Atoms for Peace (band)

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Atoms for Peace
Atoms for peace.jpg
Atoms for Peace performing in 2010
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Alternative rock, Electronica, IDM, experimental rock
Years active 2009–present
Labels XL
Associated acts Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ultraísta, Forro in the Dark
Members Thom Yorke
Nigel Godrich
Joey Waronker
Mauro Refosco

Atoms for Peace are an English-American alternative rock supergroup, formed in 2009 by Radiohead singer Thom Yorke to perform songs from his debut solo album, The Eraser (2006). The band comprises Yorke (vocals, guitar, piano), Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich (keyboards, synthesisers, guitars), drummer Joey Waronker of Beck and R.E.M., and percussionist Mauro Refosco of Forro in the Dark. They released an album, Amok, on February 25, 2013.


Flea with Atoms for Peace at Fuji Rock Festival 2010

In 2006, Radiohead singer Thom Yorke released his first solo album, The Eraser. Yorke wanted to recreate the electronic beats of The Eraser using live musicians,[1] and in 2009 recruited Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich (keyboards, synthesisers, guitars), drummer Joey Waronker of Beck and R.E.M. and percussionist Mauro Refosco of Forro in the Dark.[1] He said: "It’s like opening a big Pandora's Box, and I don’t know what direction it’s going to go in. We’ve got these bonkers rhythms made by machines, and musicians who can keep up with them – no problem – and the two can bounce off each other. It’s quite something."[1]

The band went unnamed for early performances, listed as "Thom Yorke" or "??????".[2] In February 2010, the band announced an American tour and a name, Atoms for Peace. The band shares the name with a 1953 speech by American President Dwight D. Eisenhower and a song from The Eraser.[3]

After the tour ended in 2010, Atoms for Peace spent three days jamming and recording original material in Los Angeles. Yorke and producer Godrich edited and arranged the recordings from the sessions over two years, combining it with Yorke's electronic music;[4] this became the band's debut album, Amok, released on February 25, 2013, through XL Recordings.[5] The album was followed by a tour of Europe, the US and Japan.[6] Answering a fan question on Reddit in 2013, Yorke wrote that determining whether new songs were for Radiohead or Atoms for Peace was "a grey area. Getting greyer. Obviously depends on who is being sampled."[7]



Thom Yorke playing guitar and Nigel Godrick performing
Thom Yorke (front) and Nigel Godrich (back)
Flea playing bass and Mauro Refosco playing percussion instrumnets
Flea (front) and Mauro Refosco (back)
Atoms for Peace performing at Melt! Festival 2013

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions, sales figures and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
Amok 5 2 6 14 4 5 15 16 12 3 42


Year Single Peak chart positions Album

2012 "Other Lives"/"Tamer Animals"
"Default"[12] 31 93 Amok
2013 "Judge, Jury and Executioner" 43
"Before Your Very Eyes..." 61

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Director
2013 "Judge, Jury and Executioner" Tarik Barri
"Ingenue" Garth Jennings
"Before Your Very Eyes..." Andrew Thomas Huang


  1. ^ a b c "A New Career in a New Town: Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich open Pandora's Box and run AMOK as Atoms for Peace". Retrieved 2015-05-02. 
  2. ^ "Thom Yorke Names His ???? Band Atoms For Peace, Announces Tour Dates". Stereogum. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  3. ^ Dombal, Ryan (February 25, 2010). "Thom Yorke Names Solo Band, Lines Up American Spring Tour". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 2010-02-27. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  4. ^ "Q&A: Thom Yorke on Atoms for Peace's 'Mechanistic' New Album". Rolling Stone. November 5, 2012. Retrieved Feb 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Calendar". Archived from the original on 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  6. ^ "Atoms for Peace Announce U.S. and Japanese Dates". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2015-11-13. 
  7. ^ "IAmA Atoms For Peace, Thom Yorke & Nigel Godrich AMA". Reddit. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Atoms for Peace, releases". Archived from the original on 2012-11-06. 
  9. ^ "2012-09-15 Top 40 Independent Singles Archive". Official Charts Company. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Discografie Atoms for Peace" [Discography Atoms for Peace]. Ultratop (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Amok – Atoms for Peace: Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Thom Yorke's Atoms For Peace Release New Single". Retrieved 2012-09-06. 

External links[edit]