There is a lengthy article/interview with the band on cnn.com for your reading pleasure.
Here’s a bit:
As unified as “In Rainbows” sounds, it took years to complete. The band began recording it with producer Mark Stent, the first time in years they didn’t work with Nigel Godrich.
The attempt was futile and Radiohead set out on tour to help bring the new songs into shape. When they returned to the studio, they went back to Godrich, considered the unofficial sixth member because of his importance in helping refine the group’s sound. (Colin calls his wealth of gear “like Aladdin’s cave.”)
“The key thing in actually propelling it forward was Nigel coming back into the process,” said Selway, 41. “The reality when we got in there was it still wasn’t good enough. We really had to raise our standards quite a lot.”
Typically, songs begin with Yorke writing something on piano or guitar with vocals and fleshing it out with the multi-instrumentalist Jonny Greenwood. Then the band works together to find the right arrangement, a process that can be tortuous. “Videotape” underwent, Yorke jokes, hundreds of versions before finding the right minimalist sound.
“We still sometimes get overawed by the songs,” said Greenwood. “We’ll get very attached to a song as an idea in its very basic form, but we also know we can’t really leave it like that. So that’s what we spend our time talking about and planning and thinking about. Thom will sit and play ‘Pyramid Song’ on piano, for example, and it’s obviously not finished. It needs a rhythm to propel it along. But what do you do with it and yet not mess it up? So that’s the sort of enjoyable pressure we like to be under.”
Though the method of release overshadowed the music of “In Rainbows” somewhat, it’s been almost universally hailed as a masterpiece. Yorke has been quoted as calling it “our classic album, our ‘Transformer,’ our ‘Revolver,’ our ‘Hunky Dory’ ” — a statement he said is a misquote: “I do talk some … but I didn’t say that.”
His point, he said, is that they strove to make a similarly concise work as those albums.
Read the rest….
(thanks to Alex)