Kind of laughing in understanding: interview with Colin Greenwood

Colin Greenwood

August this year the part of AZH editorial staff, Taras, Sergii and Anna together with lots of people from Eastern Europe made their dream come true and visited Radiohead shows. We’ve been in Prague and Poznan. But several days before, owing to determined efforts of Serhiy Kauk, we’ve managed to communicate with Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood in Vienna. He was so nice, cute and joyous, so we were laughing a lot when taking the interview. And here is the result of our communication:

Sergii: Okay, so...

Colin: Yes!

Sergii: You know, we're like doing a bit like a fun interview.

Colin: Oh, good!

Sergii: And we’re asking, like, questions where...

Colin: Great!

Sergii: ...we want to know what you guys are doing.

Colin: Nice!

Sergii: So... by the way, we came from Ukraine...

Colin: Ah, lovely!

Sergii: Have you heard something of Ukraine?

Colin: Have I heard anything about Ukraine?

Sergii: Yes, maybe you were in Ukraine.

Colin: Only about elections and things like that. That’s it. I don’t know, really. I don’t know anything.

Sergii: But you had a song, 'Chernobyl 2', in The Most Gigantic Lying Mouth...

Colin: Ah yes, that’s right!

Sergii: Yeah, that’s in Ukraine, actually.

Anna: [laughs]

Colin: Yes, I know, I know where Chernobyl is, yes.

Colin Greenwood

Sergii: Ok, so... You were recording during the summer and spring?

Colin: Yes!

Sergii: Yes?

Colin: Yes!

Sergii: And a few songs you have released. Sorry, a bit nervous... [laughs]

Colin: That’s okay. Don’t be nervous. It’s a beautiful day!

Sergii: Yeah. So, have you done a lot of stuff after South America?

Colin: Well, we've started recording and... we’ve made a start, but I don’t know what it is we have started.

Sergii: Uh-huh.

Colin: It’s hard to know.

Sergii: But you have recorded two songs, two great songs, and... are you working on something else in this time?

Colin: Well, we’re still... we’re working on other things, but I don’t know what they are yet.

Sergii: Uh-huh. Okay. So you’re not planning to do any releases in the future?

Colin: I don’t know. I don’t know what the plans are.

Sergii: Okay.

Colin: Because usually we finish a record and then we have a plan. We haven’t finished a record yet so we don’t have a plan.

Sergii: Okay.

Colin: So I don’t know yet.

Sergii: So there was a lot of influences from other bands in your previous albums, and in 'These Are My Twisted Words' we can feel influences of German bands like Can and Neu.

Colin: Oh, nice!

Sergii: Yeah, so what are your general influences?

Colin: What we're listening to at the moment?

Sergii: Yeah. What are you're gonna play and in which style, and which you don't.

Colin: Well, I think... Personally I’ve been listening to a lot of krautrock. It’s true, yes. That’s popular in Radiohead, yes. Like Neu and Harmonia and Cluster, [???] and Kraftwerk and things like that. Yeah, really good.

Sergii: Okay.

Colin: But our favourite band is a band called Rheingold.

Sergii: Rheingold?

Colin: You know Rheingold?

Sergii: No.

Colin: Very good.

Sergii: Okay. I will listen to them. Uh, you know, these old songs you were working during In Rainbows...

Colin: Yes.

Sergii: Many of them haven’t left the studio, like 'Spooks'.

Colin: Oh yes!

Sergii: Great song that you played live. What’s the status?

Colin: That’s just some fun, really. That's like, you know...

Sergii: Yeah. You’re not going to release it?

Colin: Well, I think it’s already been released, I guess, because we played it in shows, so people can find it on the interweb.

Sergii: Okay.

Colin: But it’s good, yeah! It’s a fun song to play!

Sergii: And old 'Reckoner'? Are you working on it, or...

Colin: Um... on what, sorry?

Sergii: Old 'Reckoner'.

Colin: Old 'Reckoner'...

Sergii: Yeah, like, 'Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses'.

Colin: Oh! Yeah, I think there’s some plans working on that as well, yes. Definitely.

Sergii: But it will be with a different title?

Colin: Yeah, I think so, yeah. I don’t think it’s going to be called 'Reckoner'.

Colin Greenwood
Sergii: Um, okay, and a new song, in memory of Harry Patch.

Colin: Yes.

Sergii: When did you decide to record it? And was it created just after you knew about the death of Harry Patch? Or was it some kind of draft you adapted to the song?

Colin: It’s was, erm... Thom had the song for a while, I guess for the last couple of years? And my brother really liked the song and he wanted to record it with strings. So when we started recording this summer, we agreed with my brother to work on strings at the beginning of the session rather than at the end of the recording session. And so we recorded it with strings that my brother wrote, about two months ago. So it was recorded very recently.

Sergii: Yes, and it was recorded in an abbey.

Colin: That’s right.

Sergii: You used to record some stuff in an abbey for Kid A and Amnesiac.

Colin: That’s right.

Sergii: Was it the same abbey?

Colin: Yes, it was the same abbey, very close to where we live, in Oxford. Very beautiful.

Sergii: Okay, so, you did work for some orchestration stuff for your music then? If you, you know... Okay, I will change the question. Have you recorded only 'Harry Patch' in this abbey, or maybe something else?

Colin: Erm... We tried some other things as well. But again it’s like... it’s not finished, the things that they were recorded on.

Sergii: Who were these players?

Colin: They’re from London, but I don’t know who they are. They’re people that Ed - that Ed? - that Jonny contacted.

Sergii: Uh-huh, ok. Have you worked on 'Burn the Witch'?

Colin: We’ve done some work on that one as well, yes.

Sergii: Because it lacks orchestration.

Colin: I don’t know what it lacks, what it needs. I don't know, it’s a tricky one. It’s quite difficult.

Sergii: So it’s in the progress...

Colin: It’s on the list.

Sergii: Okay. So let’s talk about touring?

Colin: Okay.

Sergii: Before you come out on stage, there’s music playing. What is this piece, your ‘coming on’ music? You know, when you come on the stage.

Colin: I don’t know!

Sergii: No?

Colin: I don't know what it is, ‘cause it changes sometimes. What is it? Is it more recently... when?

Sergii: It’s like Thom’s playing. [Hums tune] No?

Colin: Erm...

Sergii: You know, because your previous coming on music were great tracks, and...

Colin: Yes.

Sergii: ...we are hoping that you will release it in some form.

Colin: Release our ‘coming on’ music?

Sergii: Yes, just, you know, it's very fine.

Colin: I think some of it’s already been released. We came on to a song called 'Where Bluebirds Fly'...

Sergii: Yeah, yeah.

Colin: And then I think the thing that’s on at the moment. It’s kind of bleepy? This sort of long synth line? Is that what is our ‘coming on’ music at the moment? [Hums a tune]

Sergii: Yeah, that’s coming in at the end.

Colin: Yeah, we did that ages ago! Yeah, so that’s just a sort of head...

Sergii: It would be great...

Colin: have a copy of it. Maybe! I’ll suggest it to the others... I’ll ask the others, see what they think.

Sergii: Ok, so, since you are playing in Prague this tour...

Colin: Very excited!

Sergii: Yeah. You have an old B-Side on How Am I Driving called 'A Reminder', and...

Colin: Oh, yes!

Sergii: It features a sample recorded...

Colin: That's right, yes, from a subway!

Sergii: Where did it come from, and whose idea...

Colin: From Prague Metro. But I don't know... Thom was on holiday in Prague...

Sergii: Ah! So maybe...

Colin: ...and he recorded it at the Metro!

Sergii: Okay!

Colin: Well, he... I don't know if that's true, though, if there's any copyright thing.

Anna: Can I ask about Vienna?

Colin: Sorry?

Colin Greenwood
Anna: It's your first time playing in Austria, I think?

Colin: Yes!

Anna: So, have you been to Austria as a tourist?

Colin: I have, as a child. I went to Tirol.

Anna: Okay! But not Vienna?

Colin: And, Holzgau.

Anna: So, you haven't been...

Colin: Holzgau?

Anna: It's far away from here.

Colin: You're not... You're from Ukraine too!

Anna: I'm from Ukraine but I've been living here for a long time.

Colin: Ah! Do you like it?

Anna: Here?

Colin: Yes.

Anna: I don't know... yeah! Why not! But, I stayed for two years in Ukraine now, so...

Colin: Right!

Sergii: Okay.

Anna: Maybe we can address this question about planning?

Colin: About... yes?

Anna: He wanted to ask you... because your tour is always planned in advance, and everything is so planned, how does it influence your life?

Colin: I think it's good, because it gives us like energy and opportunities for the band to be together away from families and home life. It can be very positive and give good energy for working together on recordings.

Anna: Mmh hmm!

Sergii: Okay, so, if we talk about planning, I always wanted to ask the question about encores. You do... every show you have two of them.

Colin: Right.

Sergii: And... it's like, you know, not been spontaneous any more.

Colin: Right.

Sergii: And actually it's a surprise when we have three.

Colin: Three! For one!

Sergii: So, have you thought of this, you know, in changing your show to be less traditional?

Colin: We played a concert in Denmark once where we played two sets of forty-five minutes each, or forty minutes each, because we were told this is what people... bands in Denmark did!

Sergii: Uh huh!

Colin: So we tried that. That was quite fun. But, you know, it just works, really! And, it's good to get off and have a nice cold drink and a bit of a sit down, you know, and a look at the paper, and fill up the... you know, see what the crossword is.

Sergii: It's like a few minutes, really.

Colin: Well, that's enough time for a drink and a sit down and a couple of clues in a crossword!

Anna: Do you know before the show what the encore is going to be?

Colin: Erm, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Sometimes we change it. Sometimes we have a choice.

Anna: Mmh hmm!

Colin: But we try to change things a little bit every night. Which is good, you know? I think it's good for everybody.

Sergii: Yeah! And sometimes you change your setlist, and then, when we've found the original one...

Colin: The setlist is different... It's good, you know! It keeps everything a bit more interesting, I think.

Sergii: Okay! Have you rehearsed some songs for this leg of your tour, that you haven't played in South America?

Colin: Yes! Yes we have. We rehearsed a song called 'Nice Dream' from The Bends.

Sergii: Ah hah!

Colin: Which is ... I don't know if you know that song.

Sergii: Yeah... we do!

Colin: It's very nice and floaty.

Sergii: Yeah.

Colin: It's like being in an immersion tank...

Sergii: We would love to hear it!

Colin: With blue whales swimming past...

Sergii and Anna: [laughing]

Colin: Lovely, yes.

Sergii: And, is there a chance to hear new material?

Colin: I hope so! Oh, yes... Well... I think we'll be playing everything that we've released, but I don't think we'll be playing anything that we haven't released.

Sergii: Yeah?

Colin: So, I think that's the plan.

Sergii: And, this new song Thom played on Latitude Festival, 'The Present Tense'?

Colin: Oh yes...

Sergii: Yeah, we know that you've rehearsed it on soundchecks in South America.

Colin: Yes, that's right, yes!

Sergii: So... will you play it, or...

Colin: I hope that... no, we won't! We won't be playing it on this tour, but I hope that we will play it... soon. Because we haven't... we haven't arranged the song yet.

Colin Greenwood
Sergii: Okay! So, a few questions about video stuff.

Colin: Yeah!

Sergii: You haven't been doing, you know, like big videos like you used to do for OK Computer, for example, like, 'Karma Police'. Are you interested in doing those, like, strong videos for your songs, like promo videos?

Colin: The problem with them is that they're very expensive, and I don't know how good it would be, to help us with our music, to make a video. So, you know, it's a... videos can cost up to two hundred and fifty-thousand pounds, which is more than making a record.

Sergii and Anna: [kind of laughing in understanding]

Colin: And, we don't have a... you know, a deal with a record company, so, one that we used to have. So, I don't think it's... it's just too much, too expensive in these times.

Sergii: So were these videos for the In Rainbows songs much cheaper than your previous?

Colin: I don't know, can't remember.

Sergii: Like, 'Jigsaw Falling Into Place'.

Colin: Is there a video for that?

Sergii: Yeah, yeah...

Colin: What was it?

Sergii: With the helmets...

Colin: Oh, yeah! But that was fun, you know? That was ingenuity, that was having fun, and playing with technology. And working with talented people. But you don't have to necessarily spend a lot of money. I mean, we did think about making a video for that album, for another song. We had a director give us a cost for the amount, and it was going to cost a lot of money, a lot more money!

Sergii: So, how do you determine the cost of video? You, like explain the idea, or?

Colin: I think it's very... No, I think you just realize that the world that we live in now has changed from the world of 1993, '94, and there are no longer businesses and record companies or television that exist to spend that kind of money on making videos.

Sergii: Okay! There were some rumours that you were shooting a video in Paris.

Colin: Really?

Sergii: Yeah! Is it true?

Colin: No, but it'd be lovely to go!

Sergii: Yeah!. Actually, the rumor is you were shooting a video in the catacombs of Paris.

Colin: In where? The catacombs? Really! Wow...

Sergii: [laughs]

Colin: I don't know if I'd like to go there, though!

Sergii: Yeah, maybe it could be an idea for...

Colin: Yeah, but too scary! Yeah, I don't want to go.

Sergii: You know, you were doing webcasts, it was really good!

Colin: It was fun, wasn't it!

Sergii: Yeah! Thumbs_down was great!

Colin: Really, really good... thank you!

Sergii: It seems like a very great substitution for videos!

Colin: Yeah! I think so! Although I'd love to do a video, like, going really fast around the coast of Sri Lanka on a yacht or something! It'd be great, wouldn't it!

Sergii: Yeah...

Colin: There's nothing wrong with that!

Sergii and Anna: [laughing]

Colin: Spending a few weeks in the Carribean shooting a video. No, those days though, they're never really... they're not going to happen, are they?

Anna: Mmh hmm.

Sergii: Yeah...

Colin: Who wouldn't like to do that!

Sergii: Will you do webcasts...

Colin: I think we'll carry on working with cool people like Adam Buxton and Garth Jennings, and having fun with what we're doing. That's what's really... I love that, it's really fun! You know, and if we have a good time then I think people who watch it enjoy it too!

Sergii: Yeah! Actually, during your South America tour, people got the links where your shows were broadcasted, you know?

Colin: Oh, right!

Sergii: And we gathered, like, behind our computers...

Colin: Yeah.

Sergii: ...and watched it - your gigs - via internet.

Colin: How nice! That's really, it's amazing.

Sergii: Maybe you will consider, you know, broadcasting every gig? It will, you know, save the environment, and it will be very funny...

Colin: Yeah, yeah...

Sergii: Okay, so, um...

Colin Greenwood
Anna: Can we have another question...?

Sergii: Yeah.

Colin: Yes!

Anna: About, um... what we do as fans, we analyse your lyrics.

Colin: My lyrics?

Anna: Yeah. Just lyrics.

Colin: Thom’s lyrics... Anyone’s lyrics...

Anna: Anyone’s lyrics.

Colin: Okay.

Anna: So, do you have this thing? Do you analyse lyrics of other bands or other pieces of music, literature... you know, other, similar stuff?

Colin: Uh...

Anna: Do you sit there and just...

Colin: Really... I like listening to a lot of disco...

Anna: Uh-huh.

Colin: ... and soul and funk music, and it’s basically all about the same thing. So it’s not really like, um, you know...

Anna: And do you read something and think what it could mean?

Colin: Uh... um [long pause] When I was younger I really liked listening to music by Joy Division and by Otis Redding and, uh, you know, I think they were very good, very serious lyrics, and sometimes it’s hard to hear what the singer is saying, so you make up words, don’t you? Which sometimes you prefer...

Sergii: Especially when Thom is singing...

Colin: Yes, I know, sometimes... It’s his special way of singing, and that you can sort of hear different things. It’s true. But um, but I think, err... I’m trying to think, I don’t...

Sergii: No...

Colin: Well, I don’t know. What’s your question?

Sergii and Anna: [Laugh]

Colin: What do you mean? I’m sorry.

Sergii: Do you listen to other bands’ lyrics and...?

Colin: Other bands?

Sergii: ...analyzing stuff...

Anna: Or maybe you watch a movie and try to figure out what it means...

Colin: Try to figure out what the point of the plot is...

Anna: Yeah.

Colin: ...what’s the subtext, what’s the motivation. Uh, I don’t really watch films. And I don't...

Anna: That’s interesting to know, actually.

Colin: Really? Is it?

Anna: Yeah!

Sergii and Anna: [laugh]

Colin: I mean, I like listening to music like Britten, and John Dowland... words like that, 17th century English court language about, you know, life in that time. That’s what I like. I like listening to X-Ray Spex. Do you know X-Ray Spex? Polystyrene punk rock music from the seventies. That was... that was good. And everything... lots of things. It was good with Kraftwerk. It was good touring with them. It was interesting because they have this one song called 'Radioactivity', which is quite a different song for them.

Sergii: By the way, they already played in Ukraine, so...

Colin: Did they?

Sergii: Yeah.

Colin: Yeah! I know, because they work very closely with... they’re very involved with the charitable organizations, aren't they, about Chernobyl.

Sergii: Yes, it was a free gig, actually.

Colin: Was it good?

Sergii: It was great.

Colin: Yeah... But that song is really emotional, isn't it, for obvious reasons. You know, it’s quite different because they write songs which are emotional about non-emotional subjects.

Sergii: Yeah.

Colin: Like travel.

Sergii: Yeah, they change their songs, you know like...

Colin: Yeah, they changed that.

Sergii: ...develop them.

Colin: That’s right. So yes, I like that too.

Sergii: Okay, so maybe another hard question. [laughs] There was information in Israel Time Out magazine that Jonny lives in Israel, has a house in Israel.

Colin: Right.

Sergii: And the locals in this city...

Colin: Yes.

Sergii: ...they claim that he...

Colin: Is a werewolf...

Sergii: No, that he plays little gigs, like open mic...

Colin: [Laughs] Open mic nights. That’s funny. No, I don’t think it’s true. I think when he goes away he wants to get... no... He spends a lot of time in front of his computer writing music for films, and the strings and things. But I don’t think he goes out and... I think he might do some stand-up comedy...

Sergii and Anna: [Laugh]

Colin: ...on the mic. I think he goes out to these little bars and he tells jokes about his...

Sergii: Is he good?

Colin: Sorry? Is he funny... at telling jokes? Uh... yeah, he’s quite funny. He’s very funny, actually. He’s got a very good sense of humour.

Sergii: Ok, and uh... He works on some songs right now?

Colin: Well, I don’t know if he is at the moment, but he has done in the past, yes. I think, yes. I think he’s going to try and all concentrate on Radiohead.

Sergii: Yeah. I know that his wife is doing artwork for his albums.

Colin: Yes!

Sergii: Is she involved in his...

Colin: Well, I think it’s great that she participates in the work that he makes, by contributing images. It’s very cool. But we have some of her work at home. It’s important to support your artistic friends.

Sergii: And Phil is going to release an album...

Colin: Well, he hasn’t got a release plan, but he is going to...

Sergii: Record.

Colin: Yeah, I think next... next week, actually, September... in September, week after next fortnight, he’s going to start work on... and try to finish his record. Very exciting!

Sergii: Will he do it by himself or will you help him?

Colin: Well, he’s borrowing my double bass. But he doesn’t need me because he’s got some very talented musicians working with him. Some people from folk music, and I think maybe someone from Wilco, but I’m not sure.

Sergii: So what style...

Colin: ...of music? Just very melodic, very, very well done songs. Just songwriting, you know.

Sergii: Like the songs he played during Seven Worlds Collide?

Colin: Yeah, probably... similar to that. I mean, he likes folk music a lot, and he has worked with folk musicians, but I don’t think he’d want... it’s not just about folk music. It’s other influences and styles as well. My memory of him is he’s a big Ska fan. We grew up listening to The Beat and The Specials and stuff. So maybe there’ll be some Ska music in there.

Sergii: That would be great!

Colin: Would be great, wouldn’t it? He does a very good Ska drumbeat. It’s wonderful.

Sergii: And he and Ed worked with other musicians in Seven Worlds Collide. Jonny did some soundtracks. Thom did The Eraser. Have you thought of... have you considered some solo work?

Colin: No, I don’t think I’d be able to do anything like that, so...

Sergii: But, you know, your bass lines... you contributed to this song, '24 Hour Charleston'.

Colin: Oh, for my friend’s film?

Sergii: It was really great.

Colin: It was very nice of him to ask me.

Sergii: Yeah, maybe you’ll do something with Jonny...

Colin: I don’t think so. I don't think that we... It doesn’t work. We have to basically all be together, I feel.

Sergii: Okay. Do you know that maybe Thom has any plans for doing another solo album?

Colin: I don’t know! I don’t know what... I mean, we started this work for the new music in the summer. We did, like, about 5-6 weeks and we’re going to return to it in the autumn, and we’ll see, really, but I don’t know. I mean, everything’s fairly open and undecided.

Sergii: And there were some rumours that Thom is going to work with Jack White.

Colin: Jack White? Um... I think that... let me have a think... I think we’ve met him a couple of times. I think Thom met him and has spoken with him at the James Bond premiere in London, and maybe they talked about working together then, but I don’t think there’s any firm plans. But he’s great. We all like him very much. And Nigel, our producer, actually recorded... was it The Weather? What are they called? His band, you know, Jack White, the band he’s playing with at the moment... Cool Weather? What’s it called... You know the band. You can check their name... on his From the Basement series... Dead Weather.

Sergii: Okay, have you rehearsed some cover songs lately?

Colin: Err... yeah we have this terrible... well, when I say terrible... We have this cover of a James Brown song called 'Think' that we love to play every day when we rehearse, because it's fun.

Sergii: Aha.

Colin: And, you know, I think my favourite memories of being in Radiohead is going to see James Brown play in L.A. at the Hollywood Bowl and Thom introducing him, which was very cool. 'Ladies and gentleman: James Brown.'

Sergii: Yeah. And how often do your ideas of playing some other band's music end up as actual, you know, the band playing a cover song...

Colin: How... how... how...?

Sergii: Yeah, you know, the idea of playing a cover version ends up as actually playing it, how often...

Colin: Oh, pff, not that often, I mean that's kind of the thing that you would do when you had lots of time and you didn't have families, I suppose...

Anna: Hmm...

Colin: know. I guess that'd be my answer. And... we covered like Magazine's 'Shot by both sides' and Joy Divi... you know like when we did that webcast, that was fun, that, you know, the webcast, when we learned some covers for fun, you know, so... so people could see what songs and bands influenced us, and what we're excited about as kids. I think that's what's cool.

Sergii: Yeah, that was cool and the stuff you, erm... you was... you know, you DJed, you know, later...

Colin: Oh yeah.

Sergii: People gathered lists of it and...

Colin: Yeah, that's good, yeah, that's good, good tunes, yeah that's good, that's good, man. And then Thom's putting out that 7", a cover of this Mark Mulcahy song, do you know this, 'All For The Best'?

Sergii: Yeah.

Colin: That's really good.

Sergii: Yeah, that's good.

Anna: Do you sometimes check on the internet, what the fans are saying about the webcasts...

Colin: Yeah, we do, we absolutely do check what people are saying... and we used to do that thing when we talked to people a lot in the early days, when the internet started in 1993. Yay. But there're too many people.

Anna: And how about today, do you have some nickname and some...

Colin: No, because there's too many... too crazy, too busy, too crowded. But, I don't know... I mean I think what will happen is when we go back home and we work out what we want to do next, we'll have to work out how we want to share what we do with people using the internet as well as playing concerts. I mean, one of the things I would like to do is to play more concerts in former Eastern Europe, like Ukraine and Estonia. I've got some friends playing in Estonia, next weekend at a festival, what's it called...

Anna: Who's them?

Colin: ...Elephant?

Anna: Erm, I don't know, but who... who's playing there?

Colin: Erm, Kieran Hebden, Four Tet.

Sergii: Aha.

Colin: He's playing next weekend. So... but I, you know, so that's something, that's my ambition, to play shows. It would be fantastic.

Sergii: Yeah, it would be great to see you, because, you know, you make me too to go somewhere to see you.

Colin: Did you come from Skizet?

Anna: Sziget, in Hungary?

Colin: Yeah, Sziget.

Anna: Yeah.

Sergii: Yeah, we was there.

Colin: Was that last week... when was that?

Sergii: Yeah, last week.

Colin: Was it good? Who played?

Sergii: Yeah, Bloc Party...

Anna: [laughs]

Sergii: ...for example, and Coldcut...

Colin: Oh, were they good?

Sergii: Yeah, they... they like do a very environmental-oriented [???] stuff.

Colin: Oh, nice.

Sergii: And, actually they gather signs [signatures] after the show...

Colin: All right.

Sergii: ...Friends of the Earth.

Colin: Oh, great!

Sergii: And there was a lot of great bands there...

Colin: Hmm...

Sergii: ...except Radiohead.

Anna: [laughs]

Sergii: But when you...

Colin: We played there!

Sergii: Yeah. In 20...

Colin: ...three years ago?

Sergii: Yeah, three years ago.

Colin: It was good! Did you go?

Sergii: It was my first gig when I saw you.

Colin: I enjoyed it, did you enjoy it?

Sergii: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Colin: It was good, man.

Anna: We saw you last year in Barcelona.

Sergii: Yeah. Was it Daydream Festival?

Anna: Yeah.

Colin: Oh yeah, that was in the... that was a bit strange, wasn't it? Because it was next to the sewage works, it was really smelly.

Anna: Ah, yeah.

Sergii and Anna: [laugh]

Colin: Yeah. But the lights were good.

Anna: Yeah.

Sergii: Yeah.

Colin: Lights were really good.

Sergii: And, you know, like both times you hardly made it to go there...

Colin: I know, it's... yeah.

Sergii: I think it's the tourists strike, the strike...

Colin: Oh right, oh yeah, I remember now, that's right.

Anna: [laughs]

Colin: Oh, dear...

Sergii and Anna: [laugh]

Colin: Right!

Sergii: Okay, yeah, I'm, erm, I've run out of questions...

Colin: Have I answered your questions...

Sergii: Yeah, yeah...

Colin: ...correctly?

Sergii: Yeah.

Anna: [laughs]

Colin: Good.

Colin Greenwood
Sergii: There is an extra... extra question...

Colin: Yes, Sir, ask the question...

Sergii: ...but it's a bit weird...

Anna: [laughs]

Colin: That's okay.

Sergii: I have three soundclips, and a man, who interviewed Ed last summer asked for you to identify them.

Colin: Okay.

Sergii: Would you listen to that?

Colin: Yeah, sure.

Sergii: Okay.

Colin: Okay, here we go! Can't you just play them on the [refers to MiniDisc recorder used to record the interview]

[noise of moving the recorder]

Colin: Yes, this is recording. [???]

Sergii: Yeah, it's pretty old.

Anna: That's mine. [laughs]

Colin: Okay. All right. Fire away.

Sergii: Okay.

Colin: What could it be? Okay, it's playing.

Sergii: It's... it's soundchecks of yours.

Colin: Okay... [listening] Oh yeah, I know it, it's called, erm, 'Porous'.

Sergii: Aha.

Colin: Yeah.

Sergii: Are you working on this...?

Colin: Yeah, we have been, yeah. Do you like it?

Sergii: Yeah. But the quality is poor.

Colin: Yeah, the quality's not good, yeah, cool.

Sergii: Okay, next one.

Colin: [listening] That's called 'I Lie Awake'. That's a new one.

Sergii: Erm... how?

Colin: That's called 'I Lie Awake'.

Sergii: Aha, okay.

Colin: How funny!

Anna: [laughs]

Sergii: Yeah! And the last one...

Colin: It's like listening to something from another planet...

Anna: [laughs]

Colin: [listening] No waaay!

Sergii and Anna: [laughing loudly]

Colin: I completely forgot, I love this song. It's called... Oh, fuck... It's called something like 'Rooftops' or something like that...

Sergii: 'Rooftops'...

Colin: Yeah, but it's not called 'Rooftops', it's not called that, it's something like that. That's really annoying...

Anna: [laughs]

Colin: That's my favourite.

Sergii: You've rehearsed this one...

Colin: L.A., at the Greek Theater. Yeah, I remember. Oh, how annoying! Let me have a think, let me have a think.

Sergii and Anna: [laugh]

Anna: You can call us later. [laughs]

Colin: Oh, that's really annoying, that's called... [long pause]

Sergii: [giggles]

Colin: I can't remember. If I do remember, would you give me your...

Anna: E-mail?

Colin: Yep.

Anna: Okay. I'll write it down.

Colin: It's something like that, it's like 'Patchwork' or 'Rooftops' or something, you know, but I can't remember what it's called. It's called... [sighs] I could just call my brother, couldn't I? I'll just do that.

Anna: [laughs]

Colin: Okay.

Sergii: There is one question I forgot.

Colin: Yeah.

Sergii: You mentioned in an interview from last year that one of the new songs reminded you of 'Motion Picture Soundtrack'. Erm... can you tell us...

Colin: Oh really?

Sergii: Yeah, can you tell us...

Colin: Err... [sighs]

Anna: [hands over the e-mail adress]

Colin: Thank you. It's not called that, but it's something like that...

[talking about mailing to Sergii]

Colin: Oh, I don't know... what song sounded like... [pause] When did I say that?

Sergii: A year ago.

Colin: Bloody hell! Love that song, it's very beautiful though, isn't it, it's happy and sad at the same time. Which ones do you like from In Rainbows?

Sergii: Umm, '15 Step'.

Colin: I like that one too. [drumming the rhythm on the table with his fingers] Should have been a single.

Sergii: Yeah, and err, 'Nude'...

Colin: I like that one too. I like 'Arpeggi'.

Sergii: Yeah. I wish you recorded 'Big Boots' as well.

Colin: Yeah.

Sergii: Because it's... [???].

Colin: Yeah, do you like that one, I like that one too, that's our James Bond song.

Sergii: Yeah.

Anna: I like the Flowers one, I'm bad with the song names, but... [sings 'Last Flowers' melody]

Colin: Last Flowers. Very beautiful, isn't it? I know, it's amazing, isn't it? It's happy and oh, it's just sad, that one is not even happy, it's just beautifully sad.

Colin: Okay, cool, well I hope I had some good answers to your questions.

Sergii: Yeah, yeah.

Anna: Thank you very much.

Colin: Would you like a picture of me standing up?

Sergii: Yeah, sure.

Colin: Come on, then. So that people know I have legs.

Colin Greenwood

Interview by Sergii Kauk and Anna Latsanitch
photo by Taras Khimchak


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