Radiohead’s Thom Yorke – ever a voice in the wilderness, yeah? – granted a rare interview in February for a new high school textbook entitled The Rax Active Citizen Toolkit. The textbook is directed at encouraging young people to be more politically active, and the interview focuses on any tips Yorke might have for young musicians.
His advice: don’t sign on with a major label! Don’t struggle to find a record contract! “Don’t tie yourself to the sinking ship,” he says, “because, believe me, it’s sinking.”
Referring to a recent conversation with Radiohead bandmate Ed O’Brien, Yorke predicts that “it’s simply a matter of time – months rather than years – before the music business establishment completely folds.”
Months rather than years. And this is coming from people who know something of that which they speak. Radiohead got off the sinking ship quite a while back, breaking acrimoniously with EMI and releasing their seventh studio album, In Rainbows, online using a pay-what-you-like model.
The Featured Artists Coalition
Since Radiohead went rogue, guitarist Ed O’Brien has become the founding director of the Featured Artists Coalition, an organization dedicated to creating change in the music industry and protecting the rights of young artists.