Radiohead’s Thom Yorke on digital music

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke gets to the meat of matters in his latest published interview with Believer Magazine, it covers all kinds of bases, including inevitable discussion of digital music and the future of creativity in the digital age…

On file-sharing, Yorke says: “Right, and if you forget about the money issue for just a minute, if it’s possible to do that – because these are people’s livelihoods we’re talking about – and you look at it in terms of the most amazing broadcasting network ever built, then it’s completely different. In some ways, that’s the best way of looking at it. I mean, I don’t spend my fucking life downloading free MP3s, because I hate the websites. No one seems to know what they’re talking about. I’d much rather go to sites like Boomkat, where people know what they’re talking about.

We note Yorke’s appropriate choice of online music site there – we’ve been working in the belief that as digital music matures we’ll experience it through a loose but growing network of genre-based and enthusiasts sites, even if the back end comes from the likes of iTunes and 7digital. His articulation of this notion is pretty cool.

“It’s like when I used to go to music shops in Oxford. You’re looking at this and you’re looking at that and there’s a whole line of other things going down the side saying, “You’ll probably like this,” and “You might like this.””

On the In In Rainbows pay what you like venture, Yorke seems incredibly pleased…he saw the experiment as a way to achieve dialogue with fans to help convince them music is valuable; as an incredibly successful web-based promotion that enabled the band to completely side-step conventional press and PR; and yeah, it made a lot of money for the band.

Yorke also admits the band is moving toward short-form releases and away from albums, confessing, “none of us want to go into the creative hoo-hah of a long play record again.”

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