Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has been busy working away at his upcoming solo album, and now in a rare interview he’s given us an insight on what to expect.
In an interview with Crack magazine, Yorke says the album is dystopian and anxiety-fuelled, so don’t expect a cheerful endeavour.
“The dystopian thing is one part of it, yes, but for me, one of the big, prevailing things was a sense of anxiety,” he said.
“If you suffer from anxiety it manifests itself in unpredictable ways, some people have over-emotional reactions. [For] some people the roots of reality can just get pulled out, you don’t know what’s happening. Then eventually, reality comes back. For some reason, I thought a really good way of expressing anxiety creatively was in a dystopian environment. I had so many visual things going on at this point. Another one was where everybody was traveling to work but their bodies were telling them that they wouldn’t do it anymore. They were refusing to cooperate, so they were doing these involuntary movements.”
He also explained how flights to Tokyo cause him to have existential crises, and how that spurred some of the writing.
“Have you ever flown to Tokyo? That jet lag is the definition of an existential crisis, every time,” he said.
“There was one night where I’d go to sleep, two hours later I’m absolutely wide awake and I just had these images… humans and rats changed places. A dream. And as I came out, I woke up with this really strong set of images of girls in tottering heels, but they’re actually rats and the human beings are in the drains. I had another one, these weird images of the city of London and all the skyscrapers are just shuffling along.”
On top of the new solo album, Yorke also said that Radiohead have been working on doing some new stuff with Kid A, as the iconic album approaches its 20th anniversary.
“Recently, I’ve been going through the Kid A and Amnesiac stuff with the others,” he said.
“We were all a bit mad by the end of that period…I was so focused and at the same time angry, confused, paranoid. I’m looking at all these people involved, going ‘Who the fuck are these people?!’ We’re going to do something really cool with all that material.”
Read the full and long Q&A with Yorke here.