Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

2. RadioheadKid A

Like lots of people my age, Radiohead were a big band before Kid A. The Bends were where I really got into them, and then OK Computer really blew me away. But then Kid A came out and it was nothing like their other stuff. They took away all their guitars. They were the kings of guitars and they took them all away, and they replaced it with really out of tune, quiet synths and little drum machines and it made me and all my friends really surprised. We didn’t know what this meant because we were so used to guitars being important, and then Radiohead came along and said you don’t need any of that stuff, screw it. That really changed my attitude.

Radiohead showed a generation that you don’t need to be afraid of change. I just think it was such a brave decision, considering where they were in their career, what they had come from and what they had become well known for. They threw it all out the window and that inspired a huge amount of people I think, and it inspires us every time with think of it, or whenever we talk about turning our attention to a new album, we always have it in the back of our minds that we could "pull a Kid A", we could pull a U-turn, and that comes down to the fact that they were willing to do that, it was inspiring.

Obviously loads of musical stuff came out of Kid A. The way Thom Yorke sings is pretty indelibly put into me, and a lot of the way the band play, and everything Jonny Greenwood does, influences us. It’s what Kid A‘s attitude was really. It’s really slapdash in the way it’s recorded, it’s really awkwardly mixed. It sounds like they’ve done it themselves out of old pieces of machinery that shouldn’t work anymore. Gone are all the shiny, beautiful guitar tones and high production. Even his voice is beautiful and yet it’s been corrupted and you can’t really hear what he’s saying, and he’s singing falsetto. All the stuff that we kind of relied on them for all got chucked in the bin and that’s just fucking awesome!

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Tony Njoku, Afrodeutsche, UNKLE, Kamasi Washington, Dave Okumu, Lorenzo Senni
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