "He saw what he had to do, and what he had to do was to get rid of our phobia of studios. We might actually go back in and record stuff for a laugh, as a form of leisure, as something we'd like to do."
That's shocking. With that I deliver them into MTV's clutches. Thom's muttering about Kennedy... last time they had the misfortune to be interviewed by her and if she shows up again Thom's walking out. I'm not waiting to see what happens: I'm too hungry.

A few weeks later Thom and Jonny are being tortured via more acoustic dates. We arrange to resume our chat. A positively vibrant Jonny bounds out of the hotel elevator, claiming he called Thom but he is taking a nap. That's Thom's loss, the little cree... critter.
Let's toss around a few adjectives regarding The Bends. It's full of devastating songs, from the aching bleak emotion of 'Black Star' to the raucous insult of 'Just.' 'Bones' is insultingly manipulative, becoming your best friend immediately. Then there's the delicately morose 'High and Dry,'a song that screamed single in a way 'Fake Plastic Trees' didn't...
"In a nice way, yeah," Jonny agrees. "When I heard it for the first time, because there's a whole history behind it, it was recorded as a demo a year and a half ago and we forgot about it, and then we had vague memories of it. Our manager remembered it, and we thought no, it's not very good, but he got the tapes of it and when I heard it again after over a year, it reminded me of, and this is very egotistical of me, oh, all these interruptions of my own sentences, how very terrible..." he laughs. This is Jonny, shy quiet Jonny talking his handsome head off.? Of course Prince Pissed-Off isn't around to dampen his enthusiasm...
"It reminded me of that song 'Mull of Kincade' {a Paul McCartney/Wings tune], that really horrible kind of single, but in a nice way. It was one of those songs that people hopefully would be playing as soon as they learned guitar or something," he laughs.
That's not egotistical: the song stays with you from first listening. It doesn't sound planned: it just has that wonderful feel to it. Most of this albums has that quality: it's disgustingly fine.
"Which is funny 'cause the cliche about 'Creep' is every interview began with 'so, is it true that it was recorded by accident? Blah, blah blah...' and what is strange is that this album was recorded like that. You can go through all the songs on it and they are demos we were going to throw away, or we recorded them on first take, or in the case of 'My Iron Lung,' we recorded that during a live show. It all happened again, but 12 times over, which is part of the reason it turned out as well as it has, why we're so happy with it."
Lanky Jonny's body language is far from happy. A round glass table top affords me a clear view of his jackknifed angles and ankle-gripping fingers. That unfairly thick dark hair sweeps the table top while his cheek flirts with the surface. Jonny looks tortured but sounds perfectly confident. I'm trying not to stare ... really trying...
Thom's absolutely correct in claiming this album is Radiohead: it's a powerful feeling, to hear a band sound so much like themselves, How refreshing. How brave. But the reaction to this album depends on what people like the band for: do they like Radiohead for their songwritiing? Or did they like the band only for that song: if so, they'll be wasting their time on The Bends. Stick with radio and suck your thumb: you won't get it.
Jonny's following along, replying, "That's why 'Creep' was so unplanned, because we always thought we would be the type of band that would just put out an album and people would buy it, and we wouldn't have to hear anything from it. It's really naive to play the singles game, because everyone just treats singles as a marketing device, which is all they are now: no one buys singles. We've never done that very well, and 'Creep' was a surprise obviously. I remember just after we finished it, Sean Slade [of Buffalo Tom and Pablo Honeys producer] said 'Creep's really good, it's a shame that no one will get to hear it.' And that was the feeling behind that, which was fine, because that's the feeling behind this album. It's just an album.... isssh bibble, bibble, what am I going on about," he laughs, his cheek connecting with the glass as he widens his already startling eyes.
After recovering he re-emphasizes that it was a shame that Radiohead toured so much, since that whole process slowed the band's growth down so dramatically.
That brings us back to those demon rumors .... was there really that much internal strife in the band during the tour from hell?
"Internal strife, mmmmm, yeah," Jonny agrees, clarifying, "Strife infers arguments and things being thrown, but it was worse than that. It was a very silent, cold thing, away from each other. No one was really talking to anyone, and we were just trying to get through the year, which was a mistake. I don't know, we got over it and started talking to each other about why we wanted to be in a band, that kind of stuff. There were never rows or anything, which is worse in a way. Everyone withdrew away."
That's difficult, especially during a tour, where a band needs to communicate in a special manner every night. Jonny describes trivial chat remained, but they stopped communicating about what was important to them. "It was different when we in Oxford, there was a different feel, a different atmosphere to us: we were living more normal lives. Then you just start living... " Jonny halts, his eyes enormous as he exclaims, "Ohhh, horrible cliche coming up, not day to day, but like that because your whole day is different every day because you're in a different city that day and you do things to amuse you and get you through the day, and it starts all over again the next day. You start living fragmented lives."
The band is comprised of very down-to-earth, intelligent people who weren't in a band for rock and roll stardom: and here it was thrust into their lives. Is that why it hit them that much harder?
Jonny looks thoughtful, replying, "No, I think it helped us enormously, because if we had wanted it, and it had happened, that would have been far more upsetting."
Sorry, I'm not following this theory at all.
Jonny ducks his head and explains, "When we first came over and 'Creep' was on MTV all the time, it meant nothing to us because we didn't have that MTV in England. We didn't really care. But by that same token when we were playing the Reading Festival a few months ago we were the most scared that we've ever been in our lives! We had went to Reading since we were 14 and you have dreams about playing there, and..." he laughs, "it all comes across as being surreal, what has happened to us, which goes back to the detachment we all started feeling, being in a surreal situation. It was very strange.
"I don't want to sound like I am complaining, there's nothing worse then the complaining moaning rock star, oh, what a disaster, but we've been loving the American thing, especially compared to a lot of British bands. That's the mistake that they make, you talk to British bands and while in England they talk about how they hate Americans and America, and it's bizarre. They have this strange double standard: on one hand they want to have a cover on the NME saying we conquered America, but on the other hand they want to have the Americans not being able to understand their music; 'we're above it, we're different, we're British:' and they can't have both! They want to pull you and poke you at the same time! "
There's always the old argument of 'look at the Smiths, how could those stupid Americans not have embraced them?' No one remembers timing: that was in the days when people had to claw their indie diet out from imports. Now when the labels are signing and marketing talent with an eye towards profits, you see a band like Oasis rapidly propelled into the pages of Rolling Stone. It's a whole new game over here now.
"I read one bizarre theory that America has resented the British invasion from the Beatles onwards. Allegedly: I find that very hard to believe. They meant Americans in the industry, not Americans as listeners," amends Jonny. "Are those people around anymore?"
Of course they are: they'll all the CEO's and VP's now. But Jonny said it earlier: British bands are offering a wide range of talent. They're baaaaack and certain Anglophiles are loving it.
I've always been an Anglophile, having grown up reading the occasional Melody Maker or NME I could find and thinking those bands must be cool, they're British. "How cool! I grew up with friends who did the same thing with American bands!" laughs Jonny. "And myself as well! I was excitedly talking about Tanya Donnely all morning when I was at school, Throwing Muses: I was so obsessed with all those bands. The grass is always greener... or cooler," he grins.
But one British band resents their own perceived coolness, their own success. Most bands want attention. Why not Radiohead?
Jonny is mulling this one over. "Hmmm, resentment. I don't know. Resentment...... There's a long pause as he death grips those ankles again. "We resented that we had gone from a band that wrote good songs, a band that wrote prolifically, and that was the most fun, certainly for Thom and me, we loved that. Then we played gigs, and we enjoyed that as well. But suddenly everything slowed down, and we thought we were trapped in one of those Twilight Zone slow time machines, and everything was drawn out. It was very strange: we could never play for fun anymore. We never got to rehearse. We weren't writing songs, which we had done for seven years. I've been writing songs since I was 13. Look what kind of songs we could write... " he halts. His hands whip up to press against the underside of the table as he put his head down again, his eyes wide with emotion.
That's as good an explanation as I am going to get. I don't want to torture such a sweet guy. I'm too soft. Actually, I'm not scaring Jonny: it's those acoustic gigs he's scared as hell of. "The way I play the guitar, it depends on everyone else, to keep things moving, and if I do something too extreme no one will notice. Now I'm more exposed and it's harder. We do hate this acoustic thing. It's evil, the idea. We don't have barstools and we don't just play acoustic guitars. But it's horrible the power that MTV has to make these changes. Yuck! Why not just have MTV "Live Album"... that would be far more interesting. I wish Nirvana had done a live album for them. It would be more of a historical document, it'd be far more interesting, instead of resorting to something that makes it easier for their engineers. Really!" he sighs.
We curse oldster Eric Clapton for perpetuating such a crime. "See? He did it due to old age! It's so horrible! It smacks of something puritanical! Bleeah!" he shivers, gripping his slender upper arms. "It's like playing for your grandparents in your front room!"
We are saved from the dreaded notion by Thom's cheery arrival. "Good morning!" he laughs.
"It's about time," scolds Jonny.
"Sorry," murmurs Thom. He wasn't upstairs writing hits, either. "I am not really writing anything at all. I am writing words, but not any music."
"Thom's going to be a beat poet," confides Jonny.
"That could be due for a revival. We'll get some free form jazz behind it."
Thom uses the table top as a bongo drum, affecting a beat poet's suave cooI- "I'll start using dictation machines like Captain Beefheart used to do. He obviously just walked around for days with a tape recorder in his pocket and every once in a while he'd get to the next line of what ever he was taking about. I have to get a little tiny dictation machine and be a completely pretentious bastard," he laughs.
Thom could get away with it. He's British.
The look that I receive should be framed. After some general complaints on the band's "bloody embarrassing" advertising campaign for Pablo Honey, Thom admits, "With this album, even if absolutely everything goes wrong, we can actually see beyond it now. We never really could before, because we were never in a position of strength before. So now there's a lot of people who have been waiting, who came to see us live, and knew what we could do. Suddenly whatever that was is translated into a record, and that's not just a live bombastic sound. It's not at all like that. But we're actually quite good, actually," he smiles. "The first album was good, but it didn't show the extent of what we could do, that's all. Because we couldn't do it yet."

"And we could do it a few months later," adds Jonny. "Funny how that is. And then we didn't get a chance to prove otherwise for two and a half years. But hopefully it will all be worth it."
"Fuck it, there's nothing to moan about," concludes Thom. He should take naps more often: that's close to a positive reaction.
More simple complexity: this band became entangled in a long term relationship with an album they initially appreciated, but they were aching to prove they had more artistry in them. They ached for two more years. That about sums up the story.
Thom leans forward to declare, "That's the thing about bands like Pavement, they can whack out albums. They're really lucky. I wish we could do that. But we don't do that. It's two separate things. Once you've had a hit you're no longer able, unless you're the Stone Roses, to just carry on creating music. If that's all you do then it becomes self-indulgent anyway because you've got no external stimuli at all."
To Thom, having a hit is a horrible taint. His opinion is once you have a hit you never get away from it. "Oh yeah. Mmm-hmm. If Pavement had a song that was as big as 'Creep' then what would they do? They wouldn't tour it, anyway, for a start. Maybe we shouldn't tour at all."

The newly quiet Jonny wants to make a little point. "Pavement, I saw them in England recently and I talked to them briefly afterwards, and they were like 'yeah, we have to get back to our jobs."'
Thom finally laughs. Jonny got him there, 'Yeah, we are fucking lucky, man. We can moan all we like, but we are fucking lucky." After that admirable statement he can't resist adding, "Stone Roses are more lucky though."
Jonny mutters something about seven years of being stoned. The Stoned Roses don't work hard enough for his tough standards.
Fucking lucky or not, Radiohead are now no longer willing to get run over by the powers that be. Ultimately the biggest problem with this band is they still take everything too personally and overanalyze it: that goes for their music, their lives and their relationships to each other. They give me a headache.
"That could be our downfall," admits Thom. "I am sure if we were ever placed in another band, we just wouldn't know what the fucking hell was going on. Within hours, we'd just be scratching our heads and laughing at everything, going 'what, you have to be kidding.' I'd get the screaming abdabs right away. Every band creates its own little environment in which they work, their own little bubble. A super reinforced bubble."

"It's not like any other band," murmurs Jonny, and he's right. I couldn't see Jonny running off to another band. "Well, Suede asked, but you know...... he laughs, rapidly admitting, "No, they didn't."
Thom winds back to his earlier point. "Over the past few days we were like we've done our bit now, we've made the record we had to make, now let everyone else sweat. And that's such an amazing feeling of release! I think the analysis will be stunted for a while, while we sit back and let things fall into place... or not. But it's a nice feeling that it's someone else's fucking problem now."
"Once it's on the CD it can't be changed," declares Jonny. "We were talking about how desperate we are to go in and do some b-sides, because we went to record new songs."
"And because we have gotten a sampler as well," grins Thom.
Jonny laughs, "Oh yes, we're trying to sound like Moonshake!"
"We feel duty-bound to get into technology," declares Thom,
You made some money off of those million or so albums you sold and you have to waste it somewhere. "Something like that," Thom grins.

You could always make more hideously expensive videos. Groans and moans follow from both as Thom announces, "Such a load of freaking bullshit." Thank you. Radiohead also have that rare ability to create entire albums that sound classic from first chord to last. They know their own work too well. Thom doesn't profess to being any songwriting genius: he admits he has loads of bad songs at home. The entire band makes sure nothing weak slips onto their albums.
Jonny reinforces this point. "We recorded 24 songs, and the most heated discussions within the band are which ones go on. That's got to be healthy. Some bands just don't have that luxury."

"Yes, we write songs for a living." Thank you again, Thom.
Thom's also nothing like Steve Kilbey of the Church, who claims a song is worthless if he takes more than ten minutes on it. No struggling and sweating for Steve: and he also writes songs for a living ... at least he used to...
Thom leans back and gives me a wonderfully confused look. "I don't understand that at all! I actually struggle and sweat!" he laughs. "Some songs happen in spite of... sometimes I've sat down and written a song in ten minutes. The most direct ones, yeah. I don't know. I write a bit of a song... very rarely do I write all of the words [at once.] And the song is nothing anyway unless it's put right by the band. It's fuck-all unless it's played right. I am not going to be some wandering fucking minstrel, am I? Like a troubadour, like Mr. Buckley was. He even called himself a troubadour. He was very good though."
After a flicker Thom adds, "He also had a guitarist that played out of tunel"
"Meaning? Implying?" questions Jonny with a mock threatening gesture. "He had this vibe player. Now that's getting nearer and nearer to lift music."
..It's jazz shit!" grins Thom. "There's the opening quote, shit, it's jazz shit."
I don't think so.
Jonny defends, "Well, there is lots of good music around."
"There is. An awful lot," agrees Thom.He's scaring me with agreeability.
Jonny exclaims, "Just throw a big stick in a record shop and you're bound to hit something worth hearing."
Thom stretches his thin frame then drawls, "Depends on what particular section of the shop you throw it in..."
"Well yes, not the military brass band section!" defends Jonny, rapidly adding, And not the cha-cha section."
It's all personal opinion... times a few million.
"It's Freudian," wisely announces Thom.
Oh enough. It's time to get these two back to their keepers before they say something I can start a heavy rumor with... what was that about beat poets?
By the way, if you care, 'Fake Plastic Trees' hit MTV's Buzz Bin. Two weeks or...
12 hit wonders, anyone?