DAYTON, OH—Although they admit the Dayton-area group may have taken its name from a line in "Karma Police," the members of Radiohead held a press conference in Ohio Monday to dismiss allegations that they played any role in helping to form the musical style of local band Hitler Hairdo.
Radiohead front man Thom Yorke told reporters in no uncertain terms that his band has never met the four high school students who compose Hitler Hairdo, and insisted the moody alt-rock songs they perform in local bars "could not possibly have been derived from [Radiohead's] subtle fusion of electronica, Krautrock, and experimental jazz."
"There is absolutely no evidence to support Hitler Hairdo's claim that listening to OK Computer for the first time changed the whole way they thought about music," said Yorke, flanked by the other members of Radiohead, producer Nigel Godrich, and the band's lawyers. "It's preposterous to think that, as genre-bending pioneers of post-punk techno-rock, we had anything to do with influencing this at-best average band. Anyone who's listened closely to their demo CD could tell you that."
Hitler Hairdo, whose MySpace page cites Radiohead as a "major influence," has been playing house parties and open-mic nights around the Dayton area for more than a year, but has yet to gain a substantial following. In "Bassist Needed" fliers distributed last month, the band describes itself as "a mix between Radiohead and Smashing Pumpkins, but primarily interested in the earlier guitar-driven sounds of Pablo Honey and The Bends."
"That's absolute shite," Yorke said when asked for a response. "The epochal, full-bodied shoegaziness of early Radiohead is completely absent from the sample tracks they put online, and where are the bracing yet approachable guitar patterns?"
"And just look at their stupid band photo," added Yorke. "Radiohead would never dress like that."
Though Yorke claimed the first three minutes of Hitler Hairdo's song "Death (Or High School)" are enough to prove the two ensembles are in no way affiliated, lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood said he wasn't so certain at first, and suggested his bandmates attend a live performance before passing judgment.
But after chartering a private jet from England to Ohio to watch a Hitler Hairdo show, the space-rock megastars became even more convinced that they could not have shaped any part of the band's songwriting ethos.
"They were less like us live than they were in their abysmal online demos, if that's even possible," Greenwood told reporters. "If that bridge in their fourth song was supposed to be an homage to the cold, esoteric sounds of Hail To The Thief, they missed the mark by a mile. We stayed for the whole thing, and I heard not one ethereal exploration of alienation and longing, no textured soundscapes or sparse, clanging percussion sequences evoking an abandoned playground in winter. Nothing."
Continued Greenwood, "Just because you use a vocoder doesn't make you Radiohead."
In a recent interview in Rolling Stone, Radiohead members categorically denied any involvement in any of Hitler Hairdo's seven released songs, and assured fans that the subpar band's two unfinished melodies have "no hope" of attaining the swelling brilliance of even the weakest track on In Rainbows.
"To be perfectly honest, I think they sound much more like Oasis," Yorke told the magazine. "Or maybe some shit pop band, like the Killers. Their only similarity to us is that they've made their music available for free online, and that hardly counts. After listening to every one of their songs and poring over all of their lyrics, I can say without hesitation that Radiohead has never influenced this band in any way, shape, or form."
When asked for comment, the band Coldplay—also listed by Hitler Hairdo as an influence—told reporters they were "very flattered" and "love those guys."