Knives Out

Album: Amnesiac (2001)
Charted: 13

Songfacts®:

  • Lead singer Thom Yorke: "Knives Out is not exactly cruelty. Let's rather say that to express some feelings, I can't help but use some violent vocabulary. 'Knives Out' was inspired by several different situations. I think the important thing is not that it sounds violent but rather that I try to express specific moments that I have experienced in my life: I transcribe them again, especially those I've been through in the music business. It doesn't hurt many people when someone disappears, they can always take advantage of what remains. In short, the lyrics are more violent than the feelings behind them. The song is also about the death of the people close to me. Each song tries to elucidates things that I don't understand. 'Knives Out' is especially brutal because it is a desperate attempt at solving something very complicated for me." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • According to an October 2000 Q magazine article, this song took 373 days to record. The band kept trying to rework the song before deciding it was fine the way it was.
  • The video was directed by Michel Gondry, who directed the movie Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind as well as videos by The White Stripes and others. Shot all in one take, the clip features Thom Yorke at a hospital visiting a woman, played by French actress Emma de Caunes. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Carlos - Chicago, IL, for above 2
  • According to guitarist Ed O'Brien's internet diary, The Smiths were the inspiration for this song's cascading guitar parts.
  • The lyrics referring to cannibalism ("Squash his head/ Put him in the pot") were a relatively late addition to the song.
  • Yorke (from an interview with the New Musical Express): "It's partly the idea of the businessman walking out on his wife and kids and never coming back. It's also the thousand yard stare when you look at someone close to you and you know they're gonna die. It's like a shadow over them, or the way they look straight through you. The shine goes out of their eyes."

Comments: 1

  • Victoria from Memphis, TnI love this song. one of the best Radiohead songs:)
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