Atoms for Peace (band)
Atoms for Peace
Atoms for Peace performing in 2010
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Associated acts||Radiohead, Ultraísta|
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.
Yorke formed Atoms for Peace in 2009 with Godrich, bassist Flea, drummer Joey Waronker, and percussionist Mauro Refosco. 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. 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 in turn references a 1953 speech by American President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 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".
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 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 a 2018, the band reunited without Refosco to perform "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.
- 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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