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XL Recordings

Colin Greenwood Will Help You Disappear

Radiohead’s bassist Colin Greenwood is also a photographer and writer. In this, his stunning first book, two decades in the making, he takes us on a journey into the heart of the 21st century’s most influential band, a maverick collective who vastly broadened our musical landscape while they dominated and distorted it. On stage, backstage, in the rehearsal room, behind the scenes, on tour, at work and at play, Greenwood’s photographs and the stories and memories they evoke for him, form an intimate and informal portrait of the musical and cultural iconoclasts as they travel through ‘our middle years: all the joy and doubt and confidence and uncertainty we would oscillate between’.  

Primarily a photographic book featuring remarkably candid, almost stolen, moments of a band comprised of innately private individuals, Greenwood’s writing also captures the joys, tensions and struggles of a group seeking what Greenwood describes as, essentially, ‘a communion through music’. In attempting to capture this communion, Greenwood admits to being ‘taken with photographs as evidence, forensic records of how we worked and changed a space, from barn to country house to empty arena’. 

These photographs and accompanying words tell us much more about the creative process at the heart of the group than anyone outside the band ever could. This combination of often starkly intimate images and remarkably incisive observations come together to present a portrait of a group consciously or unconsciously striving to be in that moment, wherever that moment happened to be.  

These photos and words are those moments. 

‘For years now, I’ve been taking fugitive snaps of my band, Radiohead. I’ve tried to catch out my friends with my small black Yashica T4 Super. On stage and in the rehearsal studio, they are so lost in their own moment of performance that they don’t see me with the camera.’ Colin Greenwood