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Atoms for Peace (band)

Atoms for Peace
Atoms for Peace performing in 2010
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Alternative rock, experimental rock, electronica
Years active 2009–present
Labels XL
Associated acts Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ultraísta, Forro in the Dark
Website .infoatomsforpeace
Members Thom Yorke
Nigel Godrich
Joey Waronker
Mauro Refosco

Atoms For Peace is an experimental rock and electronic supergroup formed in late 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The group consists of Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar, and piano), Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich (keyboards, synthesisers, guitars), Joey Waronker of Beck and R.E.M. (drums) and Brazilian instrumentalist Mauro Refosco (percussion) of Forro in the Dark. Their debut album, Amok, was released on February 25, 2013.


  • History 1
  • Name 2
  • Influences 3
  • Members 4
  • Discography 5
    • Studio albums 5.1
    • Singles 5.2
    • Music videos 5.3
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The line-up had their first live performance at the Echoplex in Los Angeles on October 2, 2009, where they played the entirety of Thom Yorke's solo debut album, The Eraser, as well as some new songs and Radiohead B-side "Paperbag Writer".[1] This was followed by two shows at Orpheum Theatre on October 4–5.

The band went on a two-week, eight-date tour of some major cities in the United States with opening act Flying Lotus[2] during April 2010 before their performance at the 2010 Coachella Festival, known only as "??????".[3][4]

Atoms for Peace performed a song which Thom Yorke noted as being "the band's first official collaborative song" at Roseland Ballroom on April 5, 2010. That song, titled "Judge, Jury and Executioner", was debuted October 2, 2009, when the band played their first shows in Los Angeles. That song's title is partially shared with the Radiohead song "Myxomatosis. (Judge, Jury, and Executioner.)".[5]

Following the Coachella festival, Atoms for Peace performed at Fuji Rock 2010,[6] the band's only performance to date outside the United States.

In an interview on September 21, 2011, Thom revealed that he and Flea were finishing off an album together.[7] Flea has additionally mentioned this album in interview, and Nigel Godrich has been confirmed as producer. On September 6, 2012, Atoms for Peace released the single "Default" on iTunes, as well as presenting a new official website.[8] The album is titled Amok and was released on February 25, 2013, through XL Recordings.[9]

In February 2013, Pohoda Festival and Melt! Festival announced that Atoms for Peace will be headlining both festivals, these concerts being the second and third non-U.S. appearance of the band.[10] The same month, the band released a video for the song, "Ingenue", from Amok. The video features Yorke dancing with contemporary dancer Fukiko Takase.[11]

In March 2013, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith confirmed that Flea plans to tour with Atoms for Peace and will also be joined by Chili Peppers touring percussionist, Mauro Refosco, on the tour.[12] The band plans to tour from July to November 2013, with over twenty dates scheduled throughout the world. The tour also will delay work on the Chili Peppers' eleventh studio album.[13]


Until February 2010, the band did not have a name and was known as either "??????" on LA marquees or "Thom Yorke????" on the official poster for the 2010 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. However, on the official website, the band was vaguely listed as simply "Thom Yorke".[14] Through Radiohead's official website, Yorke officially named the band as "Atoms for Peace" upon announcing the April 2010 U.S. tour.[15][16] In March 2010, Thom Yorke tweeted "it has been decided that we call ourselves Atoms For Peace. hope you like the name.. it seemed bleedin' obvious".[17]

The band shares a name with both the 1953 speech by American President Dwight D. Eisenhower and a song from Yorke's debut solo album The Eraser.[18][19] On their website, under their name, is the phrase "Nerth Nuclerek? Na Vynnav", which is in the Cornish language and can be translated as "Nuclear Power? No Thanks". This is the text from the Smiling Sun anti-nuclear power logo, which has been translated into over 50 languages,[20] including Cornish.


Thom Yorke has stated that the members of Atoms for Peace bonded over a shared love of the music of Afrobeat, and said in an interview that the debut album was "the product of getting together, getting wasted and listening to Fela Kuti". [21]



Thom Yorke playing guitar and Nigel Godrick performing
Flea playing bass and Mauro Refosco playing percussion instrumnets
Atoms for Peace performing at Melt! Festival 2013

Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions, sales figures and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
  • Released: February 25, 2013
  • Label: XL Recordings[22]
  • Format: —
5[23] 6 14 4 5 15 16 12 3 42 2


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
2012 "Tamer Animals"/"Other Side"
"Default"[24] Amok
2013 "Judge, Jury and Executioner"
"Before Your Very Eyes..."

Music videos

Year Title Director
2013 "Judge, Jury and Executioner" Tarik Barri
"Ingenue" Garth Jennings
"Before Your Very Eyes..." Andrew Thomas Huang


  1. ^ Scott Lapatine (October 3, 2009). "Thom Yorke @ Echoplex, Los Angeles 10/2/09".  
  2. ^ "Thom Yorke Takes Flying Lotus On Tour". March 3, 2005. Archived from the original on 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  3. ^ "?????? New Shows". February 25, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-02-27. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  4. ^ Sahyouni, Frederic (March 3, 2010). "Coachella 2010: A Sneak Peek". Archived from the original on 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  5. ^ Greenwald, David (January 7, 2013). "Atoms for Peace Release 'Judge Jury and Executioner': Listen".  
  6. ^ "Atoms for Peace, Buffalo Daughter and More Added to Fuji Rock Festival". April 29, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "[new]: Atoms For Peace – Default | We All Want Someone To Shout For". Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  9. ^ "Calendar". Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  10. ^ "Radiohead's Thom Yorke is coming with his new project Atoms for Peace!". February 19, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  11. ^ Snapes, Laura (February 28, 2013). """Watch Thom Yorke Dance in Atoms for Peace's Video for "Ingenue. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  12. ^ Makarechi, Kia (March 21, 2013). "Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith On Thom Yorke, Coachella And Lobbying Lawmakers In D.C.". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-09-27. 
  13. ^ Smith, Sarah (July 18, 2013). "Thom Yorke delays new Chili Peppers album". Retrieved 2013-09-27. 
  14. ^ "Coachella - Lineup". Archived from the original on 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  15. ^ Dombal, Ryan (February 25, 2010). "Thom Yorke Names Solo Band, Lines Up American Spring Tour".  
  16. ^ Serjeant, Jill (February 25, 2010). "Radiohead's Thom Yorke Names New Band Atoms For Peace".  
  17. ^ "Thom Yorke tweet". March 1, 2010. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  18. ^ (French)Rhéaume, Julie (February 25, 2010). "Thom Yorke baptise son nouveau groupe Atoms for Peace" (in French). Archived from the original on 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  19. ^ (French)"Un nom pour son nouveau groupe" (in French). March 3, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  20. ^ "Smiling Sun History".  
  21. ^ "Thom Yorke: minimalism Amok". Melbourne: February 9, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  22. ^ "Atoms for Peace, releases". 
  23. ^ "Atoms For Peace announce three London shows".  
  24. ^ "Thom Yorke's Atoms For Peace Release New Single". Retrieved 2012-09-06. 

External links

  • Official website
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