“My girlfriend has this quote in her sketchbook ‘remain orderly in your life so you can be free and chaotic in your work.’ I thnk basically you lose it when you destroy your brain or destroy yourself emotionally or burn yourself up.”

“I spend 99 percent of my time worrying about what it is we’re doing. For someone else to actually feel it’s in any way inspiring to them…I just can’t get my head around that. It’s amazing how much confidence completely changes a band.

“It’s easy to be miserable. Being happy is tougher – and cooler.”

“People sometimes say we take things too seriously, but it’s the only way you’ll get anywhere”

“If people get it, they wouldn’t think it’s depressing. When people always say that fucking annoying thing about how my work’s so depressing, well it’s not because…It’s just words, and I put the words to music which I think it’s an uplifting thing otherwise there would be no point in doing this at all.”

“Us on hard drugs? That would be horrible. We’d probably end up sounding like Bryan Adams.”

(on the recording of OK Computer)

“We weren’t listening to guitar bands, we were thoroughly ashamed of being a guitar band. So we bought loads of keyboards and learned how to use them, and when we got bored we went back to guitars.”

(on Just)

“A competition by me and Jonny to get as many chords as possible into a song.”

“If the media spotlight affects my work or represses what i want to say in the future, then it is bad.”

“Whenever I meet a beauty, I escape or hide in a corner. Not that I think they are intimidating, but they attract horrible people. Some guys really do their utmost to make these beautiful women believe how good they are. Beauty means power. And I’m a bit cynical towards all that. Honestly I’ve never met a beautiful girl that I really liked. You never get the chance to really get to know them. Result : I don’t even take the effort now to try to meet them”.

(on the Spice Girls)

“I agree with whoever said they’re soft porn. They’re the Antichrist. I don’t want any part of it, and if I had kids, I wouldn’t want them to have any part of it, either. I’d move to an island where you can’t get hold of any Spice Girls stuff.”

“I can be very drunk in a club in Oxford on a Monday night and some guy comes up to you and buys you a drink and says that the last record you made changed his life. That means something.”

“I spent a lot of time trying not to do voices like mine. The voices on Karma Police, Paranoid Android and Climbing up the Walls are all different personas. I think Lucky, the lyric and the way it’s sung, is really positive, really exciting. No Surprises is someone who’s trying hard to keep it together but can’t. Electioneering is a preacher ranting in front of a bank of microphones.”

“I feel tremendous guilt for any sexual feelings I have. So I end up spending my entire life feeling sorry for fancying somebody. Even in school I thought girls were so wonderful that I was scared to death of them. I masturbate a lot. That’s how I deal with it.”

“I have this thing about my own voice on record. No matter what I sing, it sounds really serious, and I sound self-loathing or whatever, which was just driving me nuts because that’s not what I was writing.”

“I’m not afraid of computers taking over the world. They’re just sitting there. I can hit them with a two by four”

“I went out one night and there was these blokes, townie guys, waiting to beat someone up and they found me. They said something, I turned around , blew them a kiss and that was it. They beat the living shit out of me. One was kicking me, one had a stick and the other was smashing me in the face. That put me off fighting a bit.”

got into the music business thinking it was really radical, that it wasn’t really a business at all, that it was a lot of people being artistic and creative. Not true, and it made me very depressed.”

“Yes, I would’ve loved to play the guitar, to become a guitarist in a good band. I never thought about becoming a singer. But I was the only one who wrote songs, so I had to sing.”

“The video of ‘Paranoid Android’ has been censored by MTV. They took all nipples out of the cartoon, but they had no problem with the scene in which a man cuts off his own arms and legs.”

“We write pop songs. As time has gone on, we’ve gotten more into pushing our material as far as it can go. But there was no intention of it being ‘art.’ It’s a reflection of all the disparate things we were listening to when we recorded it.”

– Thom

“I’m being childish.”

“Right now my mind is on the people who stole our instruments,and, specifically, the person with my guitar, which will no doubt end its days having Green Day songs worked out on it. A better fate was deserved- and while the reverence given to guitars annoys me, I shall miss it.”

“We used to go into the IRC rooms and pretend to be us. But at the end of the session, we would say ‘I confess, my name is Steve and I am from Ottawa, Im just sitting here with all my Radiohead books.’ Then someone would come in the room and pretend to be Colin, even though Colin was downstairs playing bass. It got very twisted”

“I’m from Oxford!”

“I listen to it like I’m IN the person watching the band. I kind of feel like when I saw Throwing Muses when I was 14, whatever, 13, thinking, ‘No one else is really watching it like I’m watching it,’ which is very selfish, but I think everyone does it. It feels like you’re in command.”

“I’ve never taken advantage of the opportunity of one-night stands. It’s like treating sex like sneezing. Sex is a fairly disgusting sort of tufted, smelly-area kind of activity, which is too intimate to engage in with strangers. I’m all for erotic in terms of imagination, but the physical side is something different.”

(his ‘vision of paradise’?)

“A big empty room with the band and all these half-written songs. It’s at times like that that I enjoy being in the group the most : when we’re in the studio and take place in front of our amplifiers for days. You can only hear the drums and the voice in that stage. And when finally someone dares to ask “What do you think of this ?”, then we start working together. That’s the most beautiful moment.”

“It’s conceited to deny there’s any affection, but having said that, I enjoy putting on the arm brace before I play. It’s like taping up your fingers before a boxing match. It’s a ritual.”

“I like playing the stuff where I don’t know what I’m gonna play. Like the end of Fake Plastic Trees or the end of Paranoid Android – stuff where I can do anything and no one notices or cares.”

“Obviously there will be a backlash. If you believe the hype you have to believe a backlash too. Any criticism we get, is always stuff we’ve already criticised ourselves.If you read one bad review and a hundred good ones, the bad one always seems to make more sense to you.”

(on okc)

“I don’t think it’s that good an album, really, There are good songs on it but there are songs that just sound like dead ends, that sound like it’s the last time we can do like that. I don’t think we’ve finished yet.

“My style is so tightly tied in with our songs that I don’t think you could even ask me to quit Radiohead and play guitar for another band. I don’t think I could do it. It would probably reveal me to be the bluffer that I believe I am. That’s how it feels. I wouldn’t have the confidence to do anything but this.”

“Presented with a song like Exit Music, it’s impossible to know what to add without actually making it worse. How can you play along when it’s already there?

“Like the rest of the band, Thom sort of doesn’t have any friends, really–which is a bit weird. We got back to Oxford after touring…and it was really sad. We all got home, and I phoned up one or two people that we knew, who were away, and then we ended up sort of phoning each other up again.”

– Jonny

“It’s an understanding. We don’t talk about it. There’s no bullshit that goes on. We’ve been fortunate enough to play for 12 years and learn as a band, learn our instruments, and we’ve stuck and we’ve worked really hard at it.”

(on Bulletproof)

“The only song that I’ve ever played on when I was not allowed to hear the backing track. ‘Just make whooping oodle noises for three minutes’, was the cry from the control room. ‘Bastards’, I thought at the time.”

“I think the third album will be celebratory and maybe not so inward-looking, that would be great. I think thinking is a good thing but there are times when you say fuck it. We’re allowed to make mistakes.”

“With British bands, there was this whole thing about having something to say. But, maybe naively, we said, ‘It’s about music.’ And that’s what it’s about.”

“Probably our biggest criticism of ourselves is we think too much. We all went to university and have never thought there was anything wrong with thinking too much.”

(on Colin)

“We call him Shabba. You know, Shabba Ranks, Mr Loverman. He likes the ladeez”.

(on Planet Telex)

“A drunken evening that spawned probably my favourite track. Thom’s one-take vocal crouching in the corner was particularly memorable, he may have been unable to stand. Love Colin’s bass groove thang on this.”

(on the irving plaza gig at New York)

“It was the first time she’d seen us in four years .Before the doors opened, I went round looking at the V.I.P. section, and I saw that Madonna had the best table in the house and my mum’s table was way in the back. I thought, ‘I’m not having this,’ so I swapped the signs on the tables around. So, Madonna was at the back, and my mum had the best table in the house, between U2 and R.E.M. And that’s exactly how it should be.”



“I hope I’m not sort of blowing our own trumpet, but I think Thom is probably the finest lyricist in the UK of his generation at the moment and hes always trying to progress, as we as musicians try to do ourselves. Theres this nice relationship between the lyrics and the music.”

“When we first recorded Fake Plastic Trees it was terrible! It sounded like Guns n’ Roses. It was awful! It was like loud guitars… you could envisage one of these dreadful hilltop, Grand Canyon-esque videos. It was long hair flowing.”

(on how they write songs)

“Thom comes in with lots of lyrics, a melody and chords, and usually he strums it on acoustic guitar. we then take it from there and beat it up and arrange it. sometimes they need a lot of arrangement. sometimes they need absolutely nothing. sometimes thom will present a song and it’s so obvious how it should be done. those are actually the hardest to do – the ones where we have free scope and it can go in any direction are the easiest ones to do.”

“I don? think we will ever hate Paranoid Android, I mean we will either love it or laugh at it. When we played it last year it was dry and we got to the rain down section, and it started raining during the rain down section, so it was kind of o-ooh a bit…”

DJ Shadow has inspired me. How that man pastes rhythms to each other. The end result sounds a lot different than we intended by the way.”

– Ed

“I mean. I’m in a band, we’re reasonably successful, I’ve got a very nice suit- I’m not even a bad person – so why can’t I get a shag ?”

(on Planet Telex)

“Err…whooshy? Sitting in t.v. room at rak studio whilst Thom, Ed and Leckie were working on it, thinking… ‘What is this old bollocks?’ …then putting bass on, thinking… ‘Oh yes, oooh yess, I like it!’.”

(on High and Dry)

“Over 2 years old now..ah! So young, pure and innocent then – now I’m just old, pure and innocent! Damn!”

“We try to treat everywhere we play differently and that’s really important. Otherwise, you feel you are just in a vacuum from going from bus to stage, play for people, into another bus and back to the hotel and it could be anywhere and that would be terrible.”

“Some friends of mine were searched by British anti-terrorist police who were Radiohead fans. This was in London about a month ago after the IRA bomb. They were in another band and the policeman goes: ‘Have you heard of Radiohead? They’re my favorite group!’ …With their machine guns. It appeals to a lot of people.”

“I know! I know one! How did Darth Vader know what Luke Skywalker was getting for Christmas? He felt his presents! There, that was funny. You didn’t just laugh to be polite, did you?”

(on living with the band)

“I don’t know if I’d do it again. Maybe if it was a house in Trinidad. But it would have to large enough so we never saw each other.”


“I tend to play better in the studio, no pressures, just sheer volume and alcohol.”

“No surprises is our ‘stadium-friendly’ song. The idea was : First frighten everyone with ‘Climbing up the walls’ and then comfort them again with a popsong with a chorus that sounds like a lullaby.”

– Colin



“The Bends was an introspective album … There was an awful lot of soul searching. To do that again on another album would be excruciatingly boring.”

“I draw my drum parts mainly from Thom; he’s got a very good sense of rhythm.”

– Phil

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