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Jonny Greenwood's Quotes

Jonny Greenwood profile photo

Born: 1971-11-05
Profession: Musician
Nation: English
Biography of Jonny Greenwood

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I've seen 13, 14-year-olds opening CDs as though they're records from the 1920s, going 'Look at this - there's a little book!'... That makes me think the format has probably had its day.

Tags: Book, Makes, Though

If I think about music in the future, I imagine it often as not involving electricity, in some dystopian, post-apocalyptic future. And that's what I get from Penderecki: people making music by taking these instruments out of boxes and playing them. That's a very bizarre and modern thing.

Tags: Future, Music, Often

If I'm on a train, with headphones, MP3s are great. At home, I prefer CD or vinyl, partly because they sound a little better in a quiet room and partly because they're finite in length and separate things, unlike the endless days and days of music stored on my laptop.

Tags: Great, Home, Music

It's funny, but to me, when you go to a concert hall and hear electronic pieces from the '60s, I think they sound really dated. But when an orchestra plays a piece from that period, and it's going to sound different every time, it feels more modern to me.

Tags: Funny, Hear, Time

It's kind of not about the quality of the art, as much as this is what I love doing and I'd have a worse time doing anything else. That's kind of as far as I think in terms of philosophy.

Tags: Art, Love, Time

It's like that scene from The Player when they talk about merging Star Wars and Kramer vs. Kramer, or whatever. You could do that with music and it would just be awful.

Tags: Music, Talk, Whatever

It's no longer unusual for real avant-garde composers to have been in a band, and for bands to be interested in a wide range of music. Look at how artists like Aphex Twin are influenced by Nancarrow and Stockhausen.

Tags: Band, Music, Real

It's what the Pixies always said about music - they were writing songs and just trying not to be boring. That was their main motivation and it worked for them. I remember reading that and thinking that was the way to do it.

Tags: Music, Thinking, Writing

Jamaican reggae is the style of music I always reach for when ranting to friends about how you could listen to one style of music exclusively for the rest of your life - and it would all be great and varied and worth hearing.

Tags: Great, Life, Music

Nothing's more exciting than a day in a studio with a string section - or more ruinously expensive. So it's good to feed that habit away from the band, especially if it means more experience for the next Radiohead string day.

Tags: Away, Experience, Good

Obviously there will be a backlash. If you believe the hype you have to believe a backlash too. Any criticism we get, is always stuff we've already criticised ourselves.

Tags: Criticism, Ourselves, Stuff

Presented with a song like Exit Music, It's impossible to know what to add without actually making it worse. How can you play along when It's already there?

Tags: Impossible, Music, Song

The rest of the band were basically friends, So it was me following them around and begging them to let me be in their band for two or three years. And they finally let me in on the harmonica, actually, and then the keyboards, and finally the guitar.

Tags: Friends, Guitar, Three

There's nothing like sitting in a completely quiet room, and then the strings start up. It's like when you go to the cinema - the first two or three minutes of any film are amazing. Because the screen is so big. The scale. Directors can pretty much do anything for those first few minutes.

Tags: Amazing, Big, Pretty

There's the soundtrack to The French Connection II'I think It's my favorite soundtrack. It hasn't been released. I actually had to go and get the film and just make a recording of it to get the music.

Tags: Actually, Film, Music

What I really enjoy about writing for orchestras is realizing that - and it's kind of self-evident - but the fact that they are 48 individuals. It's not, you know, a preset on a keyboard. It's all these people who have opinions and who are making decisions about how to play.

Tags: Decisions, Enjoy, Writing

When I saw the Penderecki concert in London, in '92 or '93, I thought there were speakers in the room. It was just strings. But I could hear these kind of buzzings and rumblings, and I was like, 'Where is this all coming from?' And that was just better, to my ears. Odder, stranger, more magical.

Tags: Hear, Stranger, Thought

When it comes to orchestral music, whenever I see a concert with orchestra and strings, and I arrive and there are speakers up, my heart always sinks a little bit, and I think, 'It's going to be down to some sound guy's ideas.' Contact microphones on the violins. I'm a purist, I suppose.

Tags: Heart, Ideas, Music

Everything I do feels like It's going to end up being in Radiohead.

Tags: End, Feels, Radiohead

I'm quite into listening to music and not doing anything else.

Tags: Else, Music, Quite

I suppose all of us - we have the old Protestant work ethic of feeling guilty when you're not working, and getting a buzz from feeling like you're really busy. That's the reason to sort of carry on.

Tags: Busy, Feeling, Work

But I was in the Radiohead studio today and Phil was there drumming and Thom was there playing. We feel like we've only just stopped and already people are wanting us to carry on.

Tags: Carry, Playing, Today

I can remember soundtracks that you just can't separate from the film - It's just so intertwined, so important. Like the Hitchcock ones where they kind of inform each other and become this larger thing as a result.

Tags: Become, Film, Remember

Right now my mind is on the people who stole our instruments, and, specifically, the person with my guitar, which will no doubt end its days having Green Day songs worked out on it. A better fate was deserved - and while the reverence given to guitars annoys me, I shall miss it.

Tags: Doubt, End, Mind

But over a period of time It's the melodic things that are in my head all day.

Tags: Head, Period, Time

Every American college student goes to college with a hard drive. They take their laptop. There's not a CD player in sight.

Tags: American, College, Hard

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Much more quotes by Jonny Greenwood below the page.

I think guitarists are really over-admired and over-revered.

Tags: Guitarists

I think it should be ambitious and good music does deal with life and art and all these wonderful things.

Tags: Good, Life, Music

I think It's a bit of a disappointment that a lot of people's Golden Age of music is still the '60s.

Tags: Age, Bit, Music

I was happy using cassettes when I was fifteen, but I'm sure they were sneered at in their day by audiophiles.

Tags: Happy, Sure, Using

I'm happy to write 10 times too much music.

Tags: Happy, Music, Write

I'm pampered like you wouldn't believe.

Tags: Pampered

It feels like Radiohead are famous, but that no one knows who we are. Which is brilliant, really.

Tags: Brilliant, Famous, Knows

No, I am not interested in women or sex or anything.

Tags: Interested, Sex, Women

People will have MP3s of every Miles Davis' record but never think of hearing any of them twice in a row - there's just too much to get through.

Tags: Hearing, Miles, Twice

I don't mind when people are telling me about their 1971 Firebird, but it's the same thing as people telling me about their car or something. It's fine if you have an interest. By talking with me, though, you could be interviewing a novelist about guitars. It's the same thing, except I don't write that well either.

Tags: Car, Mind, Write

I fell in love with electronics, which for me was the terra incognita, because I had never heard such sounds. If you'd asked me 50 years ago, I would have said the future of music is only electronic, but I would have been wrong. I learnt how to produce everything I needed with live instrumentalists, so I don't need electronics.

Tags: Future, Love, Music

I remember when I was in my late teens just getting rid of lots of records, realizing I only ever listened to them when I was reading, or watching TV, or doing something else.

Tags: Else, Getting, Remember

I sometimes feel a bit embarrassed to play guitar. There's something - I don't want to sound ungrateful - but there's something very old-fashioned and traditional about it. You meet kids today whose grandparents were in punk bands. It's very old and traditional, but then, so is an orchestra and so is a string section.

Tags: Guitar, Today, Ungrateful

I suppose subconsciously I was thinking in terms of having the scale of it matching the scale of the images. Hence the sort of string quartet, jazz band and electronic stuff.

Tags: Band, Stuff, Thinking

I suppose, counting back, if the Beatles had been influenced by music in the same length of time ago - you'd have to put that into better English for me, thank you - they would have been like a banjo orchestra. They would have been doing show tunes.

Tags: Music, Put, Time

I was just very conscious that I could either bore people by having the music be similar for too long, or I could just wear them out and bore them in a different way by having it changing too much every minute or two minutes. So, there was that kind of balance to get right.

Tags: Balance, Either, Music

I worry about being a fogy and just writing for orchestras. Like, really, I should be doing more electronic stuff, I feel. Laptops as part of the orchestra, and installation sound, and speakers.

Tags: Stuff, Worry, Writing