Thom Yorke Admits Frequently Thinking About Ending Radiohead

Radiohead "just waiting for him" to disband the group, the frontman says.

Ultimate Guitar

In a recent interview on the Heres The Thing radio show, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke reached the subject of disbanding the five-piece and ending the group after almost three decades of work. Although he seemed to be perfectly honest, it's not something the fans would want to hear either.

When asked by host Alec Baldwin whether there was ever a time when the band got fed up with what they are doing, a time when they "looked at each other and said, 'I think we're done,'" the singer said:

"I do that frequently frequently"

Yorke then went on to explain that ending Radiohead would just be "life," adding that its never about the music when it comes to these things. But it seems that the rest of the band doesn't quite share his views and is just "waiting for him to do it" at the moment.

"It's never really the music, it's always everything else. Just stresses of life, whatever..."

Bassist Colin Greenwood recently shared some different views regarding the bands future, stating that that Radiohead are ready to enter the studio and will do so in a matter of months.

"We're taking some time out whilst people are doing some other stuff, doing their own things, and the plan is to get back together again [at the] end of the summer," Greenwood told the BBC 6Music.

Latest Radiohead release, "The King of Limbs," came out in February 2011 as the group's 8th studio effort. With 69,000 units sold within the first week, it debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart.

74 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I know that he ultimatly decides over his own actions, and doesn't have to listen to the pleas of the fans... Still, if they ever disband before I get to see them live, I'd probably react something similar to this... "NOOOOO -takes deep breath- OOOOOoooo..."
    Taken out of context, Thom saying that the others were waiting for him to quit was meant in a joking way. When asked if there was something that would cause the band to end Thom said: " would end if something happened to my voice. I don't know, certain things could make it physically stop and it will stop at some point. Something will happen. But for me, yeah, I'm always hearing different things. There's always half-finished things. But I also think it's good to sort of take breaks, because I've gone straight from this Radiohead tour last year, which was a really heavy mother but really good fun straight into doing sort of Atoms for Peace stuff and not really had a break."
    Screw context: This is Ultimate Guitar, if it ain't blown out of proportion then who are we to slam?
    Radiohead had an amazing run, I feel like he should end it after their next album to some degree. They have already written a number of masterpiece albums and it would be best to go out on a high rather than to see their empire crumble like what has happened to numerous other bands before.
    Thrice Capades
    You're getting downvoted which blows, but I'm in agreement. I have liked all of their albums, even Pablo Honey, but it seems like they'll probably never match the OK Computer days. If nothing else, a breakup would allow Jonny Greenwood to focus on outrageous guitar work least I'd hope so.
    OK Computer was great, but when I think Radiohead, I think "Kid A" ... Simply a musical masterpiece
    I'm the same way; I love OK Computer to death, but Kid A is when they really struck home for me.
    Totally have to agree with you that Kid A is Radiohead's masterwork. That is the album that got me interested in IDM, they are influenced so much by Aphex Twin and Autechre on this album it is almost tangible.
    I personally fail to see what could be a more outrageous sound on a guitar than being at the point you can no longer tell your listening to a guitar, although I have to admit his balls out solo style does leave you wanting for more.
    Thrice Capades
    Touche. Yeah...I just love the shit he did on The Bends and OK Computer way too much. Like...fap fap love.
    From a pure artistic integrity standpoint, I agree with you. However, the crazed fanboy in me is louder.
    This is awful news. But, Thom seems to still be having fun while making music so if Radiohead breaks up, at least we still have that. And besides, Amok was better than TKOL, IMHO.
    No way, man. With any project Thom Yorke does, the vocals make or break it. His singing just didn't have the same effect on Amok as on King of Limbs tracks like Give Up the Ghost, Bloom, or Morning Mr Magpie.
    Damn it, I havent seen them live yet, and I still hope to. But if its not working, its not working. Don't turn into that kind of band. You could end it now and still go down in history as one of the very best. F*#$ you guys are good!
    I took it in somehow calmly and indulgently but when I realise that I may be unable to see them anymore, tears come to my eyes.
    No. No. No. And no. I don't give a shit if their next album pales in comparison to their other work, Radiohead is Radiohead. And they definitely better not break up before I see them live.
    I don't know if these guys could ever simply call it quits. A hiatus, a lengthy hiatus, may be a more likely scenario. Let them do their side work for 4-5 years until their itching to get the band back together. That way, we get the repressed best of electronic/guitar music and another Kid A.
    Please don't have another stage collapse after I've ingested acid 30 minutes prior to gates opening. That was a bad trip!
    I didn't like their last record, but In Rainbows was awesome. I don't think they are dried up creatively - too much talent in that band. I'd like to see them put out a few more albums because I think they can stil make great music. Quite different than a lot of bands where you get the feeling "ok guys... lets hang it up before the legacy nose dives"
    That pic of thom made me chuckly and then I realized he always looks like that and I started laughing more...if radiohead ended I would be bummed but there's nothing you can do about it, I just hope they got another record or two in them
    Thom is now heavy into electronic music and I'm not really fan of his latest stuff so I'm bit worried about the new RH album. Especially when KOTH wasn't really great either. But I'm still hoping for some mind blowing stuff from them
    KOTH...King Of The Hill.....hahaha sorry I had to say it
    Have to agree with you there, king of the hill blows. Never got what people saw in that show, bored the hell out of me and I enjoy dry humor. Now I would try to describe why I believe king of limbs is a masterpiece but the shivers I feel whenever I listen to bloom can't be dealt justice by words.
    They will release one more album and then not tour behind it, announce a 'break-up' and then 5 or 6 years later we'll get the big "OMG radiohead reform to headline coachella" announcement.
    Bands come and go but I'll be seriously bummed out when Radiohead disbands. They've been one of my favorite bands for almost 20 years. My tastes have changed a ton over the years but Radiohead has been one of the few bands that have kept me interested the whole time...
    I reckon his time with Atoms will make the band get back together. Thom just needed that break and the result was AMOK (which sounded incredible). The new RH album when it comes is going to be up there with the best I reckon.
    Please don't. Music today is absolutely terrible. I'd never thought I'd sound like my parents but I can barely listen to the radio today aside from the classic rock and 90s rock channels.
    Can't blame the guy, most bands can't even come close to lasting 30 years. They had a good run and if it ends they'll have a good legacy and if it's on good terms some reunion tours might happen down the road.
    Radiohead have done so much quality over the past 20 years, including The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, In Rainbows... Thom's only human, I think it would be strange if he didn't have these feelings from time to time. I'm sure he has plenty more music to release with Radiohead still
    Saw them live quite a few years ago, when they were supporting REM. They didn't seem to mind playing Creep and were utterly brilliant. I think they disappeared up their own fundament after OK Computer and it took a long while for them to return to form. It'd be a shame if they split, but if they've taken it as far as they can, then maybe it's for the best. How many bands carry on and put out contract-filling, need-another-mansion toss which only detracts from the music we loved them for in the first place?
    Darth Wader
    I wish Thom York would frequently think about making Radiohead listenable again. It's been a long, long time.
    In Rainbows is considered their best record by many, and that was only two albums ago.
    OK Computer is still my favorite but In Rainbows is my second favorite. 99.9% of bands peak early on and slowly lose steam and get worse over time... Radiohead, in my opinion, is a rare band that has always been good and has continued to be good, even great, later in their career.
    Yeah, I've grown up knowing and loving Radiohead's singles and briefly listened to The Bends but never got into it. I got In Rainbows in part because of publicity around it (though I saved time and torrented it rather than creating an account and paying 1p or whatever at the time) and it's the only Radiohead album I really know, and it is pretty incredible. Always tricky finding the time and deciding which album to listen to from them next, especially with how widely they can vary.
    1) Who cares? 2) "Thom" is nothing without Greenwood.
    "'Thom' is nothing without Greenwood." Atoms for Peace says hi.
    Atoms for Peace is great, but it always felt so much weaker to me compared to full Radiohead albums. I know Thom is the main songwriter and largely credited as the genius behind Radiohead but I kind of gained a bigger appreciation for the other band members' influence once I heard them missing on The Eraser.
    I fully expected to agree with you, but upon listening to AFP, I can confidently say they are on a similar playing field. Amok is easily better than TKOL, and I like that album.
    I actually thought Amok was better than The King of Limbs too, but it's also worth pointing out that Atoms for Peace is a supergroup and pretty much a band with multiple inputs, even if the dynamics are more skewed towards Thom. I guess the point I was trying to make anyways is that Radiohead would be drastically different without Greenwood and Thom isn't the only man responsible for the genius.
    Flea (and Frusciante) is just as vital to RHCP as Greenwood is to Radiohead . So, it happens to work.
    Don't want to change the topic or anything, but Hillel and Josh have done great things for RHCP.
    Thom has been called a genius for decades. Sorry, but your 'opinion' is wrong.
    He wants to follow in the footsteps of Gerard Way. ::get ready for the largest hail of thumbs down in history)
    Yeah, although it's pretty ridiculous that Radiohead would "follow in the footsteps" of a band like that I, like the commenter before me, applaud your stones haha.
    They did seem to get very tired last tour. I think a break it good for them physically and musically.
    I disagree I think the TKOL tour was as energetic as Thom's ever been. I mean, did you see Myxomatosis or Idioteque!?
    I saw them both on tour. I never said they looked tired performing, I meant that it seemed like once the tour was over they were a bit more worn out than in their younger years. The traveling and stuff is what makes tours more tiring than the actual gigs. They seem to be really into recording constantly these days (all the post KoL songs), which is at least a good sign we can be expecting good content from them.
    Yeah I get what you mean. I saw their last show on the tour, the one in Melbourne. Thom said they were all tired as **** and that you can't tour like that if you don't give %100... His presence during that actual performance was ridiculous though I genuinely think he's enjoying the musical side of it more than ever.
    I remember an interview prior to TKOL where Thom said the band was happier than it had been for years, and it really showed. They seemed to just love the music they were playing. I'd also like to clear up I didn't think the band was going downhill or they should break up, if my original post seemed that way. I just meant they've done well and deserve a bit of downtime to recharge and get more inspirations and whatnot.
    I've seen them live before, they're definitely worth checking out even if you're not the biggest Radiohead fan
    Is he the most miserable bastard on earth? everything that comes out of his mouth is ****ing negativity. the guy's scared of having sex for christ sake. man up Yorke you huge pissface.
    and i was also hoping the last two words of the article title was "his life" ah well. wishful thinking.