Unlike the fans who haven’t removed their headphones since 2 AM, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood is able to focus something other than In Rainbows right now: We talked to him this morning for an upcoming story about his experimental orchestral work, Popcorn Superhet Receiver, which will be making its U.S. debut in New York this January. But Greenwood was also kind enough to share some thoughts about his band’s industry-shaking new album. Here’s a sample:
Why did you choose to release the album this way?
Partly just to get it out quickly, so everyone would hear it at the same time, and partly because it was an experiment that felt worth trying, really.
Why the variable pricing?
It’s fun to make people stop for a few seconds and think about what music is worth, and that’s just an interesting question to ask people.
How would you respond to complaints about the sound quality — that 160 isn’t a high enough bitrate?
I don’t know, we talked about it and we just wanted to make it a bit better than iTunes, which it is, so that’s kind of good enough, really. It’s never going to be CD quality, because that’s what CD does.
What goals did you have for the album itself?
I suppose we wanted to get back slightly to Kid A in that we were spending longer experimenting and trying stuff out — it wasn’t so much of a performance-based thing, like Hail to the Thief. Other than that, it’s the usual thing of turning up with these songs and the pressure is, “Don’t fuck it up, don’t record them badly, don’t do bad arrangements of them, and do them justice.” So that’s what we’ve done.
What are your touring plans?
That’s exactly what we finally started talking about. Now that the album’s out, we can get together exactly how and where we’re going to tour.
For full coverage of In Rainbows, check out the next issue of Rolling Stone. Popcorn Superhet Receiver will be performed by a thirty-five-piece orchestra on January 17th in New York’s Church of St. Paul the Apostle.