The Smile - "Thin Thing"

The Smile - "Thin Thing"

Credit: Thom Yorke Instagram

Godrich on New Radiohead Side Project: ‘An interesting Juxtaposition of Things’

Greg Kot

1 Min Read

Besides his long-standing relationship with Radiohead, producer Nigel Godrich has been enlisted by other artists to helm albums, including Paul McCartney, Beck, Gnarls Barkley, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Air. In addition, he’s produced and played on Thom Yorke side projects including the solo album “Eraser,” Atoms for Peace (with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea) and the new group Smile that also includes Jonny Greenwood and British jazz drummer Thomas Skinner.

Left-of-the-Dial Rock

Nigel Godrich’s long association with the adventurous music of Radiohead and offshoot band the Smile has been informed by generations of predecessors and influences.
Radiohead Transformation
Godrich hosted Radiohead in his “From the Basement” series to perform its “The King of Limbs” album in its entirety.
The Flea Connection
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea and Godrich-Radiohead have long been a mutual appreciation society. Little wonder the producer invited the band to perform on his “From the Basement” series.
Life as an ex-Sex Pistol
After his stint in the Sex Pistols, Johnny Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) went on to form Public Image Ltd, which experimented with traditional rock structures in much the same way that Radiohead has.
Punk’s Answer to Lennon-McCartney
The songs of Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle have long set the standard for smart, innovative punk and post-punk craftsmanship.
Radiohead Transformation
Godrich hosted Radiohead in his “From the Basement” series to perform its “The King of Limbs” album in its entirety.
The Flea Connection
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea and Godrich-Radiohead have long been a mutual appreciation society. Little wonder the producer invited the band to perform on his “From the Basement” series.
Life as an ex-Sex Pistol
After his stint in the Sex Pistols, Johnny Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) went on to form Public Image Ltd, which experimented with traditional rock structures in much the same way that Radiohead has.
Punk’s Answer to Lennon-McCartney
The songs of Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle have long set the standard for smart, innovative punk and post-punk craftsmanship.

In an interview with the Coda Collection, Godrich revealed that Smile has finished an album, and suggested that stylistically the album would be hybrid of musical styles: “It’s an interesting juxtaposition of things, but it does make sense. It will make sense.” 

He described Skinner as “the British Joey Waronker,” referring to the versatile American drummer who has worked with everyone from R.E.M. to Roger Waters. 

“He’s a great musician and a great guy,” Godrich says. “He’s in Sons of Kemet (with British jazz innovator Shabaka Hutchings) and also done tons of session work. …I sort of smile to myself, because I can see he’s going to get a lot of attention.”

Radiohead - From the Basement

Complemented by a brass section and percussionist, Radiohead reinterprets its then-newly released "The King of Limbs" album in an intense, revealing performance filmed in 2011 for Nigel Godrich's "From the Basement" series.

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Greg Kot is the editorial director of The Coda Collection. He is also the cohost of the nationally syndicated public-radio show and podcast “Sound Opinions” with Jim DeRogatis, and previously the music critic at the Chicago Tribune for 30 years. His books include acclaimed biographies of Mavis Staples (“I’ll Take You There”) and Wilco (“Learning How to Die”) and a history of the digital music revolution (“Ripped”). He also coauthored “The Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Rivalry” and has written extensively for Rolling Stone, BBC Culture and Encyclopedia Britannica. When he takes off the headphones, Kot coaches in his Chicago-based youth travel basketball program (OTEhoops.com). In addition, he has coauthored two best-selling editions of the book “Survival Guide to Coaching Youth Basketball.”

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