Thom Yorke: 'Who the F--k is Bruno Mars?'

Radiohead frontman threatens to "f--ing knock the teeth out" of anyone calling Atoms For Peace a supergroup.

Thom Yorke: 'Who the F--k is Bruno Mars?'
57
If you ever get a chance to talk about Atoms for Peace project in front of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, you better make sure not to call them a supergroup. In a recent exclusive Rolling Stone Q&A, the singer discussed his latest band with producer/keyboard player Nigel Godrich, jokingly threatening he'll "f--ing knock the teeth out" of anyone using the term supergroup to describe them. "If anyone ever says it to my face, I'm going to f--ing knock their teeth out," the vocalist said. Apart from Yorke and Godrich, the group consists of Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, percussionist Mauro Refosco and drummer Joey Waronker of R.E.M. and Beck. After officially releasing their debut album "Amok" in February, the five-piece is set to embark on a US tour this September. Speaking of their debut release, the pair has also discussed the highly successful No. 2 debut on The Billboard 200 chart. According to Godrich, it could have been an easy No. 1 peak, but the Bruno Mars special on Amazon caused them to drop from the top, with Yorke giving a snarky comment of his own. "Yeah, Bruno Mars. Who the f--k is Bruno Mars? Sorry. I'll get slandered now. Amazon f--s with us every time. They undercut us." The singer went on to describe the remainder of the band as "super-fast and technically frighteningly good," singling out Flea as the most energetic one. "They're super-fast and technically just frighteningly good. It's quite a lot of energy I mean, obviously, Flea's very energetic, but the others are, too, in their own particular ways. When we play, it's quite in-your-face. And there's a lot of looking to me for direction, which I'm not used to. Well, I am, sort of. [Both crack up laughing.]" Yorke has also revealed working on new material, describing it as more simple, basic electronic music. "At the moment, I'm writing things which are more electronic again, really simple, really stripped down," he said. "And I'm wondering how that's going to work." As far as the new Radiohead material goes, not much is known at the moment, as the frontman has recently admitted frequently thinking about disbanding the group, despite the bassist Colin Greenwood saying that Radiohead are ready to enter the studio.

134 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    travislausch
    You know what? Out of all the current pop stars out there, Mars is one of the few that actually has some discernable talent and he actually makes some decent music. That's not to say I'd put them over Radiohead, but at least there's a pop artist out there who actually knows a thing or two about making good music. If you're gonna hate on pop, there are much more deserving targets. Nicki Minaj, anyone?
    Eirien
    So true, Mars is a good songwriter and a tallented performer and entertainer. It's much better that kids listen to him instead of pervs like Flo Rida and skanks like Nicky Minj. I can understand Thom not having heard of Bruno but it surprises me that he and Godrich give a shit about where their album charts.
    DvanG
    That was actually the point where I got a bit annoyed by this article. So Bruno Mars has more fans then you do... who give a flying crap? He went from "choose whatever you want to pay for my music" to I want to be on the top of the charts.
    Sf26bee
    it is nearly impossible to find a true musician on UG, everybody here has got their own opinion of what "true" music is(its metal here), if u really wanna grow as a musician give some respect to other artist even if he doesnt play metal or rock, music is too big to be defined just by guitar or metal.....show some respect and maybe u'll learn something, rather than criticising everything that u dont understand.
    Braykah
    Agreed. Though I'm not a regular listener of Bruno Mars, he's one of the few decent pop musicians out there, compared to the rest of the contemporary scene.
    Danjo's Guitar
    I would agree that he has some talent, the kid has a pretty good voice. The songs he writes for other people are actually pretty good too, but his own material kinda suffers from every song sounding very similar.
    slybacon
    I caught the last half of a Bruno Mars show two years ago. Really fun live. He also plays his instruments which is great
    TryTheKetchup
    At the same time, Yorke has an opinion and a musical weight to tell it.
    archangels
    But that's the problem. He DOESN'T have an opinion. If he doesn't even know who Bruno Mars is, he can't criticize something he's never heard. I'm getting real sick of people talking shit about music they've never even heard. It's even more ridiculous when the person complaining is A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN. Your damn job is to know music.
    Skuzzmo
    Of course he knows who Bruno Mars is... I think you missed the satire in his comment.
    GloofiE
    He's just mad because Bruno Mars, whom he probably doesn't favor, rose above him in the Billboard charts. If it were I, I would be mad as well, but that would be understandable in any human. No one enjoys being in second place.
    Mamblingradman
    Huh? I'd be pretty damn happy with a No. 2 debut. Bruno Mars is a pop star (And one of the few that I actually listen to), of course he's going to get the number 1 spot.
    theFACEdude
    I don't even think he was mad with Bruno Mars, I thought he was just jokingly ripping into him when he was actually having a real go at Amazon for supposedly undercutting Amok and listing them as No. 2?
    DisarmGoliath
    To be fair, and I don't expect many people to appreciate this comment but, Bruno Mars may have a decent voice and co-write a load of songs, but he is little more than the face (and voice, obviously) of a large team of songwriters he works with - a while back there was an interview with the two others who make up his typical team of songwriters in Sound On Sound magazine (a UK-based audio engineering mag) and they spoke briefly about how the songs are developed, and songs like 'Grenade' were co-written by Mars, the two in the mag, and a load of additional songwriters who helped with the arrangement (I believe that particular song had something like 6 different co-writers?). He's talented, sure, but I feel people need to appreciate the fact that his music is not just his work, but that of a large team of well-respected industry names. If you can't get a number one single with many established songwriters by your side, and all the marketing and promotion of a major label, you don't belong in music
    UniformRecon
    Gotta say...I love that song "Locked out of Heaven". I love that Police vibe. Shoot me, UG community.
    Quiffmiester
    I dislike Bruno Mars' songs with a passion. For example, the lyrics here: When I see your face There's not a thing that I would change Cause you're amazing Just the way you are And when you smile The whole world stops and stares for a while Cause girl you're amazing Just the way you are to me sound like someone in their mid teens writing a love ditty for the first time. I can't put my finger on exactly what it is that I don't like, but I think it may be due to a (perceived) lack of lyricism within his words. I also have a pet hate for over-exaggerations involving terms like 'amazing' and 'awesome'. I suspect what he actually wants to say is 'don't change anything, it isn't worth polishing a turd'. Which would be more lyrical.
    guitarist5477
    I agree with you, when I saw him do Runaway Baby live on I think it was the Grammies, I found his performance very good/entertaining
    iommi600
    Totally agreed. I'm not a fan of his music, personally, but he's got a potent voice and is, at the very least, a talented songwriter.
    blizzboy
    Mars also isn't complaining about it like York is. York needs to suck it up and get over himself.
    Kueller917
    I actually liked Nicki Minaj's part in "Monster" from Kanye West. Makes me wonder how she really became so incredibly terrible after that.
    Sf26bee
    my dear brother music is an art, it doesnt matter whether it is created by one person or a hundred, shakespeare cannot perform his plays by himself, he needs actors to bring his art to his life, just like that there are many people out there who are not good singers, so they collaborate. The irony is that metal this days have become more cheesy than pop but the thing is we are to attached and invested in it to see the truth. Frankly from ur comments it feels like that u r more interested in the asthetic part of music rather than the music itself.
    K!!LsWiTcH
    you didnt say anything relevant to anything anyone said here at any point in time. everyone on this forum is now dumber having read it. i award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul
    Sf26bee
    i agree and i am sorry that i strayed away from the main topic but what i was trying to say was that collaboration is a good thing, if bruno mars have 10 talented people working for him and the end result is good then where is the harm in that? and would u care to elaborate the last sentence?
    DisarmGoliath
    I think he was talking to me, although I don't quite get the end of his comment - I'm far from 'interested in the aesthetic part of music', or I wouldn't be joking about somebody gaining huge popularity by being the face of a team of musicians, rather than all the musicians gaining equal renown. Would you (Sf26bee) not agree that it appears to be a mainstream marketing move having Bruno Mars appear as this marvelous, solo musician who just so happens to have the right face to sell the particular lyrical style to millions of young girls? They know their target audience well, and by having the right 'face' for their product, they are increasing its success - I'm not saying Bruno Mars isn't a talented musician, I'm sure he is, but the music he releases is not 'Bruno Mars' the person, but 'Bruno Mars' the man with a team of experts and co-writers all contributing behind the scenes to make them all more money
    Sf26bee
    Thats obvious isn't it,i mean metallica is not just 4 guys there are many sound engineers, producers, instrument specialists, PRs etc behind them and the videos, the magazine photoshoots, the make up, the pyrotechnics, the blood, the cross, rosie, the marshall stacks etc all of these are rock's marketing tools and we buy into that image and spend like thousand of dollars on rigs and useless junks. Atleast bruno mars does some kind of charity work, whats the last time u ever heard of metallica giving up money for charity?
    DisarmGoliath
    You're combining the logistical side of a band, with the actual writing of the music - none of those you mentioned are a part of the writing process for bands such as Metallica, with the exception of the Producer who may persuade them to make changes to song arrangements in the studio if he feels they need it. And I think you're a little confused - nobody serious about music buys particular gear because they're "buying into an image" - they buy it because it allows them to pursue their passion of playing music live. You can't play guitar-based heavy music without actually having a guitar to play the music, and an amp to play the music through. Lots of other things constituting a 'rig' are not essential but they ARE designed to make things easier and better (noise gates, specific effects units) and I'm not about to lecture you on audio systems or audio engineering but if you can't see how these are unrelated to the music written by a band, then there is little point in debating this with you. What has charity work got to do with musical integrity? I know nothing of Bruno Mars' charity work, just like I know nothing of Metallica's charity work, because whether they publicly give money to charity is their own business, and knowing that an act gives money to charity has little bearing on that act musically. There are plenty of bands of all sorts of genres who are ethically-minded and do a lot for charity (bands like Rise Against, for example) so I don't think you can really consider that an argument.
    Like I Is
    This isn't a Bruno Mars vs. Thom Yorke article. It's about Amazon offering promotions on artists that are more marketable, which skews the charts. I think they're both cool in their own right. Mars is definitely not the worst Pop has to offer.
    Kueller917
    This. He seems more upset about Amazon influencing the charts, rather than taking a stab at Bruno Mars' music.
    -Rodion-
    I love how in the article they say something and then quote him saying exactly the same, over and over again.
    big muff pedal
    Thom Yorke is the real deal. Makes his art, focuses on his own life and doesn't give a shit about celebrities/pop culture
    --ESTRANGED--
    Guys, i'm looking for tips on how to be as edgy as Thom York, could you help me out?
    N7Crazy
    How to be as edgy as humanly possible: By N7Crazy Chapter 1: How to be edgy Do/be/act the exact opposite of what people want you to be/do/act. The end. Can I have my money now?
    CoolMcAwesome
    I like old Radiohead, but Thom sir, by the looks of that picture, you need a ****ing shower!
    marshismellow
    Atoms For Peace is a supergroup. Bring it pussy!
    N7Crazy
    ...The karma police is coming after you know... ...Get ready to be hit by an iron lung... ...I think you just called the wolf to the door... ...-insert any other Radiohead-related pun-...
    PuckMugger
    I had no clue who Bruno Mars was, so I went to Amazon to give a listen and thought, whatthe****ever.
    PRSeg5150
    I wish I could write a song thats a straight rip off of the Police's sound and be famous like Bruno Mars. No wait, I don't.