Interview by Darren Ressler
Photo by Rahav Segev
Radiohead first achieved mainstream attention in 1993, with their haunting hit single "Creep." In 1995 the band's two resident smokers sat down with HIGH TIMES for a brief interview which was never published -- until now.
HIGH TIMES: I understand that you did a bit of traveling before flying to New York City to do press?
COLIN GREENWOOD: We just got back two weeks ago from Amsterdam. I haven't smoked grass with any dedication in over a year, but that trip was a nice reintroduction to it.
ED O'BRIEN: In Britain, there are a lot of politicians who still get on their high horse about smoking marijuana, but the Dutch are wonderfully pragmatic about pot. They saw that decriminalizing it was the best thing, and hopefully other countries will follow suit.
HT: A lot of Brits mix tobacco with their ganja because of the poor quality. How do you rate pot from around the world?
EO: The first time I smoked weed in America was in Los Angeles. I think it was from Humbolt County, and it was a revelatory experience. Although that was unbelievable, in India you can score a thali--which is a handful. My sister and I once scored two thalis while we were on holiday, and we smoked it. A half-hour later, I had a cigarette and bam! I definitely discovered the hallucinatory aspects of marijuana that day.
HT: How does pot figure into Radiohead's music?
CG: Well, we're sort of puritanical in the studio, and we really don't smoke or drink anything while we're recording. I do enjoy how smoking can allow you to concentrate on the different sounds, but I save it for something that I do after the record is done to pick up on things.
HT: So when you recorded "Creep," you were all totally straight?
EO: [laughs] Well, I must admit that I wasn't. But to tell you the truth, it was a nightmare because you get this fear while you're putting down the track that you can't play. I learned a bit from that , but "Creep" came out fine anyway.