Atoms for Peace (band)

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Atoms for Peace
Atoms for Peace performing in 2010
Atoms for Peace performing in 2010
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
Genres
Years active
  • 2009–2013, 2018
LabelsXL
Associated actsRadiohead, Ultraísta, Jomoro
Websiteatomsforpeace.info
MembersThom Yorke
Flea
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 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.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

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.[1]

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.[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]

First performances[edit]

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 references the 1953 speech by American President Dwight D. Eisenhower.[3] 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.[4]

Amok[edit]

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 received mainly positive reviews, with critics likening it to Yorke's solo work.[7][8][9]

Amok was followed by a tour of Europe, the US and Japan.[10] 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.[11]

Later activity[edit]

In 2018, Atoms for Peace reunited without Refosco to perform the song "Atoms for Peace" at a solo Thom Yorke show in Los Angeles.[12] In 2015, Yorke and Flea performed "Atoms for Peace" on the French television show Le Grand Journal[13] and performed "Default" at the Paris United Nations Climate Change Conference.[14] Flea provided trumpet for Yorke's song "Daily Battles", for the 2019 film Motherless Brooklyn.[15] Waronker and Refosco formed a new group, Jomoro, and released their debut album, Blue Marble Sky, on 4 June 2021.[16]

Members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions, sales figures and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
UK US BEL
(FL)
BEL
(WA)
CAN DEN FRA GER IRL NLD SWE
Amok 5 2 6 14 4 5 15 16 12 3 42

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
UK UK
Indie

[18]
BEL
[19]
JAP
[20]
2012 "Default"[21] 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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 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 2 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Thom Yorke Names His ???? Band Atoms For Peace, Announces Tour Dates". Stereogum. Archived from the original on 19 April 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  3. ^ Dombal, Ryan (25 February 2010). "Thom Yorke Names Solo Band, Lines Up American Spring Tour". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 27 February 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
  4. ^ "Watch Atoms for Peace rehearse Thom Yorke's "Rabbit In Your Headlights"". UNCUT. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Q&A: Thom Yorke on Atoms for Peace's 'Mechanistic' New Album". Rolling Stone. 5 November 2012. Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Calendar". Xlrecordings.com. Archived from the original on 3 April 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  7. ^ Tan, Irving (21 February 2013). "Album Review - Atoms for Peace: Amok". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  8. ^ Liedel, Kevin (22 February 2013). "Review: Atoms for Peace, Amok". Slant. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  9. ^ Berman, Stuart (25 February 2013). "Atoms for Peace: AMOK". Pitchfork. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  10. ^ "Atoms for Peace Announce U.S. and Japanese Dates". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 12 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "Atoms For Peace reunite during Thom Yorke concert in Los Angeles: Watch". Consequence of Sound. 4 February 2020. Archived from the original on 20 December 2018. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Thom Yorke and Flea reunite to play "Atoms For Peace" on French TV". NME. 4 December 2015. Archived from the original on 4 February 2020. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Radiohead's Thom Yorke, Patti Smith & More Raise Climate Awareness on New Pathway to Paris Album". Billboard. Archived from the original on 7 February 2020. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  15. ^ "Listen to Thom Yorke and Flea's haunting new collaboration, 'Daily Battles'". NME. 5 February 2020. Archived from the original on 21 August 2019. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  16. ^ Martoccio, Angie (16 April 2021). "Atoms for Peace's Joey Waronker, Mauro Refosco form Jomoro, drop single with Lucius". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Atoms for Peace, releases". Archived from the original on 6 November 2012.
  18. ^ "2012-09-15 Top 40 Independent Singles Archive". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  19. ^ "Discografie Atoms for Peace" [Discography Atoms for Peace]. Ultratop (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 20 December 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  20. ^ "Amok – Atoms for Peace: Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on 31 March 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  21. ^ "Thom Yorke's Atoms For Peace Release New Single". pitchfork.com. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.

External links[edit]