Colin Greenwood

Today’s Know Your Player is about bassist Colin Greenwood from Radiohead.  Radiohead have been at the cutting edge of alt rock for some time now, and Colin’s playing is a big part of their success.

Non Sequitur

At my signal, unleash hell.

Colin Charles Greenwood (born 26 June 1969), is an English musician, composer, and the bassist for the rock band Radiohead. Apart from bass, Colin plays keyboards and synthesizers and works on sampling on the electronic side of Radiohead.

According to Greenwood, it was out of necessity that he first picked up a bass, teaching himself by playing along to New Order, Joy Division and Otis Redding. “We were people who picked up their respective instruments because we wanted to play music together, rather than just because we wanted to play that particular instrument. So it was more of a collective angle, and if you could contribute by having someone else play your instrument, then that was really cool. I don’t think of myself as a bass player anyway. I’m just in a band with other people.”Among his greatest musical influences are Booker T and the MGs. “I’m really more of a soulboy. Bill Withers and Curtis Mayfield, those are the people who informed me in playing the bass. That combination of rhythm and melody.”

Airbag is Greenwood’s own favourite of his bass lines. The band was inspired by DJ Shadow to use cut-up drum beats. He has said that he played the distinctive fragments heard in the song, and planned to come up with something to fill all the gaps, but never got around to it.

Gear: Cream Fender Precision Bass made in 1973 According to Radiohead’s guitar tech, Peter “Plank” Clements, it is Greenwood’s favourite. “…apart from volume pot and jack, it’s all original including the pickup(s).”  Amps include a 240v Ampeg SVT-CLU classic head with standard valves into an Ampeg 8×10 cab.

“Airbag” (from OK Computer)

“A Punchup at a Wedding” (Hail to the Thief)

“Knives Out” (Amnesiac)