Atoms for Peace (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Atoms for Peace
Atoms for Peace performing in 2010
Atoms for Peace performing in 2010
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
Years active
  • 2009–2013, 2018
Associated actsRadiohead, Ultraísta
MembersThom Yorke
Nigel Godrich
Joey Waronker
Mauro Refosco
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

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 the band in 2009 to perform songs from his debut solo album, The Eraser (2006). They toured in 2010 and 2013, and released an album, Amok, in February 2013.


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 using sequencers, reproducing the electronic beats with Latin percussion.[1]

Yorke formed Atoms for Peace in 2009 with Godrich, bassist Flea, drummer Joey Waronker, and percussionist Mauro Refosco.[1] Flea is a founding member of Red Hot Chili Peppers; Waronker had performed with acts including Beck and R.E.M., and Refosco had performed with acts including David Byrne.[1] 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."[1]

The band went unnamed for early performances, billed as "Thom Yorke" or "??????".[2] 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 in turn references a 1953 speech by American President Dwight D. Eisenhower.[3] Alongside Eraser songs, Atoms for Peace also performed "Rabbit in Your Headlights", a collaboration with Yorke and Unkle released in 1998, and the Radiohead B-side "Paperbag Writer".[4]

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.[5] This became the band's debut album, Amok, released on February 25, 2013, through XL Recordings.[6] It was followed by a tour of Europe, the US and Japan.[7] 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.[8]

In a 2018, the band reunited without Refosco to perform "Atoms for Peace" at a solo Thom Yorke show in Los Angeles.[9] In 2015, Yorke and Flea performed "Atoms for Peace" on the French television show Le Grand Journal[10] and performed "Default" at the Paris United Nations Climate Change Conference.[11] Flea provided trumpet for Yorke's song "Daily Battles", for the 2019 film Motherless Brooklyn.[12]



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 "Default"[17] 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 d Lea, Tom (28 January 2013). "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". Fact. Retrieved 2015-05-02.
  2. ^ "Thom Yorke Names His ???? Band Atoms For Peace, Announces Tour Dates". Stereogum. Archived from the original on 2016-04-19. 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. ^ "Watch Atoms for Peace rehearse Thom Yorke's "Rabbit In Your Headlights"". UNCUT. 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  5. ^ "Q&A: Thom Yorke on Atoms for Peace's 'Mechanistic' New Album". Rolling Stone. November 5, 2012. Archived from the original on June 27, 2014. Retrieved Feb 18, 2013.
  6. ^ "Calendar". Archived from the original on 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2013-02-24.
  7. ^ "Atoms for Peace Announce U.S. and Japanese Dates". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 2015-11-12. Retrieved 2015-11-13.
  8. ^ "IAmA Atoms For Peace, Thom Yorke & Nigel Godrich AMA". Reddit. 18 February 2013. Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Atoms For Peace reunite during Thom Yorke concert in Los Angeles: Watch". Consequence of Sound. 2020-02-04. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  10. ^ "Thom Yorke and Flea reunite to play "Atoms For Peace" on French TV". NME. 2015-12-04. Archived from the original on 2020-02-04. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  11. ^ "Radiohead's Thom Yorke, Patti Smith & More Raise Climate Awareness on New Pathway to Paris Album". Billboard. Archived from the original on 2020-02-07. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  12. ^ "Listen to Thom Yorke and Flea's haunting new collaboration, 'Daily Battles'". NME. 2020-02-05. Archived from the original on 2019-08-21. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  13. ^ "Atoms for Peace, releases". Archived from the original on 2012-11-06.
  14. ^ "2012-09-15 Top 40 Independent Singles Archive". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "Amok – Atoms for Peace: Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on March 31, 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  17. ^ "Thom Yorke's Atoms For Peace Release New Single". Archived from the original on 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2012-09-06.

External links[edit]