not a member? click here to sign up
And you shall know us by the trail of the 'Head
Rock ‘n’ roll sedition isn’t the only topic on the agenda as Radiohead talk family, Harry Potter and vomiting members of Ash.
Olaf Tyaransen, 20 Dec 2007
As Radiohead’s Colin ‘Coz’ Greenwood and I walk the lengthy fifth floor corridor of London’s salubrious Mayfair Hotel, we simultaneously realise that it’s eerily similar to the haunted hotel corridor in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.
“I actually taught my son to say ‘redrum’ in the same creepy way that kid in the movie says it,” the 38-year-old bassist confesses. Then he demonstrates with a Gollum-esque, “Red-ruuuumm… red-ruuuuummm.” He pauses momentarily to laugh. “It was probably quite immature of me, really.”
Shaven-headed percussionist Phil Selway (at 40, the oldest member of the band) opens the door of room 501 and welcomes us in with an exaggerated bow. “Step this way gentlemen, please.”
Roughly seven weeks after the historic ‘download only’ release of the band’s seventh studio album, In Rainbows, Hot Press has been granted an audience with the Oxford alt-rockers’ rhythm and bass section. Guitarist Ed O’Brien is ensconced elsewhere in the hotel doing interviews, while Thom Yorke and Coz’s younger brother Jonny are apparently off doing TV stuff somewhere.
Despite having sold more than 15 million albums over the course of their career, they certainly don’t look like rock stars – though Coz bears a striking similarity to David Kitt. Both men are polite, conservatively dressed and softly spoken. They could as easily be secondary school teachers or university librarians.
While they’re more than happy to talk, they admit to being a little out of practice when it comes to interviews (it’s been three years since their last album release). Indeed, they’re so relaxed and laidback that there are a couple of moments when our encounter resembles a Fast Show sketch.
Of course, they hardly need to give it the hard sell anyway.
As Radiohead albums go, In Rainbows probably isn’t their most musically innovative offering. Rather it sounds like they’re treading the warmest waters of their previous three long players. It’s a surprisingly mellow, jazzy, ambient affair, with lots of strange electronica, soaring instrumentals, scattered drums, the occasional blast of chunky guitars, all overlaid with Thom Yorke’s unique falsetto vocals.