Radiohead 'at the finishing line' on new album, guitarist says

RadioheadImage Credit: Kevin WestenbergAccording to a BBC 6 Music interview with Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien, the UK brood-rock icons’ followup to 2008′s In Rainbows is nearly complete—and may be available by the close of 2010.

“Ideally, it would be great if it came out sometime this year. It has got to. I hope so,” he said. “We’re at the finishing line. When you’re making a record, a film, write a book for ages and ages you think the finishing line is miles away. Now it feels it’s in touching distance. But of course, it being a creative process, at the last bit also, you have bursts of energy, you achieve a lot of things in a small period of time and then you’re nearly there. It might slow down. But yeah, hopefully it will be a matter of weeks.”

The still-untitled release is, he says, “genuinely exciting” and “very different from what we did last time.It’s really nice to be doing this. It’s so good to be making music with the band that you feel is still as good as it’s ever been.” It also sounds like a better time than Rainbow‘s apparently taxing process: “It wasn’t fun making the record,” O’Brien admits. “Traditionally, Radiohead in a studio has been: Don your tin helmet, just see it out, like a war of attrition … We hear it all the time: ‘it sounds like you had a great time in the studio’. But, oh man… that [In Rainbows] was a slog. It was a really long process.”

“At the end, for instance a song like ‘House Of Cards’ has been recorded six times. Plus the fact: we had this genius idea in 2006 to go on tour and do 50 odd shows, play all these songs, go back to studio and record them. And that’s when we went back in with [producer] Nigel [Godrich]. We went in and recorded them having played these songs 50 times … And we got them down and most of them were rubbish. A lot of work in the creative process is rubbish.”

“We knew we had these songs,” he continues. “We really believed in these songs. So, we had to do it right. It just took a long time. And we basically decided then and there at the end of that record: ‘We are never doing this again this way’. That was kind of like the end of Radiohead, mark 2. We decided, the only way that worked for us to carry on was to do it in a different spirit. Enjoy it.”

No word yet on whether this more enjoyable outing’s digital and physical release will follow Rainbow‘s unorthodox release route. Readers, how do you think it should be done?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix)

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Comments (11 total) Add your comment
  • S.O.

    NO Matter how its going to turn out, its still going to be great, cause its freakin RADIOHEAD!!!!

    • Amy

      YEAH!

  • Celimene

    Releases from Radiohead, Arcade Fire and Scissor Sisters in 2010? Be still my heart!

    • skipdiv77

      putting the scissor sisters in the same category as Arcade Fire and especially Radiohead is laughable

  • Robert

    OMG. can’t wait. I’m already dizzy lol.

  • JonathanT

    It would be nice if they release it like they did last time, but I’ll pay whatever they want for it. Like S.O. said,”It’s Freakin RADIOHEAD!!!!”

  • b0rderlander

    this is good news! i’m interested to find out the release date. if it’s this year, i know what i’m asking for Christmas.

  • BackDrifter

    Oh jeez I can’t wait for this new record.

  • viviennewestwood

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  • tresorparis

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    • Khalayi

      was visiting your blog per biran’s reinemodatcon to watch the SNL clip (believe it or not don’t think I have ever seen that one!). Saw your music post. Reminded me that I wanted to recommend that you check out the new Sting Winter/Christmas Cd : If on a Winter’s Night . What is it Tori Amos calls herself? Guacamole in a chip and dip world? Something like that, anyway . This CD is definately guacamole. It is a very interesting collection of ancient carols, new interpretations of them and Sting lyrics superimposed over Bach melodies, etc. John hated it after 15 seconds of listening in the car, but I have grown to really enjoy it. Warning: It takes more than one listen to appreciate it. It is worth the purchase just to read the story of how it came to be written by Sting of course. He is an excellent writer and poet as well as musician and song writer. The photos of the villa in Tuscany ain’t too shabby either! Check it out and let me know what you think .

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