Channel 4 Teletext
Sound - Interview with Unbelievable Truth
by Stephen Eastwood (Channel 4)
Oxford 3-piece Unbelievable Truth release their debut album
Almost Here on Monday. A fragile collection of songs which
singer Andy Yorke says "require a certain amount of attention".
Despite a couple of Top 40 hits to their name, the band are still
best known for the fact that Andy is the brother of Radiohead
mainman Thom Yorke. But hey, Andy doesn't only want to talk
about THAT, as Planet Sound found upon meeting Andy and bassist
Nigel. (GOT THAT BIT WRONG DIDN'T THEY!)
Andy, are you sick of being asked about your brother Thom and
"I dunno. It depends how the questions are phrased. It's OK if
it's not at the expense of us talking about our music. Often I
get the impression that I'm being probed for information on
Thom's private life and that's totally out of order. Some
interviewers assume our lyrics must point to some psychological
trauma in our childhoods. I just tell them the truth - there
You seem unhappy with the whole idea of hype around the band,
Andy. Is that so?
"I don't dislike it - that's too strong a word but I'm
uncomfortable with it. Hype is more than just having to do
interviews. That's part of our job description really. If you
want to sell records you have to do these things. One thing we
did early on was make a rule not to mime on TV. That's filtered
out a few shows, but we did Jools Holland and that was
Andy, is it true that The Sun wanted to use Higher Than Reason
for a TV advertisement?
"Yes they approached a lot of bands that were deemed to be hot at
the time. We knew right away that we didn't want to get involved
with that sort of publication. You're on very dangerous ground
in terms of career longevity if you lend your songs to ads. You
look a bit of an arse. Hurricane#1 did it and they got a lot of
How personal are your lyrics, Andy?
"Not as personal as they appear. It's not direct autobiography
or confession. People read stuff into a song, but it's not the
best way to pin it down. The music is written before the words."
What would be the best scenario to hear your music, Andy?
"Probably the 3 o'clock in the morning in your bedroom scenario.
Someone told us they were driving along listening to our album
and they got lost, so that could be dangerous."
Can you see the band as MTV stalwarts, Nigel ?
"I'm tired of MTV's approach. Every shot on screen is under half
a second. Our videos are relatively slow. I find it insulting
that they assume people will become bored if the image doesn't
constantly change. It can only be a good thing to return to a
longer attention span. I feel our music falls into that camp -
it needs some concentration. We're all so used to quick-fix MTV,
CNN-type culture now."
Who are the couple kissing on the cover of your album, Nigel ?
"We don't know! The picture was taken by a friend of ours who's
a photographer. It was taken randomly on the underground system
in Berlin. It's quite gutsy to see a couple of people cuddling
and take a picture without asking permission. The image is
ambiguous in the same way as our music. You know what it means
but it's not precise. When we saw the picture we all agreed it
The album Almost Here is out on Monday 11 May 1998.
(thanks to Jayne))