‘Clearly you needed to do something more like dogs dancing or whatever the fuck it is’
Radiohead officially launched a TikTok account on April 1 this year. Unsurprisingly, many fans expected the band’s first video — a broadcast from their creepy recurring character Chieftain Mews — to be a one-off April Fool’s Day gag, but over the last few months they’ve posted over 30 similarly-unnerving videos, suggesting bigger aspirations for the channel.
However, Thom Yorke apparently isn’t satisfied with the account’s engagement, which has decreased significantly over time (the first post got more than a million views; the latter posts land in the tens of thousands).
In a new video on the platform, the band’s frontman is seen in a meeting with longtime visual collaborator Stanley Donwood, discussing their “embarrassing” analytics. While complaining about their follower count of just over 100,000, Donwood suggests that they might not be able to carry on with the posts. “I can’t even fucking remember why we started it, to be honest,” Yorke replies.
Later in the video, the pair chat to the Chieftain himself, with Yorke saying: “We love what you’re doing. You obviously have been trying very hard, and we appreciate the effort, but we have been looking over the numbers.”
“Every time a new post goes up you get 30 per cent less people viewing it. So clearly it’s not going in the right direction. Clearly you needed to do something more like dogs dancing or whatever the fuck it is.” Reflecting on Mews’ promises to boost engagement on the app, Yorke adds: “It’s a fucking disaster… you’ve become a source of acute embarrassment.”
“There’s a dog in Croydon who’s got more followers than you,” Donwood chimes in. “People on TikTok, they find you… I think the word is ‘repellent’, ‘creepy’, ‘creepy uncle’. They called you a creepy uncle.”
Outside of TikTok, Radiohead have been sharing archival material and unearthed concert footage via YouTube. Thom Yorke has also shared his eerie remix of the group’s’ seminal track “Creep” that first appeared as part of the soundtrack to Jun Takahashi’s AW21 Undercover presentation.
Watch Yorke reflect on the “disaster” that is the Radiohead TikTok below.