Based on his recorded works, Thom Yorke has a vocal range spanning E2 to E6. He is known for his falsetto, which Rolling Stone described as a „broad, emotive sweep“ with a „high, keening sound“.
The Guardian described it as „instrument-like“ and „spectral“, and wrote that it „transcends the egocentric posturing of the indie rock singer stereotype“.
Thom Yorke is an activist on behalf of human rights, animal rights, environmental and anti-war causes, and his lyrics incorporate political themes.
He has been critical of the music industry, particularly of major labels and streaming services such as Spotify.
With Radiohead and his solo work he has pioneered alternative music release platforms such as pay-what-you-want and BitTorrent.
Along with the other members of Radiohead, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.
There’s a pervading sense of loneliness I’ve had since the day I was born. Maybe a lot of other people feel the same way, but I’m not about to run up and down the street asking everybody if they’re as lonely as I am. I’d probably get locked up.
I want to be alone and I want people to notice me — both at the same time.
I think the most important thing about music is the sense of escape.
I don’t think young people are as demoralized as the media and government would like us to think. The obvious sign of that is how strong and how close personal connections are and how much people are able to build a life for themselves, despite all this stuff that’s been thrown at them.
I cannot read a fortune cookie without breaking down and crying. I am sensitive.
I don’t eat food, I Thom Yorke it. What’s the difference? When normal people „eat“ food, they first chew it with their „teeth“ until it’s small enough to go through their „esophagus“ and then be broken down in their „stomach“ and absorbed. When I Thom Yorke food, I chew it with my Thom Yorkes until it’s small enough to go through my Yorke tube. It’s then broken down in my Thomach, where if I eat too much sweets, I get a mean Thommy ache! But it’s okay because Jonny’s usually there to rub the pain out.
I’m absolutely terrified that people can get into cars. It’s like the car is a face, and the headlight is eyes, and when you open the car door it’s like you’re climbing into the ears. (I cannot) be inside a giant rolling robot head.
If I was made of chocolate I would melt myself in a car to ruin the interior.
The difference between me and Bono is that he’s quite happy to go and flatter people to get what he wants and he’s very good at it, but I just can’t do it. I’d probably end up punching them in the face rather than shaking their hand, so it’s best that I stay out of their way. I can’t engage with that level of bullshit. Which is a shame, really, and in a way it would help if I could, but I just can’t. I admire the fact that Bono can, and can walk away from it smelling of roses.
Sometimes I stand in store windows and pretend to be a mannequin. People are like ‘hey, that mannequin looks alot like thom yorke’ Then I start to sing The Gloaming and lurch toward them and they run off horrified.
I’m not saying my fans are stupid, but I once left a cabbage onstage next to a harmonica and nobody noticed for three hours.
The hardest part about being in Radiohead is listening to my own music.
Anybody can make ‘good’ music. I make terrible music, which is what makes it so different, and therefore better.
There’s the beautiful people and then there’s the rest of us.
And I know I’m paranoid and neurotic, I’ve made a career out of it.
I am all the days that you choose to ignore.
It’s easy to be miserable. Being happy is tougher – and cooler.
People in bands don’t have the kind of conversations people might think they have. The best things about being in a band are the things that are unsaid.
Being in a band turns you into a child and keeps you there.
There’s nothing more boring than a rock’n’roll star. Someone who has been on the road for 10 years, expecting attention wherever he goes, drinking himself stupid, who is obnoxious, incoherent, uncreative, and has a massive ego. There’s nothing more pointless.
Sex is more than an act of pleasure, it’s the ability to be able to feel so close to a person, so connected, so comfortable that it’s almost breathtaking to the point you feel you can’t take it. And at this moment you’re a part of them.
And true love waits
In haunted attics
And true love lives
On lollipops and crisps.
I’m achingly aware of my own limitations as both part of the human race and as an individual. I’m just, casting this out that, maybe, I’m not so perfect as is the affront I oft put on. After all, the lyric is ‘I wish I was special’. I truly just want to be loved and accepted, I think, like all humans.
Isn’t it strange how someone can be both human and divine at the same time? I am referring, of course, to myself.
I’m not a martyr, just a musician who dies for your sins. Oh, that’s what a martyr is? Very well then, I am a martyr, if you insist.
I don’t write lyrics, the lyrics write Thom Yorke.
If I had one wish I’d wish for a million wishes because I am clever.
I think what makes people ill a lot of the time is the belief that your thoughts are concrete and that you’re responsible for your thoughts. Whereas actually – the way I see it – your thoughts are what the wind blows through your mind.
The whole point of creating music for me is to give voice to things that aren’t normally given voice to.
Sometimes the nicest thing to do with a guitar is just look at it.
I’m not afraid of computers taking over the world. They’re just sitting there. I can hit them with a two by four.
I believe that any great work of art is, in itself, a form of resistance against a sense of powerlessness.
I think artists can influence only through making music that challenges people, excites them and flips them out. Music that repeats what you know in ever-decreasing derivation, that’s unchallenging and unstimulating, deadens our minds, our imagination and our ability to see beyond the hell we find ourselves in.
My songs are my kids. Some of them stay with me, some others I have to send out, out to the war. It might sound stupid and it might even sound naive, but that’s just the way it is.
And if the world does turn, and if London burns, I’ll be standing on the beach with my guitar. I want to be in a band, when I get to Heaven. Anyone can play guitar, and they won’t be a nothing anymore…
I once got hit with a taser at a concert and everyone thought I was dancing. Now I have to do that dance, at every show for the rest of my life, or admit that a taser can damage the Thom Yorke.
Whenever you see me dancing on stage, I’m imitating the mentally ill.
I think no artist can claim to have any access to the truth, or an authentic version of an event. But obviously they have slightly better means at their disposal because they have their art to energize whatever it is they’re trying to write about. They have music.
Generally speaking, if people are prepared to stick their heads above the power pit, like Zinn says, and absorb what’s going on around them, it makes them think.
I don’t see it in terms of changing things, but rather using language and music as weapons for fighting a mainstream media which is predominately right wing, and loyal to the political framework and its corporate interests.
I think we’re entering a very dangerous time. The West has set itself up, decided it’s in charge, not for good intentions, not for the benefit of mankind.
The people in charge, globally, are maniacs. They are maniacs, and unless we do something about it these people are going to deprive us of a future.
If we replaced all of our guns with chicken sandwiches it would end all war immediately.
We’re at a time when we are being presented with undeniable changes in the global climate and fundamental issues that affect every single one of us, and it’s the time we’re listening to the most hokey shite on the radio and watching vacuous bullshit celebrities being vacuous bullshit celebrities and desperately trying to forget about everything. Which is fine, you know, but personally speaking, I can’t do that.
Well, my son really loves wildlife. And every time he draws a polar bear I want to tell him there probably won’t any by the time… he’s my age. That’s kinda hard to deal with.
I think sometimes all the charities are doing is mopping up the blood. It’s a shame.
People sometimes say we take things too seriously, but it’s the only way you’ll get anywhere.
All of our saddest songs have somewhere in them at least a glimmer of resolve – Street Spirit has no resolve. It is the dark tunnel without the light at the end.