Radiohead’s Thom Yorke Reveals Scary ‘Crash’ He Had: ‘I Was No Longer In My Body’

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Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke recently interviewed Benedict Cumerbatch for Interview Magazine, and he opened up about a ‘full crash’ he had, that led to him taking a break.

YORKE: I took a year off after school, basically doing shitty jobs, earning enough money to record demos, and sending demos off. And then I got bored of that and went to art college, and had a completely different trajectory. Art college blew my mind, because I experienced being with creative people for the first time and feeling like I belonged. But the ambition and the obsessiveness that I had became debilitating later on, and I really could have done with someone, at that time, sitting me down and taking care of the other side of me.

CUMBERBATCH: Yeah, but then I went in the other direction completely, and not as any kind of clear rebellion. I became kind of a party animal. I had a massive crash. My health suffered. I was just overdoing it. That person could not be further from the one who emerged from that earlier experience. I regressed massively.

YORKE: I was curious to know if you’ve ever taken a long period and removed yourself from the trajectory that you’re on. Do you ever feel the need to step off the train? The reason I ask is because, as I was following my trajectory, I never saw out of it. I never thought about it until one day I was no longer in my body. I had a full crash and had to stop—for a very long time. And then I started studying meditation. And when I did finally sit down, I found myself on a retreat, sitting on a cushion, and it was like someone had stuck a radio to my head and turned it up full blast. I was like, “Oh my god!”

CUMBERBATCH: It’s so loud when you stop to listen to it. Because you’re just in the flow of it all the time, picking out whatever the loudest thing is, or the most negative.

YORKE: I would sit down in my studio, and as soon as I started working, the voices would start telling me, “You can’t do this, you can’t do that,” so I had to stop. I had to figure it out.