Thom Yorke Talks Atoms for Peace Album: "We Got Wasted, Played Pool and Listened to Fela Kuti"
Published Nov 05, 2012This weekend, some alleged details regarding the long-awaited debut album from Thom Yorke's band Atoms for Peace emerged online. Now, the Radiohead singer has explained what we can expect from AMOK, which will drop early next year.
Yorke told Rolling Stone that the material that comprises the album was recorded in 2010 with multi-instrumentalist/producer Nigel Godrich, bassist Flea, drummer Joey Waronker and percussionist Mauro Refosco. The three-day studio session in Los Angeles followed the band's live shows in support of Yorke's 2006 solo album The Eraser.
Yorke explained, "It was about trying to get interesting grooves. When we first hung out, we were at Flea's house. We got wasted, played pool and listened to Fela Kuti all night. It was that idea of trance-ing out. But there are still songs here."
Following three days of jamming in the studio, they emerged with "a fucking mountain [of material]," said Yorke. "It was a form of madness. We'd go in at midday and pretty much work through to 10. We were playing all the time. It was bonkers. We'd stop to change beat. Joey and Mauro would scribe the beat out, using whatever weird notation they have, and then go off on it for another hour."
Yorke and Godrich have spent the last two years chopping up, editing and adding to those recordings, and now they have finally pieced together the dance-inspired final product. He described the song "Judge, Jury and Executioner" as "angry" and rhythmically "odd," while "Reverse Running" has a "weird desperation in it."
He added, "I'm going, all the time, 'Hmm, this is too human. Can we make this a little more mechanistic?' But as much as I try to resist the temptation, I really want to say, 'This is the beginning of something.'"
Rolling Stone confirmed that AMOK will drop in early 2013 via XL, although the widely reported date of January 28 is apparently not accurate.
For now, check out the teaser track "Default" below.