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Radiohead’s Thom Yorke Gives Career-Spanning Interview: “I Decided I Needed to Enjoy My Work Before It Killed Me”

As teased previously, Thom Yorke did an interview on BBC Radio 6 this weekend. The career-spanning, hour-long show featured music by Radiohead and other artists of Yorke’s choosing (Gil Scott-Heron, Squarepusher, Can, and more). Yorke discussed being influenced by Can’s studio techniques on The Bends, and explained that he wrote the lyrics to “Paranoid Android” 30 or 40 times. He talked about his slow progress, following his misanthropy, depression and stage fright during the OK Computer years (including not wanting to take the stage at the Glastonbury Festival), toward stabilizing and taking pleasure in his “job.”

“I’m less of a nightmare,” he explained. “I got bored [with it]. I decided I needed to enjoy my work before it killed me.”

He discussed more recent work like A Moon Shaped Pool’s “Daydreaming” which he said “[came] together really quickly” thanks to Nigel and Jonny’s innovative, orchestral backdrop. While playing “The Numbers” from that album, host Matt Everett asked Yorke: “Are you an optimist? Are you quite positive?” This inspired Yorke to launch into an oblique diatribe about politics.

“That song is: One day at a time…” Yorke said, addressing this indistinct “you.” “You will be impeached shortly, mate. You’re not a leader, love….You can’t sustain this. It’s not gonna work. Good luck.”

He also says “nutter” a fair amount in the talk. “I was the nutter, and now I’ve infected everyone,” he said of his role in the band. Listen to the full show over at the BBC’s site.