As if there’s any chance you needed another reason to love the little British lotus flower that is Thom Yorke. He isn’t just the talented and boogieing lead singer of Radiohead (Exhibit A; B), he’s also a cool and collected boogieing rock star, thanks to yoga (Exhibit C).
Known for his forays into computer music, modern dance-like performances and getting in “a minimum of an hour’s yoga a day,” Thom revealed in an April 1st episode of Alec Baldwin’s podcast series “Here’s the Thing” (WNYC.org) that his pre-live show ritual consists of stone silence meditation and standing on his head.
On the stresses of being in a band for so long (Radiohead have been together for almost 30 years) and what it takes to get in the zone for what many listeners could describe as a spiritual experience:
Thom Yorke: You know, I often ask myself why in the hell would you put yourself through this because it’s very stressful. It’s a lot of pressure, and for me mentally, I have to build myself up to it in my head gradually. It sounds really precious, but it messes with my head.
Alec Baldwin: I want to get to that, but I want to come around it and say your music has such a spiritual quality to it. There’s a spiritual element to it, and not a stated one. It just emanates a vibe to me that’s a very – there’s a spirit to it.
Thom Yorke: Yeah, but to me that comes off the audience. That’s what I find. It’s something that’s developed. It’s not like we’re not going into this intending to do any of that, it just sort of happens when the waves go right, you know, when the waves fall into place then you’ll get to the end of the song and you can feel okay, we’ve done whatever that is – that was it.
Alec Baldwin: Performing live, give it to me the couple of hours before you go out there and you’ve got to blow this thing out for all these people.
Thom Yorke: It’s just stone cold silence basically.
Alec Baldwin: Almost meditative.
Thom Yorke: Well, yeah. I do that and –
Alec Baldwin: Focused.
Thom Yorke: I stand on my head for a bit and basically I’m completely on my own until five minutes before we go on, and then we’re all in a room together pacing up and down like wild animals and then we’re on.
Literally, rock star yoga. To which we can perfectly relate, ahem.
This portion of the interview can be found at the 13 minute mark but you might want to listen to the whole thing.
Here’s the Atoms for Peace “Ingenue” video in which Thom Yorke demonstrates his captivating dancing skills once again. It’s like he’s the human form of our vrittis in an interpretive dance about prana, you know?