Radiohead’s Philip Selway Reacts To Thom Yorke’s New Smile Record

When Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood formed the Smile in 2021, some Radiohead fans feared it would mean the end of the band. However, the pair just wanted to dip their toes in different artistic waters. Philip Selway, on the other hand, enjoyed the project of his bandmates, as he recently revealed to Spin.

“Yes, of course! I went to see them earlier [in 2022] when they were doing their initial live stream shows in London,” Selway said when asked whether he had heard the Smile’s debut studio record, ‘A Light for Attracting Attention.’ “I hadn’t heard the record before that point. I just love the dynamic between them: Thom and Johnny, that was fascinating. Normally, I hear them play, and I’m [seated] behind them, so to see it from the other side was fantastic. And then with Tom Skinner, whose drumming is incredible.”

The drummer continued, “There’s always these amazing grooves happening — Tom comes from a jazz background and has all those jazz chops. I think there’s a particular dynamic between the five of us [in Radiohead], which I think we’re all so proud of. It’s developed from us basically learning our instruments together. But it’s such a healthy process when we step outside of Radiohead and reach beyond that, [when we] see what these other musical voices can do with your ideas.”

The Smile is one of the musical projects that emerged during COVID-19 when Yorke and Greenwood didn’t meet for a while but were full of so many exciting ideas. You know what came next. The Smile gave them a chance to pour out all those creative notions, and the band made their unexpected premiere in a Glastonbury Festival performance webcast in May 2021.

What Yorke and Greenwood both have in common is that they like to try new things, new instruments, new lyrical styles, and assemble music in new ways. Thus, the Smile became that ‘space of the new’ for them. They released six singles at the beginning of 2022 and made their public debuts in front of an audience at three live-streamed events in London. According to the interview, Selway was also there to support his friends at the time.