O’Brien also spoke about Radiohead’s sessions at Jack White’s Third Man studios.
Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien has announced the release of his debut solo album.
Due out next year, O’Brien told BBC 6 Music that the record was inspired by living in the middle of the Brazilian countryside with his family about five or six years ago. “We lived on a little farm in basically a hut the size of this room next door,” he said. “Life was really simple. Kids went to the local school. No one could speak English, so they picked it up, the language of play and stuff.”
He continued: “And life was reduced to its simple parts. For me, it was music and my family. And I would go each day, walk up the hill to this beautiful little hut next to this lake, and I started writing. And I took out all this gear — cause Thom said, you know, ‘You’re really good at, just do all the ProTools stuff!’ And I applied myself, cause I never really applied to it, and I sat and after about eight weeks, I said “I’m not feeling this, this is rubbish!””
O’Brien explained that a trip to Carnival provided the catalyst he needed to write the album, recalling the Sambadrome in Rio, what he described as “the greatest show on earth.”
“It was the greatest thing I’ve ever, ever, ever experienced in terms of music. So of course, the beats, what they call the bateria, and it’s like all these polyrhythms.”
“Everyone sings,” he added. “There must be 4000 people on each samba school who parade down there, and the combination of writing music and that feeling of being there and being like, ‘Oh my god, music can be like this.’ It was so profound, so it’s fed my whole inspiration and writing.”
In the same interview with 6 Music, O’Brien revealed that the music they recorded while at Jack White’s Third Man Studios “was not waiting for” and would therefore not be released. “Jack was so hospitable, him and his engineer – he records everything on 8-track. Listen, it’s not worth waiting for. If anything was amazing, you can be sure – we’d try and put it out,” he explained.
Watch Radiohead’s Paul Thomas Anderson-directed video for ‘Present Tense’.