Loder: On "The National Anthem," there's a horn section that comes in and does a sort of free jazz, Ornette Coleman thing. Was it hard to find these guys? Or do you just kinda go, "Blow over the top of this?"
Yorke: The running joke when we were in the studios was, "Just blow." Just blow, just blow, just blow.
Loder: Did they know what you meant? Clearly they got it.
Yorke: Apparently that's what jazz people say. So they did, yeah. The reference point was this tonal concept by [Charles] Mingus. I think most horn players are Mingus freaks. I think we're going to go see Mingus' Big Band tonight, actually.
Loder: What is "Kid A," by the way? What does that refer to?
Yorke: It was nonsense, but then it also wasn't as well. I don't know why it meant so much to us, because it's just a phrase like any other. But for me, it was born out of an unhealthy obsession with a higher form of... well, I'll tell you. The next stage in human development.
Loder: What would the next stage of human development be?
Yorke: I'm not sure whether it's like a genetic thing or [has to] do with artificial intelligence. But all along the way, while we're making the record and recording, all the time we were away, I just kept meeting people that were talking about it. Talking about the fact that maybe human beings are defunct and maybe human beings eventually sow the seeds of the next higher form of life. They're not quite sure on how to deal with it yet, but they have already started doing it. [RealVideo]
And I'm reading this really wacko book about stars and pyramids as well.
Loder: What is it called?
Yorke: God, what's it called? I can't remember what it's bloody called. Where's my bag?
Loder: About stars and the pyramids?
Yorke: Yeah. Where's my knapsack?
Loder: Just show us everything in your knapsack. That would be good.
Yorke: It's all right, 'cause you won't use any of this. You'll edit it out. OK, it's got a terrible cover. Just ignore the cover. It's called "Heaven's Mirror: Quest For The Lost Civilization," by Graham Hancock and Santha Faiia.
Loder: [Reading cover] It's now a major television series?
Yorke: Yeah. I saw it while we were working, and it slightly freaked me out. It's a book that has this theory that there are a lot of ancient sites around the world that pyramids and temples are built on which correlate exactly with stars in the heavens and correlate with things like the Mayan calendar, which is like more accurate than our calendar and takes the wobble in the earth into account.
A lot of it is about the idea that in all ancient cultures and myths there is a flood, and before the flood there was a higher form of civilization, a higher form of life on Earth that that was wiped out. And in order to tell us that they were here, they left all this stuff. So, within all this, with the symbolism stuff, they indicate that our period is coming to a close and the next period is about to start.
Loder: It'll be like an AI period?
Yorke: Well, I don't know yet. I'm booking my condo on the moon, actually.