Thom Yorke In His Own Words: Radiohead Frontman’s Best Quotes


    haters gonna hate thom

    When Thom Yorke talks, everyone else shuts up. Because whenever the Radiohead frontman opens his mouth, the resulting quote typically dominates the headlines, and not just because he’s leader of one of music’s most illustrious acts. Like Morrissey, Yorke doesn’t hold back, whether the topic is regarding his own band, other people’s bands, or politics of his native UK. Recent, Yorke made waves when he referred to music streaming service Spotify as “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse.” In light of these comments, we’ve compiled a list of Yorke’s 45 greatest quotes, rants, and tirades.

    Thom Yorke on fame

    thom yorke nipple Thom Yorke In His Own Words: Radiohead Frontmans Best Quotes

    “Being in a band is about wreaking revenge on the world. It’s like when you get chucked by your first girlfriend. You just say to yourself: ‘I’m going to be famous one day, and she’ll regret that…'” The Observer, 2000

    “The process of success is like this slow-drying glue that sets around you, that slows you down and gums you up. And while all that’s happening, your own life’s going on at the side of it, with your own relationships and your own experiences and that becomes sort of calcified as well.” The Observer, 2000

    “I want to be alone and I want people to notice me — both at the same time.” Melody Maker, 1993


    “I tell you what’s really ridiculous: going into a bookstore and there’s all these books about yourself. In a way, it feels like you’re already dead.” Tour Diary, 2003

    “I wake up on a normal day and I go out for a meal with my girlfriend but someone is sitting there watching me for a while. Then he comes up and asks me for my autograph and it’s like ‘Well, yeah, I could give you my autograph but, as far as I’m concerned, I’m not going to because I’m here with my girlfriend — this is my space and you’re invading it.’ I mean, I don’t want to be seen as malicious or nasty, but it gets to be too much sometimes.” The Trigger, 1995

    “I hadn’t figured out that bands and girls went together. I went to a boys school, and I didn’t realize that most guys join bands because they wanted to get girls.” Interview Magazine, 2013


    “We’re from England and English people aren’t impressed. There’s this automatic assumption that any degree of success means that you’ve… You’ve cheated. Or you’re full of shit or whatever. We’re fascinated by the fact that in America celebrities live on that higher plate. They’re untouchable. It’s fucking mad.” Meeting People is Easy, 1998

    “Getting everything you want has nothing to do with anything.” Esquire, 2013

    “It’s easy to be miserable. Being happy is tougher — and cooler.” Alternative Press, 1997

    Thom Yorke on Radiohead

    radiohead 2011

    “It’s a fine line between writing something with genuine emotional impact and turning into little idiots feeling sorry for ourselves and playing stadium rock.” The Times, 1995

    “We operate like the U.N., and I’m America.” The New York Times, 2000

    “Us on hard drugs? That would be horrible. We’d probably end up sounding like Bryan Adams.” Q, 1997

    “People sometimes say we take things too seriously, but it’s the only way you’ll get anywhere. We’re not going to sit around and wait and just be happy if something turns up. We are ambitious. You have to be.” Curfew, 1991


    “Sometimes, I’m in a real state after a show, and I can’t talk to [the fans], and I always feel bad afterwards. I remember when I was in that position, getting drunk, talking to Everything But the Girl, and we had a really nice chat when I was 15. And then I’ve met some other guys who were total assholes. But now I realize that sometimes you’re just too tired to deal with it. But when you walk out of a venue like that and say ‘No autographs’ then it’s like ‘Fuck you!’ But the idea of having your body scent critiqued right on the spot, total strangers kissing your head…. It’s nice. It’s the only fucking kiss I get. It’s the only time I get any physical contact with anybody.” Alternative Press, 1995

    “The hardest part about being in Radiohead is listening to my own music.” Uncut, 2001

    Thom Yorke on other artists


    Image via deviantART

    On Muse: “I draw the line at Muse, because they openly slag us off, as well as openly rip us off. And that’s like, ‘How fucking dare you?’ You know, there’s one thing to imitate and then to slag off the person you are imitating. That’s just not cool, that’s incredibly bad karma.” Backstage interview 2001

    On Flea: “I felt that certain bass lines on The Eraser needed him to be able to exist onstage,” Yorke said. “It’s a recurring joke with Nigel [Godrich] about my bass lines. He said that I imitate Flea when I write them. He said to me that Flea should play them, so that it would be Flea imitating Thom Yorke imitating Flea.” Les Inrocks, 2013

    “Aphex Twin opened up another world that didn’t involve my fucking electric guitar, and I was just so jealous of that whole crew. They were off on their own planet.” Dazed & Confused, 2013


    “Apart from R.E.M., Neil Young has absolutely inspired everything, the way I write lyrics, all the time. “He’ll bang away on his acoustic and he’ll create this most monumental thing.” BBC, 2013

    “If you want to be entertained, go and see Hanson.” Melody Maker, 1995

    On Oasis: “They’re a joke, aren’t they? It’s just lots of middle-class people applauding a bunch of guys who act stupid and write really primitive music. Then people say ‘Oh, it’s so honest.’” London Calling, 1995

    On Miley Cyrus: “When Miley grows up, she’ll learn not to have such a sense of entitlement.” US Weekly, 2009


    On Pixies: “Doolittle changed my life.” Coachella, 2004

    On the Spice Girls: “I agree with whoever said they’re soft porn. They’re the Antichrist. I don’t want any part of it, and if I had kids, I wouldn’t want them to have any part of it, either. I’d move to an island where you can’t get hold of any Spice Girls stuff.” Rolling Stone, 1997

    “I have to say, I don’t like a lot of the DJ culture that goes around it. I don’t like this sort of, get paid a lot of money and the DJ comes and he just fucking does his set. Which is fine, ‘cause he knows it works and he’s worked hard at it-but sometimes, you’re like, ‘Really? What, really?” Rolling Stone, 2013

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