Radiohead opens up about recording “OK Computer”: “I was basically catatonic,” says Yorke

Credit: Tom SheehanRadiohead speaks in depth about the making of their 1997 album OK Computer, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, in an interview with Rolling Stone.

In the piece, frontman Thom Yorke says he was “basically catatonic” when recording the album.

“Back then, the person I saw in the mirror kept saying, ‘You’re s***. Everything you do is s***. Don’t do that. It’s s***,'” Yorke remembers.

That, of course, influenced the themes of OK Computer, which is full of feelings of paranoia and alienation.

“The paranoia I felt at the time was much more related to how people related to each other,” Yorke says. “But I was using the terminology of technology to express it. Everything I was writing was actually a way of trying to reconnect with other human beings when you’re always in transit.”

“The whole album is really f****** geeky,” he adds. “I was kind of a geek when I was a kid, unashamedly so. Then I’m in this rock band famous for drinking tea and never socializing, where the truth is somewhat different.”

Adding to the paranoia was the fact that Radiohead recorded OK Computer as St. Catherine’s Court, a supposedly haunted manor in Bath, England.

“Ghosts would talk to me while I was asleep,” he says. “There was one point where I got up in the morning after a night of hearing voices and decided I had to cut my hair.”

Radiohead will release an expanded 20th anniversary edition of OK Computer, titled OKNOTOK, on June 23.

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