Interview with Jonny

by Jonathan on June 11, 2003

Below is taken from an interview with Jonny Greenwood after the two Dublin gigs at the Olympia recently. Printed in the RTE guide June 6 2003, interviewer: Alan Corr.
(On OKC being voted the Greatest Album Ever Made)
“Of course it’s hugely flattering when you read that but you just think of things you’d wish you’d done differently and anyway you know the next record will reflect what you want slightly more accurately. I don’t really read much of our press and you always think there were similar Best Album polls going on in the 70s where they were voting terrible records by Emerson Lake and Palmer LP of the year.”
(On playing great live shows)
“My take on it is that we’ve just been playing good live shows for about 4 years and finally we can record in a similar state of relaxation. I think we were always a bit uptight when it came to recording. That’s where the new looseness comes from”
(On the last few albums being labeled as experimental)
“It’s sort of overplayed, the idea that the two previous albums are experimental. They’re really not. A lot of people didn’t hear them and they had the label of being experimental but really they’re as standard as anything else. I think older recordings kind of have a nostalgic connection with people. It reminds them of what they were doing six, seven years ago so that’s always going to connect with people more than a brand new song, which is fine”
(On HTTT having more guitar sounds)
INTERVIEWER: “It sounds like the mid-90s all over again…”
JONNY: “Yeah, but then again there are guitars all over Kid A and Amnesiac, they’re just a bit more veiled possibly, a bit more changed. It’s good to go with the guitar if you need it or go with the piano or whatever instrument the song needs. It’s all repetitive melodic music.”
(On recording in LA)
“We began the last record in Denmark because we thought we should be somewhere cold and European which is kind of indicative of a slightly inflated view of ourselves. You start believing the press that’s been written about you and you end up conforming to that. We went to LA because there was a great studio there”
(On the original title of HTTT, The Gloaming)
“…Just a bit too precious really. In a way it ties in with the music but its also a little bit pretentious because its kind of a sixth form word, its a bit of a poet’s word. There were long discussions about whether we should chance it”
(On the meaning of the title, HTTT)
“We wouldn’t name a record after one party political event in one country’s recent history. We hope that the music is more longer lived than that and we chose it because it had good resonances with lots of things going on in the world at the moment. Goerge Bush isn’t really a target for us…. people are making what they want out of it. I think this record’s got as many contradictions as any of our records. One review of the record criticised it by saying there are no answers on this record. That’s a good thing I think. To me, a lot of the record is about not dealing with anything and avoiding what you can and kind of being selfish in a way as well as supposedly complaining and getting things to change. It’s a mess”



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