Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood really loves to play the recorder

"Instead of cocaine and call girls, hook me up with a really good amateur recorder group"

Jonny Greenwood loves the recorder

Guitar virtuoso. Ondes martenot practitioner. Academy Award-nominated composer. Jonny Greenwood is all of these things, but for all his achievement in mastering different musical art forms, his favorite instrument remains the simplest: the humble recorder.

In an in depth interview with The Guardian about his new classical music label Octatonic, the Radiohead member revealed his strangely strong affinity for the bane of every elementary school kid’s parents. “Oh I could easily talk for an hour about the recorder!” he explained, noting that like most people, it was his first instrument.

He still plays the recorder frequently, though in an extremely unusual venue. “One of the great joys of playing American sports arenas with Radiohead is their amazing communal showers,” Greenwood said. “I’ll get to the venue early, seek out these rooms that smell of Deep Heat and jockstraps, get out my recorder, play one of Telemann’s canonic sonatas and just be swamped in this flattering reverb.”

It doesn’t stop there, either. “I have fantasies of putting demands on the rider,” he joked. “You know, instead of cocaine and call girls, hook me up with a really good amateur recorder group. It’s sick, isn’t it?”

I’m not sure cocaine and hookers would be acceptable requests, but how curious are you to see Greenwood’s real rider now? Perhaps now that he has his own label, he’ll get to make the album of recorder music he’s always dreamed of.

Either way, it looks like Bill Hader will have to learn a new skill if he hopes to truly capture the essence of Greenwood’s character in any potential biopic.


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