Never one for subtleties, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has made a rather remarkable comparison between YouTube, Google and Nazi Germany.
The statements came in an interview with Italy’s La Repubblica (it’s in Italian, sorry), with the singer stating, “All I know is that they make money from the work of many artists who do not derive any benefit.”
“Service providers make money: Google, YouTube. A lot of money. ‘Oh, sorry, it was yours? Now it is ours. No, no, we are joking, it is always yours.’ They seize it. It’s like what the Nazis did during the Second World War. In fact they all did that during the war, the British too: steal the art from other countries. What’s the difference?”
It’s a really bold statement; one that has, and will no doubt continue to draw much controversy and criticism. Similar to when Prince recently compared a record label contract to slavery, no matter how much you love these musicians, it does feel necessary to stop for a moment and consider the incredulous exaggeration of these claims. “What’s the difference?” Really, Thom?
The interview also saw Yorke answer questions on a wide range of other topics, including the future Radiohead releases and his own Twitter activity.
Regarding a follow-up to Radiohead’s 2011 album The King of Limbs, Yorke was definite that the album was “not yet ready.”
The singer then discussed the series of cryptic Tweets that have been appearing on his Twitter feed, and the possibility of them being notes for new songs, confessing that “…maybe a few are finished in the next album. They were mostly things that I had written when there was yet another discussion on social networks on Spotify.”
to break the back of me
— Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) October 6, 2015
a white room by a window with the sun coming through
— Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) September 19, 2015
in my line of business there is no room for mess
— Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) July 13, 2015
Yorke is renowned for his dislike of streaming services, proclaiming back in 2013 that Spotify in particular was the “last, desperate fart of a dying corpse.”
Yorke’s most recent musical offering was the eight-minute Villain, soundtrack to a New York Fashion Week runway show for fashion label Rag & Bone.