Photo by Heather Kaplan
In a new interview with Esquire, the Radiohead guitarist confirms the impending release of his debut album as a solo artist. He hopes to finish it by next summer with the aim to release it in late 2018 or early 2019.
At the time of the interview, O’Brien had just finished a three-week recording session, with Omar Hakim (who drummed on Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”), The Invisible’s Dave Okumu, and Nathan East serving as his backing band. Flood (U2, Depeche Mode, PJ Harvey) and Catherine Marks (Foals, The Killers, Local Natives) are producing the project.
O’Brien previously said the album was inspired by his time living in Brazil, a notion which he reaffirmed in his interview with Esquire. “Without getting into it too much, going to Carnival in Rio was very inspiring. Rhythm and groove were a big part of it,” he explained. “I’m really enjoying it. It feels really right at the moment.”
Also of note: O’Brien is playing his new signature Fender guitar on the album. In fact, as O’Brien explained, “We had two of them going. Okumu is my lead guitarist and I didn’t expect him to play it and I gave him one at the beginning of the session and he played it all the way through the session. So it’s all over it so far. And the next five weeks, I’ve got a lot of guitar work to do and I think it’ll be my main axe.”
Elsewhere in the interview, O’Brien confirmed that Radiohead plan to play some shows in 2018. At least one of those performances will likely come onstage as part of the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
For the most part, however, the members of Radiohead will use 2018 focusing on individual solo projects. Both Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood are scoring films; Yorke is composing his debut score for a remake of the horror cult classic Suspiria. Meanwhile, Greenwood is attached to both Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread and the forthcoming film You Were Never Really Here starring Joaquin Phoenix. Yorke has also announced a brief solo tour in the US for December.