Subscribe to our newsletter

Thom Yorke discusses new album, Radiohead and politics in new interview


Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has sat down with Zane Lowe to discuss his new solo album ANIMA as well as current affairs that have influenced it.

Yorke, who announced the solo record after a series of mysterious promotional stunts, described the record as “anti-music” and explained that he has been sitting on some of the material for quite a while. “We’ve had most of this stuff for ages, and the joke was, it was really quick to do,” he said as a part of the Beats 1 show. “We set up as we do the live shows for most of it…and knocked it out.

“It was really fun. It was quick and easy and we knew where we were going because we lived with it for so long. The therapy of ‘I don’t want to write a bunch of songs. I want to just make noise’ was great and I found myself immersing myself in old musique concrète and all this anti-music and it was great. I loved it.”

York also revealed that his infatuation with dreams and the process around them has inspired the album’s title: “I think the reason it ended up being called ‘ANIMA’ was partly because I’m obsessed with this whole dream thing, and it comes from this concept that [Carl] Jung had. But, also, we have started to emulate what our devices say about us and emulate the way we behave from that.

“The reason we can watch Boris Johnson lie through his teeth, promise something that we know will never happen is: we don’t have to connect with it directly because it’s a little avatar. It’s this little guy with a stupid haircut waving a flag…..’That’s all right, that’s funny’. And the consequences are not real. The consequences of everything we do are not real. We can remain anonymous. We send our avatar out to hurl abuse and poison and then trot back anonymous.”

As the subject of British politics was raised, Yorke offered his take on the political spectrum as a whole, explaining that a “fundamental structural change was needed.”

He added: “People have come to terms with the idea, [that] the only way that things change is fundamental structural change. And the only way that can happen when you have a bunch of clowns, is to be angry.

“But right now we have this performance going on: we have a Punch and Judy show in America, another one in Britain that apparently is what goes for politics these days. And when it breaks, the likes of Ocasio-Cortez will walk in and go, “Right. Shall we get started?” That’s what I think.”

Follow this link to watch the full interview here.