Colin Greenwood, bassist for Radiohead, has recently written an essay for Index on Censorship, and had some interesting comments regarding the band’s next release.
It’s been known for a while that Radiohead have been working on a new album, but now Colin confirms that it’s actually done: “We have just finished another group of songs, and have begun to wonder about how to release them in a digital landscape that has changed again.”
So how will this collection of songs be made available to the public? Their previous album, In Rainbows, was of course released in a pay-what-you-want model that garnered the band a ridiculous amount of attention – and cash. He mentions how pleasing it was to “be the first people to digitally release our record, directly to people’s personal computers,” and how that rescued a bit of the excitement of getting a record when intended, with no pesky leaks in the way.
Leaving all the buzz aside, the fact was that In Rainbows was a pretty solid record, and Colin reminds us that “the most important reason for the success of In Rainbows was the quality of the music.” And he’s right: if the album sucked, people would just forget about the whole “pay-what-you-want” deal and pile on the shitty album. Yes, the release format was a bit of a gimmick, but one that would never stand on its own without some good music to accompany.
Colin finishes the essay on a hopeful note about the quality of the album: “We are trying to find ways to put out our music that feel as good as the music itself. The ability to have a say in its release, through the new technologies, is the most empowering thing of all.”