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Thom Yorke by Craig McDean for Interview Magazine

Musician Thom Yorke fronts the cover of Interview Magazine’s August 2013 edition shot by Craig McDean with styling by Karl Templer.

”It’s an odd situation to just sort of start again without the big Radiohead flag, which guarantees this insane level of scrutiny. It’s nice to take it off, but it sort of throws you a bit as well.” —THOM YORKE

As far as rock-’n'-roll stories go, the tale of Thom Yorke has a handful of conspicuous deficiencies: It contains no sex scandals or drug arrests to speak of and, at times, by design, very little rock-’n'-roll. More than two decades have passed since Yorke’s band Radiohead emerged from Abingdon School in Oxfordshire, England, a well-mannered, cerebral crew—originally called On a Friday—that also includes bassist Colin Greenwood and his guitarist/multi-instrumentalist little brother, Jonny, as well as guitarist Ed O’Brien and drummer Phil Selway.

They were signed when just out of college, scooped up in the A&R feeding frenzy surrounding the nascent shoegaze and Britpop waves of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Yorke, though, has never been an archetypal frontman—and Radiohead, never an archetypal band. Since first achieving notoriety with the grungily self-recriminating song “Creep” off their debut, Pablo Honey (1993), they have unleashed a string of albums that have consistently kicked at the conventions of both rock music and Radiohead itself. By popular consensus, the fulcrum is the group’s 1997 album, OK Computer, a complex, elegiac tour de force meditation on paranoia, isolation, technology, and yearning that has, among other things, yielded the oft-bandied declaration, “It’s their OK Computer”—a line frequently dropped by musicians who aren’t in Radiohead, people who read Pitchfork, and most egregiously, music journalists, to connote the arrival of an album by a band thought to be at the peak of their creative powers that at once represents the most challenging work they’ve ever done and the most them they’ve ever sounded. OK Computer was Radiohead’s OK Computer: the crystallization of an idea and the portal to another realm.

By Daniel Craig / Click here to see the full interview.

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