Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien pays lip service to U2 in the current issue of Spin magazine. He especially enjoys discussing U2, who appear to be Radiohead’s third-biggest musical influence (the first two being the Smiths, whom all five members love unequivocally, and the Pixies, from whose records Jonny Greenwood learned how to play guitar). For the most part, the other four members don’t talk about mainstream rock.
“I’m interested in bands as beasts,” O’Brien says. “I’m interested in U2 and the Rolling Stones and Neil Young & Crazy Horse. I love the dynamic of musicians working together and all the voodoo shit that comes with it. It’s a complicated thing to do over the expanse of time, which is why I respect U2 so much. Don’t get me wrong — I adore the Stones, but they haven’t made a good record since 1972. Exile on Main Street was the last great Stones album. But U2 have been at it for 20 years, and that song ‘Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of’ was amazing. And that’s after 20 years. That’s when the Stones were making Still Life.”