2 Music Pioneers Talk Shop

David Byrne and Thom Yorke like modern access to audiences
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2007 9:57 AM CST
Thom Yorke on stage in Barcelona. 1997.    (Magnum Photos)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – David Byrne and Thom Yorke don’t have much of anything nice to say about record labels, but they’re both excited about the contemporary musician’s access to audiences. The famous frontman from Talking Heads interviews the Radiohead impresario for Wired, and the latter says it was an “obvious” decision to self-release the group's latest record—and a treat to avoid the “silly games” of courting journalists.

Yorke allows that his situation was unique because he had a built-in fan base, but Byrne writes separately in Wired that “there have never been more opportunities for artists” to get their tunes out. He runs down six models—from self-release to a “360 deal”—and explains the trade-off between getting cash up front and artistic freedom and rights later.