Skip to content

Thom Yorke Talks ‘Amok’ Leak, Photobombing in Reddit Q&A

Thom Yorke / Photo by Getty Images

“Oh did it? How nice,” Thom Yorke typed on Reddit this afternoon after being asked if he was aware Atoms for Peace’s Amok had leaked this weekend. “Well… unsurprised.” Also, Yorke is “a big fan of autotune.” That was just one of the many revelations a heavily caffeinated Yorke (coffee, not tea, we learn) and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich shared in their entertaining, frequently misspelled Reddit AMA Q&A with a horde of fans today.

Yorke and Godrich tackled everything from what exactly happened at Jack White’s Third Man studios to unreleased Radiohead songs to nuclear energy to that legendary Yorke Louvre photobombing. “That is not me. This is madam Tussauds. misspelt probably,” Yorke said. Here are some highlights, in all their sic glory:

On Radiohead’s visit to Third Man Studios: “We was at AJck Jack Whites places… we now have two unfinished tracks, one of which is identikit. Its nice there, red and black and white nshit. err, we work slower than him (umderstatement).”

On how Yorke became comfortable sharing his voice: “my formative years involved finding no-one else to sing the songs. so doing it myself. and singing into a bucket, but thats another story. stanley donwood has a kind of vibrator on his shoulder right now.”

On nuclear energy: Reddit user: “How can you advocate that nuclear power is bad when in actuality it’s the only realistic alternative to fossil fuels and vastly greener and more sustainable? It seems like a fairly asinine position to take, especially considering modern development in breeder and thorium reactors, essentially nullifying the issues of old technology.” Yorke: “where you gonna put the waste guy?!!!”

On deciding whether something is a Radiohead or Atoms for Peace song: “Its a grey area. getting greyer. obviously depends on who is being sampled. are you being in sampled?” On that note, Thom added that “Lotus Flower” and “Supercollider,” songs that debuted during Thom’s initial Atoms for Peace trek but ended up as The King of Limbs property, were always going to wind up as Radiohead songs, but at the time he needed them to flesh out the AFP set lists.

What’s Yorke currently reading: “Wolf Solent. john cowper powys.. a protohippie.”

Whether Yorke’s lyrics are confessional: “confessional?!! mm i don;t think so at all. do you think M Stipe’s lyrics are confessional? what is within is also stream of consciousness is also gibberish and also just sounds. by the time the words have stuck, they have just stuck. the glue is set and i can’t undo. before that is a messy bit. does that help? ofcourse not.”

On Yorke’s biggest achievement: “ummmmmmmm getting through the last tour despite all that had happened in toronto. and the lights. and having clive play with us. i was terrified about it, then it got dark but in the end we were all very proud of managin to pull it off. even in the O2 in London. it was not an easy time, but it was cool.”

On whether you should pre-order the deluxe vinyl copy of Amok: “Yes.”

Yorke and Godrich briefly touched upon the news that Radiohead will reconvene in the studio after this summer, with Nigel joking that he already loves all 50 songs Radiohead has ready to record for their next album. When asked about long lost Radiohead tracks like “Big Boots” and “Burn the Witch,” songs that only exist in bootlegged form, Godrich responded, “Everything will surface one day.. it all exists.. and so it will eventually get there I’m sure. ‘Nude’ took 12 years.. ish.”

Yorke or Godrich – it became confusing at some points – also promised that the fan-favorite unreleased track “The Present Tense” will “definitely” see the light of day at some point. As a parting gift, Yorke alerted everyone who didn’t already illegal download Amok that the album is now streaming in full on the Atoms for Peace site.