Atoms for Peace (band)
Atoms for Peace
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Associated acts||Radiohead, Ultraísta, Jomoro|
Atoms for Peace are an English-American supergroup comprising Radiohead singer Thom 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.
Yorke formed Atoms for Peace in 2009 to perform songs from his debut solo album, The Eraser (2006); they toured in 2010. In 2013, they released an album, Amok, the product of combining Yorke's electronic music with the band's jamming. It received mainly positive reviews, with several critics likening it to Yorke's solo work. Amok was followed by a tour of Europe, the US and Japan.
In 2006, Radiohead singer Thom Yorke released his first solo album, The Eraser, comprising mostly electronic music. It was produced by longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. In 2009, Yorke performed solo at Latitude Festival, and found it was possible to perform Eraser songs on acoustic instruments. He contacted Godrich with the idea of forming a band to perform The Eraser without sequencers, reproducing the electronic beats with Latin percussion.
Yorke and Godrich formed Atoms for Peace in 2009 with bassist Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers; drummer Joey Waronker, who had performed with acts including Beck and R.E.M.; and percussionist Mauro Refosco who had performed with acts including David Byrne. Yorke said: "I've been playing with [Radiohead] since I was 16, and to do this was quite a trip ... It felt like we'd knocked a hole in a wall, and we should just fucking go through it."
The band went unnamed for early performances, billed as "Thom Yorke" or "??????". In February 2010, they announced an American tour and the name Atoms for Peace. The name is taken from a song title from The Eraser, which references the 1953 speech by American President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Alongside Eraser songs, Atoms for Peace also performed the 2003 Radiohead B-side "Paperbag Writer" and the 1998 single "Rabbit in Your Headlights", a collaboration with Yorke and Unkle.
After the tour, Atoms for Peace spent three days jamming and recording in Los Angeles. Yorke and Godrich edited and arranged the recordings over two years, combining it with Yorke's electronic music. This became the band's debut album, Amok, released on February 25, 2013, through XL Recordings. It received mainly positive reviews, with critics likening it to Yorke's solo work.
Amok was followed by a tour of Europe, the US and Japan. In 2013, Yorke wrote that determining whether new songs were for Radiohead or Atoms for Peace was a "grey area" and depended on which musicians he is sampling.
In 2018, Atoms for Peace reunited without Refosco to perform the song "Atoms for Peace" at a solo Thom Yorke show in Los Angeles. In 2015, Yorke and Flea performed "Atoms for Peace" on the French television show Le Grand Journal and performed "Default" at the Paris United Nations Climate Change Conference. Flea provided trumpet for Yorke's song "Daily Battles", for the 2019 film Motherless Brooklyn. Waronker and Refosco formed a new group, Jomoro, and released their debut album, Blue Marble Sky, on 4 June 2021.
- Thom Yorke – lead vocals, guitars, piano, keyboards, percussion
- Flea – bass guitar, melodica, keyboards
- Nigel Godrich – keyboards, synthesisers, guitars, percussion, backing vocals
- Mauro Refosco – percussion, additional drums, marimba
- Joey Waronker – drums
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2013||"Judge, Jury and Executioner"||—||—||43||—|
|"Before Your Very Eyes..."||—||—||61||—|
|2013||"Judge, Jury and Executioner"||Tarik Barri|
|"Before Your Very Eyes..."||Andrew Thomas Huang|
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