THE BELIEVER: Thinking about it, digital albums could really be any length these days. You could make it five hours or you could do a Stockhausen thing and—
THOM YORKE: What? With the helicopters? [Stockhausen’s Helicopter String Quartet was written for string quartet and helicopter.]
BLVR: Yeah. He also wrote an opera that lasted seven days.
TY: Nigel wants to do this thing where, I mean, I know it would be awful, but hey…
BLVR: But hey…
TY: He says, like, OK, we book in for three days, and at the end of the three days we put two tracks up every week and we do it for six weeks. I mean, it’ll never happen, but that idea of, we put it out even if we don’t know what it is and then, oh dear, it’s out.
BLVR: Almost like an automatic writing process.
TY: To us, that’s completely against everything we normally think. This may be shit. We don’t know. We haven’t had time to realize it yet. You know, that sort of thing. But that kind of gives the game away, because, actually, we are shit. And that’s why it takes three years to uncover the stuff underneath. The lyrics, I know, would be appalling. Jonny’s really big on increasing our output, though. He has a better way of saying it. Like “knocking shit out” or something. He can’t stand it anymore, the pace of the way we work. It’s fallout from all our false starts.
An interview with Thom Yorke. (Music issue 2009).