Thom Yorke on why he cried hearing ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ played back to him for the first time
In an excerpt from Jason Thomas Gordon’s upcoming book The Singers Talk (via Rolling Stone), Yorke explained while the band were recording their landmark 1995 album ‘The Bends’, seeing Jeff Buckley live helped him embrace and get comfortable with his voice.
He said: “When we were doing the second record, I went to see Jeff Buckley before he died. And it reminded me of this vulnerable part of me that I was choosing to hide. I remember I recorded ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ on my own to begin with. Then, when we came together to listen to it, the others said, ‘We’ll use that!’ and I was, ‘No, no, we can’t use that, it’s too vulnerable. That’s too much me.’”
When asked whether he really cried when he first heard it played back to him and why, Yorke responded: “Yeah, absolutely. Because when you record, you’re going through one set of feelings, but the one thing you’re not really aware of is you. You’re not aware of your own identity, so it’s like meditating.
“Even when you play, if you perform something well, you have a sort of feeling that goes beyond that. You’re not even aware of your own vulnerability, you’re just off somewhere, and then you come back. It’s like seeing yourself in the mirror for the first time, catching yourself unaware.”
In the same book, Yorke also revealed how he learned to embrace having a voice similar to Neil Young.
In other news, Yorke’s band The Smile recently released their single ‘Bending Hectic’. The new track is not taken from any upcoming project, and is instead a standalone single that has been highly anticipated by fans. It was recorded at the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London.
“We have got together and we’re talking about future plans, but in the immediate future we’ve all got other projects which we’d all like to see through properly,” he said. “There’s a collective desire to make music in some form or other amongst the five of us. We all really value that musical relationship, and that’s been there for 38 years. It remains really important to us.”
The conversation follows on from previous comments made by the drummer, which caused headlines after he confirmed that Radiohead were “going to get together” at the start of this year.