Thom Yorke and David Byrne chat about the price of music

Wired has an exceptionally done interview with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne.? I can’t think of two musicians I’d rather have sit down to talk about the state of music and the business itself that these two gentleman.? They’re both incredibly intelligent and responsible for two legendary bands.

As a bonus the article also has soundbites of the two talking and Thom York sounds positively ecstatic to be talking with Byrne.? But then again who wouldn’t be?


(Photo by James Day at Radiohead’s Oxford offices)
Byrne: So this bypasses all those reviewers and goes straight to the fans.

Yorke: In a way, yeah. And it was a thrill. We mastered it, and two days later it was on the site being, you know, preordered. That was just a really exciting few weeks to have that direct connection.

Byrne: And letting people choose their own price?

Yorke: That was [manager Chris Hufford’s] idea. We all thought he was barmy. As we were putting up the site, we were still saying, “Are you sure about this?” But it was really good. It released us from something. It wasn’t nihilistic, implying that the music’s not worth anything at all. It was the total opposite. And people took it as it was meant. Maybe that’s just people having a little faith in what we’re doing.

Byrne: And that works for you guys. You have an audience ready. Like me ? if I hear there’s something new of yours out there, I’ll just go and buy it without poking around about what the reviews say.

Yorke: Well, yeah. The only reason we could even get away with this, the only reason anyone even gives a shit, is the fact that we’ve gone through the whole mill of the business in the first place. It’s not supposed to be a model for anything else. It was simply a response to a situation. We’re out of contract. We have our own studio. We have this new server. What the hell else would we do? This was the obvious thing. But it only works for us because of where we are.

Head over to Wired to read the entire conversation.

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