Ed O’Brian explains why Radiohead can’t be as successful as U2

Ed O’Brien gave his thoughts on Radiohead’s music in a new interview with Music Radar, following drummer Philip Selway’s indication of potential new Radiohead content in the near future. He contrasted the sounds and styles of Radiohead with U2, highlighting the distinctions. He recalled hearing U2’s performances up near and personal, saying:

“I remember standing side stage to U2 years and years ago, like ’97, and the thing you notice from the side of stage is how loud they are onstage.” Edge, for example, has his AC30s turned up to 11 since Larry, the drummer, is equally as loud! As is Adam’s bass setup, which is reminiscent of the Who. If you’re a four-piece, you can accomplish it. It’s made of rock. However, contrary to popular belief, Radiohead are not rock. We’ve had our ups and downs. We have rock and roll moments. They were more common when we were younger. However, the music is more subtle.”

The two bands’ music may not be similar, but O’Brien’s 2020 solo effort, ‘Earth,’ bears some similarities to U2’s ‘Pop,’ as he collaborated with U2’s 1997 album’s producer Flood on his record. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the guitarist explained his decision to adapt parts from his earlier works, including that album, by saying: “I wanted someone who could add sonic richness.” I’m incredibly fortunate to have come from Radiohead. Sonics, sound, and quality are extremely essential to all of us. If you will, I am a sound snob. There aren’t many folks that completely astound me. Flood was someone I knew. He began working as an engineer in the early 1980s and has worked on numerous records. He engineered ‘The Joshua Tree,’ then went on to co-produce ‘Achtung Baby,’ and, of course, Depeche Mode.” Below is a song from Ed O’Brien’s 2020 album that you can listen to.

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