Clue: magnetic tape featured heavily in the making of the album.

Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood has shed light on the tools and methods behind making the band’s ninth LP A Moon Shaped Pool.

Speaking to NPR today (August 4), the guitarist explains how Radiohead “ditched instruments and wrote their own software” for 2011’s King of Limbs, and that this record is “sort of a reaction to that.” “We were trying to use very old and very new technology together and to cut out the middle man.” He says that the band completed about 80 per cent of the album in two weeks.

Greenwood explains that album opener ‘Burn The Witch’ featured “Thom singing with a drum machine and nothing else. And then I wrote strings to that. So you’re hearing an orchestra play—they’re strumming their violins with guitar plectrums, that’s the rhythm.”

“‘Daydreaming’ was a strange example,” he adds, “because we did the backing track and Thom came in and sang on it. We couldn’t find a way in, so we did a version without him.” He says that ‘Glass Eyes’, which is “just strings and Thom,” was recorded on software he created using MaxMSP.

Talking about playing the recorder as a child, Greenwood says “instead of stealing cars and having a good time as a teenager I was literally playing recorders until the age of 18, with no shame.” He then jokes: “I wish I’d had a drug habit.”

The Radiohead member also admits that he is “trying to get into heavy metal” and recently went to watch Deep Purple play live. Listen to the full interview below.

Read next: Radiohead’s 30 best songs before ‘Burn The Witch’



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