While most of the civilized world got lost this morning In Rainbows, NYC's Gothamist blog chatted with Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, who shared some insight on the new album, as well as his own exploits in orchestral composition and film-scoring. It's worth your while to peruse the entire interview here, but quick-fixers can cut to the chase right now:
What's motivating the band to distribute the album this way?
Just getting it out quickly. It was kind of an experiment as well; we were just doing it for ourselves and that was all. People are making a big thing about it being against the industry or trying to change things for people but it's really not what motivated us to do it. It's more about feeling like it was right for us and feeling bored of what we were doing before.
Why give people the option to pay whatever they want?
It's just interesting to make people pause for even a few seconds and think about what music is worth now. I thought it was an interesting thing to ask people to do and compare it to whatever else in their lives they value or don't value.
Have you gotten any figures of how much people are choosing to pay?
No we get the numbers tomorrow supposedly. Yeah, I don't know. The more exciting thing for me is just hearing it on the radio today and knowing it's landed on everybody's desk at the same time. That's what's exciting. But yeah, I'm sure our manager will have some idea soon.
How did the process of making In Rainbows differ from Hail to the Thief?
It was more like earlier Kid A stuff, more based in studio experiments and trying out ideas and spending quite a long time. That's what we did with Kid A and Amnesiac.
What song on the album proved most difficult to finish?
Even ones that we finished quickly we spent a long time deciding if they were good enough. None of them were easy, actually. "Reckoner" kind of came together quickly.
Beyond that, Greenwood also revealed that he's yet to start work on the commissioned piece that comes as part of his BBC British Composer Awards victory ("Thanks for reminding me, I must start something soon on that.") and that he likely won't be attending the U.S. premiere of Popcorn Superhet Receiver this coming January in New York City.
Oh, also: Radiohead hope to tour in 2008!!!
Greenwood also spoke with RollingStone.com's Rock&Roll Daily blog today and said more or less exactly the same things, sometimes word-for-word. One new topic he did touch upon, however, is the touchy subject of the 160 kbps In Rainbows mp3s. Justified Jonny: "We talked about it and we just wanted to make it a bit better than iTunes, which it is, so that's kind of good enough, really. It's never going to be CD quality, because that's what CD does."
In related news, since the In Rainbows download didn't come with album art, folks have started making their own. Here's our favorite so far: