Nigel Godrich discusses the impetus for his celebrated performance series, From the Basement, in a new clip tied to the arrival of the show on the Coda Collection. Curated episodes will hit the streaming platform each week, starting today, July 23rd, with Radiohead’s 2011 appearance in support of The King of Limbs.
The clip comes from a new interview Godrich did with the Coda Collection’s editorial director Greg Kot. Godrich explained that the show’s creation was linked to advances in technology, like the proliferation of high-definition television (shooting in high-def was one of the main reasons the show was able to secure funding for its first season, Godrich revealed). Godrich added that they were also eager to make From the Basement web-based, but when they were putting it together in the mid-2000s, internet technology wasn’t quite ready for high-quality online streaming.
Godrich went on to talk about how the show became a unique and exciting place for artists to play amid the typical press cycle stops. “They’re all people that had that experience of doing the usual kind of grind of promo on TV where you go in, do your thing, packed up and sod off and gone again,” he said. “And it’s not very enjoyable. And my pitch was how about if we did it really well and took our time and just made something really as special as the music that you were playing, tried to make it sound great, tried to make it look great, the priority being the quality of it. That was the intention. Everybody was really excited by that idea. And so it was relatively easy to get all the people that I wanted to be on it.”
While Radiohead’s King of Limbs episode was one of two full performances they recorded for From the Basement (the other was in support of In Rainbows), most episodes featured performances from a mix of artists. Other artists that appeared on the series included the White Stripes, PJ Harvey, Sonic Youth, Beck, the Shins, Jarvis Cocker, Damien Rice, Sparks, Iggy Pop and the Stooges and Queens of the Stone Age.
In the coming weeks, From the Basement episodes arriving on the Coda Collection will feature performances from Gnarls Barkley, Aimee Mann, the Raconteurs, Iggy and the Stooges, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the White Stripes, Moby, Fleet Foxes and My Morning Jacket.