One day, the internet showed up and changed everything. All of our yardsticks are in flux. A band like Dirty Projectors can be called big on the Pitchfork scale—but it maybe doesn’t translate to physical copies sold. Things are different now. The posters are hung in other places. We are still figuring out how to define ‘success’ in this day and age. When the last Animal Collective album was released, they were on the covers of all the magazines in New York, and they won ‘record of the year’ everywhere. Isn’t that success? I don´t know ...
I think these are exciting times; we are inventing our own definitions of success. Both in terms of record sales, but also these... these Lady GaGa moments that keep popping up. She is the first superstar of our time. She maybe isn’t doing anything new or interesting musically, but she still is a very interesting character. She has individual style.
I’m no musicologist or specialist in pop matters, but it seems to me that everything was perfectly aligned for her to make her appearance. And I feel that a similar thing happened—albeit in an entirely different way, with a different outcome—for me when I released ‘Post’. All these different factors lined up to make it as big as it could get.
I can’t judge how it happened, though—I am too involved with it to do that. There are probably several reasons. Instrumental electronic music had been around for a while then, all these introverted electronic scenes, like Acid House, were dominant and upcoming, but it lacked all narrative and all lyrics. There was a big hunger for that when I lived in London. People would say: "This is great music, but where are the songs?" Songs, not as in techno songs, but songs with stories and refrains and choruses. They were missing. That was one of the hoops we passed through...
This populism that has followed globalisation and the internet, it is so crazy. People are gagging on it. Like how they treat Britney Spears. She can’t exit a cab without panties without close-up shots of her crotch being spread all over the internet five minutes later. This is vulgar. People do not want to participate in this. I can imagine people that are in their early twenties now and maybe releasing their first records not wanting any part in this atmosphere.
I think people are more and more starting to bypass these places, this sphere that has been created by the tabloid newspapers and gossip websites. Media gossip has changed so much since I was young. It’s so pervasive and dominant. Amy Winehouse leaves a club, five minutes later there are clips of her throwing up on YouTube.
When... [makes an old woman voice] when I was young, being a ‘celebrity’ really only consisted of one thing. You got invited to these premieres or charity events, and if you were interested or curious you went along and got photographed on the red carpet. You maybe gave an interview, posed for some photos and then you were done.Now, we’re facing quite a different situation. A whole new league has been created, this Paris Hilton league, with her and Lindsay Lohan and others. I was actually pretty grateful when this new media culture appeared. It meant people like myself and Radiohead—people that would rather focus on making the music and didn’t want to participate in the whole celebrity package—could leave the stage to these new people. Sheesh! What a relief! I experienced it when a bit when I was living on Warwick Avenue in England, with forty photographers camping in my backyard, stocked with zoom lenses and stuff. I cannot thrive in that environment, and that’s why I backed out of it. And I was lucky, as soon as I got totally sick of it, the internet and this new league of celebrity fascination came along, these people like Paris that were really craving the attention.
They saved us.
[η bjork σε στιγμές λογικής και ευαισθησίας. ολόκληρη η συνέντευξη εδώ].
summer void [ο richard youngs σχεδόν ποπ].