In the second 'seminar' with our 'producer-students' posing burning questions to our February coverstar, Radiohead & Atoms for Peace frontman Thom Yorke, we meet Hessle Audio co-founder Pearson Sound, Caribou (known as Daphni for his most recent ventures), and Ninja Tune's RYAT who premieres her new video on Dazed today exclusively. As part of the 14 chosen electronic producers who 'enrolled in a digital class' with Yorke, yesterday we also saw Flying Lotus, The Gaslamp Killer & FaltyDL who made us an exclusive mix, and there's more to come this week from the likes of Gatekeeper, Fatima Al Qadiri and Holly Herndon...
PEARSON SOUND: Does DJing give you a greater interaction with your audience that’s harder to achieve when playing massive arena shows? Thom Yorke: I started doing it as a way of winding down, Prince-style. It was also because I wanted to go out, but people always come up to me and tell me their bullshit. If I’m stood behind decks they can’t. It’s a way of hanging out and not having to talk to people that want something from you. It’s also a way of trying tunes out, seeing which ones work and changing the mix to react to that. I find that completely fascinating.
CARIBOU: I’m terrible at sitting still; I always want to move onto the next thing. How good are you at doing nothing?
Thom Yorke: I’m fucking useless. When we got back from tour I gave myself a week off from the studio and that was it. That’s me maxing out on time off. I was cheating anyway because I was actually working on my laptop on the quiet. I’m addicted to having a breakthrough on something, I’m just looking for that all the time, whether that’s a sound or a onebar phrase you find in the middle of something that makes you go, ‘Yeah! That’s it!’ I go through phases of doing different types of stuff. At the moment I’ve got all these nice little boxes for my studio, and I kind of half know how to use most of them but really I just enjoy writing words sitting at a piano. I tend to lose interest in the drum machine, but doing that is quite a novelty at the moment.
RYAT: Who is your favourite female artist of all time? I’ve got two – it’s still Björk and Polly (PJ Harvey). That’s my generation.
Thom Yorke: I still obsess about White Chalk, Polly’s (2007) album. Their records changed my life. Just everything about them. I couldn’t pick it apart, but they resonate for me on an emotional level.