Stanley Donwood explains how Radiohead were left shocked by 'weird' fan reaction


Radiohead’s ninth studio album, A Moon Shaped Pool, was released digitally in May last year just in time for their headline summer appearances at European festivals such as Primavera. 

To coincide with their reemergence, the band decided to completely wipe their online presence to, you know, build a bit of suspense… really ramp up that excitement. 

For the kids who noticed that Radiohead had committed modern-day social suicide, the thought of having their favourite tweets and Instagram posts erased from their online worlds was all too much.

The frenzy following the disappearing act, however, ended up freaking the band out a little, according to longstanding collaborator Stanley Donwood: “Honestly, we did not expect people to go quite so crazy,” longtime collaborator Stanley Donwood told Creative Review.

“I thought the reaction was weird: ‘Radiohead erases itself from the internet.’ What a strange thing to say, ’cause you can’t,’ said Donwood who has produced all of Radiohead’s album covers and visual artwork since 1994.

“But the reaction was great, it was fantastic, it was really exciting. It was like being some sort of evil Bond villain or something, in some lair, pressing buttons. Actually more like the Mike Myers’ version of an evil Bond villain. It was creatively brilliant fun.”