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Radiohead's Thom Yorke responds to criticism over planned Israel show


Radiohead members to focus on solo projects in 2018

The members of Radiohead will focus predominantly on solo projects when their current tour of A Moon Shaped Pool comes to an end next week.

A controversial performance in Tel Aviv, Israel, brings to an end what has been a supremely successful return to the forefront for Radiohead.

Guitarist Ed O’Brien, who was speaking to Edith Bowman for BBC Two’s TRNSMT coverage—a performance which was marred by protests—discussed the band’s future plans: “We’ll hang up our Radioheads,” he said, after confirming their tour plans for next year. “It’s time for everyone to go off and do their own thing for a bit.”

Thom Yorke, who will move to create the score for new movie ‘Suspiria’, follows Jonny Greenwood into the new line of solo work as he also prepares to compose the music for Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Phantom Thread’ and the Joaquin Phoenix-starring ‘You Were Never Really Here’.

In regards to Radiohead’s Israel show, criticism flooded in as a host of creatives such as Thurston Moore, Ken Loach, Roger Waters, Maxine Peak and the Young Fathers are among the 46 musicians, artists, writers and actors to have signed the open letter in relation to Radiohead’s gig at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on July 19.

“It is a small sacrifice in respect to those who struggle in honourable opposition to state-sponsored fascism,” Thurston Moore said. Thom Yorke, however, addressed the criticism of the planned performance, explaining how he has found the process of artists’ he respects telling the band what to do ‘upsetting’. Yorke, in an interview with Rolling Stone, said: “I’ll be totally honest with you: this has been extremely upsetting,” when the question was put to him. 

“There are people I admire [who have been critical of the concert] like Ken Loach, who I would never dream of telling where to work or what to do or think,” he continued.  “The kind of dialogue that they want to engage in is one that’s black or white. I have a problem with that. It’s deeply distressing that they choose to, rather than engage with us personally, throw shit at us in public. It’s deeply disrespectful to assume that we’re either being misinformed or that we’re so retarded we can’t make these decisions ourselves. I thought it was patronising in the extreme. It’s offensive and I just can’t understand why going to play a rock show or going to lecture at a university [is a problem to them].

“The university thing is more of a head fuck for me,” Yorke said. “It’s like, really? You can’t go talk to other people who want to learn stuff in another country? Really? The one place where you need to be free to express everything you possibly can. You want to tell these people you can’t do that? And you think that’s gonna help?”

[MORE] – Roger Waters responds to Radiohead criticism over Israel show.