British rock band Radiohead have announced the release of hours of unheard material from the mid-1990s in response to ransom demands from unnamed hackers.
Last week cyber attackers stole archive material held by lead singer Thom Yorke and threatened to release it unless the band paid $150,000, according to a Facebook post from Radiohead. The recordings date from “around the time of OK Computer” – Radiohead’s third album released in 1997 – the band said.
“So instead of complaining – much – or ignoring it, we’re releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion,” reads the post, referring to the UK-based climate protest organization which says it uses “non-violent civil disobedience to achieve radical change.”
The material, which was stored on minidisk, will be available to download for $23 (£18) for the next 18 days, according to the post.
“Never intended for public consumption (though some clips did reach the cassette in the OK Computer reissue) it’s only tangentially interesting,” reads the post, which the band’s PR firm says was written by lead guitarist and keyboardist Jonny Greenwood.
“And very, very long. Not a phone download. Rainy out, isn’t it though?”
The band member also tweeted the statement which they had drafted in an email. Its subject line read, “Walter Sobchak vs Bunny’s Toe,” a reference to a plot line in the 1998 film The Big Lebowski.
The critically-acclaimed album was released in 1997 and won Best Alternative Music Album at the Grammy Awards in 1998.
In December 2018, Radiohead joined the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, forming part of the class of 2019 alongside Janet Jackson, the Cure, Def Leppard, Stevie Nicks, Roxy Music and the Zombies.