Thom Yorke, erstwhile leader of seminal band Radiohead and general oddball, recently did an extensive interview with Italy’s La Repubblica, an interview which is in Italian on their website. Fortunately, over at Consequences of Sound, they took some of the main points and put them into English, for those of us who aren’t fluent in the romance languages. There’s plenty of good stuff in there about the upcoming Radiohead album and Yorke’s dancing style, but this is the internet. Let’s get to the part where he compared YouTube to Nazi Germany.
Yorke was asked how he finds new music, to which he replied, “Mostly with Boomkat … I certainly do not use YouTube.” He also went on to express his fondness for ad blocking apps that allow him to avoid seeing ads on YouTube, as they do not compensate artists well, or at all, for the revenue generated by those ads. This is when things turned to ol’ Nazi Germany.
“All I know is that they make money from the work of many artists who do not derive any benefit. Service providers make money: Google, YouTube. A lot of money. ‘Oh, sorry, it was yours? Now it is ours. No, no, we are joking, it is always yours,’ They seize it. It’s like what the Nazis did during the Second World War. In fact they all did that during the war, the British too: steal the art from other countries. What’s the difference?”
Obviously, the internet has a dog whistle out there for any references to Nazi Germany, and Yorke knows this comparison is always an easy, if hyperbolic, way to slag off somebody, in this case YouTube. Sure, is there something vaguely true to Yorke’s point? Kind of, maybe, but also not really. In the end, this is just another example of somebody making a Nazi analogy that may just be a tad unfair to the target.
As for the other stuff, Radiohead’s new album is “not yet ready. And, anyways, I could not say if it was. It would get me into trouble. Anyways, no, it’s not ready.” So, Radiohead fans, be prepared to wait an indeterminate amount of time for that new album.
(Via Consequences of Sound)