Page last updated at 16:50 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 17:50 UK

Talking Shop: Radiohead's Colin Greenwood

By Jo Youle
BBC 6 Music News reporter

Radiohead
Radiohead won two Grammy Awards for In Rainbows at the start of 2009

Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood has revealed that the band are back in the studio with long-time producer Nigel Godrich, working on the follow-up to 2007's In Rainbows.

He has spoken about the band's album progress, festival plans and love of German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk.

Greenwood was talking at the launch of Loops, a collaborative music journal created by publishers Faber & Faber and Domino Records.


So do you do a lot of writing, aside from songwriting?

No, I just turn up at the studio and make noises with everyone else, then leave and go home. That's about it really.

Have you guys been making noises recently?

We just went in last week, it was really good. It was very noisy and chaotic, and really fun. I'm very impressed with, and grateful for, our producer Nigel and his ability to make it all sound vaguely plausible.

Is Nigel a firm fixture for your eighth record?

Nigel is fantastically brilliant. He can take anything, whether it is an old hi-fi unit or four of five people in a band, and he'll try and make it work one way or another. I totally love and respect him for that.

How many tracks have you done?

Radiohead singer Thom Yorke
The band are headlining the Reading and Leeds festivals

It's really scrapbooks. We're at the stage where we've got the big Lego box out, we've tipped it out on the floor and we're thinking, what next? But it's cool, it's just trying to get everyone excited and inspired and into it.

But what is really cool is that we have just got back from touring in South America, and it is the first time we have been to some of the countries there, and Mexico.

It was the most brilliant experience. We were playing with Kraftwerk, who are one of our musical heroes, so it was a real privilege to share a stage with them.

What is it about Kraftwerk that is so special?

Obviously I love the beats, but I fell in love with them again through my brother Johnny, who didn't really know their music so well.

He's not such a big fan of contemporary electronic music, but he loves the quality of the melody. Their melodies sort of seep into your brain and stay there - it's fabulous.

Would they be people you'd think about working with?

They are up at the top of the mountain! It was a huge thing to be touring with them.

Are you looking forward to the festival season?

Very excited. We're playing Reading and Leeds, so that should be good. Should be darker and louder this time, as it's been a bit frustrating at some of the festivals, and some of our own shows last year, that it was light.

For the first 45 minutes of the show you could see our lighting designer slumped over his console. Considering how bright the lights are and how much work you put into it, it was a shame. So we wanted to come back and do it, so people can see it as it is meant to be, darker and louder.

Are you going to be unleashing any new material there?

I don't know. It's early days for that.

Is that one of your favourite festivals?

We played Roskilde and that was extraordinary, a rectangle of 75,000 people just going crazy all the way from front to back. That was brilliant, playing under an orange pointy tent. But ones in the UK? Yeah, they have all been good.

You still play a lot of festivals, but do you go to any?

I want to go to one of those fluffy ones, where you can camp out and relax and stuff. I have one of those tipi tent things.

When we made the last record, Stanley [Donwood], who does all our artwork, camped out in the back of this crumbling country house in a tipi, while we slept in caravans. I was inspired to buy a tipi and a little mini-festival tent, and do that thing with the kids.

And with your eighth studio album, will you be going down the In Rainbows honesty box route?

We've got lots of ideas, but we won't decide until we finish the thing. I don't know, it is all up in the air, but it's good. It was all up in the air last time, and that was what was exciting, it was all on the hoof.



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