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Message 98: Hail to the Thieves

In these excerpts from a biography on Radiohead’s Capitol Records site, the band discusses the new album’s title.

Jonny Greenwood: “We’d never name a record after one political event like Bush’s election. The record’s bigger than that. Hopefully it will last longer than Bush unless he’s getting a whole dynasty together, which is always possible. One of the things Thom’s singing about is whether or not you choose to deal with what’s happening. There are a lot of lines about escaping and avoiding issues, about keeping your head down and waiting. Everybody feels like that from time to time as much as they feel frustration about things they can’t change. It’s a confusing time right now but that doesn’t mean that we’re issuing any kind of manifesto. It’s more like we’re summing up what it’s like to be around in 2003.”

Thom Yorke: “We don’t have to stand on a soap-box and preach because hopefully we’re channelling it through the new record. We didn’t start out to make a protest record at all. That would have been too shallow. As usual, it was simply a case of absorbing what’s going on around us. The title of the record goes so much deeper than just being some anti-Bush propaganda. If we got into a situation where people start burning our records, then bring it on. That’s the whole point. The gloaming has begun. We’re in the darkness. This has happened before. Go read some history.”

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