OK Computer isn't Radiohead's best album, but it's still the one that made them famous, so naturally, amid the many 20th anniversary celebrations and reflections from other writers, we finally hear from Thom Yorke himself about his band's supposed masterwork. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Yorke opens up about the album's storied recording process. While anecdotes about Jonny Greenwood's mythical "Paranoid Android" organ solos during Radiohead's opening tour with Alanis Morissette have been the stuff of rock lore for a while, there are a few new tidbits.
Chiefly, Yorke speaks on his inspirations for OK Computer's overall mood and subject matter, citing a stray line from Douglas Adams' immortal sci-fi-satire and nerd classic Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy ("OK, computer, I want full manual control now.") as the source of the title. Adding to this, Yorke says:
Some of the tech-y lyrics, Yorke concedes, were just signs of his inner nerd emerging. "The whole album is really fucking geeky," he says. "I was kind of a geek when I was a kid, unashamedly so.
At long last, definitive proof that the greatest works of rock are the products of overanalytical minds and unchecked neuroses. Shout outs to all my worrywarts, we're really out here.
Elsewhere, Yorke elaborates on how ghosts that spoke to him during the OK Computer sessions drove him to cut his own hair with a Swiss Army knife ("I cut myself a few times. It got messy.") and we get the incredible scoop that his phone case has a sticker on it that reads "fuck what you heard," alongside more serious ruminations on advice he would have given his younger self at the time ("It's OK to be anxious about stuff"). You can find the full interview here.
Phil will never tire of writing about this fucking band. He's on Twitter.