Jonny Greenwood

Infobox musical artist
Name = Jonny Greenwood

Img_size = 250
Landscape = Yes
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Born = birth date and age|1971|11|05|df=y Oxford, England
Died =
Alias =
Instrument = Guitar
Ondes Martenot
Genre = Alternative rock
Electronic music
Occupation = Musician, songwriter, film composer
Associated_acts = Radiohead
Label = XL, TBD, Sanctuary
Years_active = 1991-present
URL = [ Official website]
Notable_instruments = Fender Telecaster Plus Fender Starcaster Ondes Martenot

Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood [ [,s,w,p,b,v&results_pp=20&start=1 ASC
] (born 5 November 1971) is a BAFTA and Grammy-nominated musician and composer-in-residence for the BBC, best known as a member of English alternative rock group Radiohead. Greenwood is a multi-instrumentalist and also serves as the band's lead guitarist. He is the younger brother of fellow Radiohead member Colin Greenwood. In addition to guitar he plays viola, organ, piano, xylophone, glockenspiel, ondes Martenot, banjo, harmonica and drums. He also does work on the electronic side of Radiohead, working on computer-generated sounds and sampling. He was ranked number 59 on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". [ [ The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time : Rolling Stone ] ] Greenwood is the principal songwriter of a number of Radiohead's songs including "The Tourist," "Life in a Glasshouse" and "A Wolf at the Door."



Greenwood had recently started university when Radiohead predecessor On A Friday signed a recording contract with EMI in 1991. He left university shortly after. While Greenwood is the only member of Radiohead to have been classically trained on any instrument (he took viola lessons as a child), he is also the only band member without a university degree.

Greenwood's influence on Radiohead's recording and writing can be heard in many songs, as he usually takes the traditional lead-guitarist role. For a while, Greenwood wore an arm brace due to a repetitive strain injury attributed to his "aggressive" way of playing the instrument, often billed as "abusive guitar". He often still wears the brace. He has said that "It's like taping up your fingers before a boxing match." [ [ guitarworld0498 ] ]

Greenwood is often credited as the second major influence on songwriting in Radiohead, next to Thom Yorke. He wrote the music for the closing tracks of "OK Computer" and "Hail to the Thief", the slow, jazzy rock song "The Tourist" and "A Wolf at the Door", respectively. He also wrote the intro, chorus and outro sections of the song "Subterranean Homesick Alien" from the "OK Computer" album. According to Yorke the track "Just" from "The Bends" was "a competition by me and Jonny to get as many chords as possible into a song". An example of Greenwood's versatility is his use of the Ondes Martenot, which is featured on songs such as "The National Anthem" and "How to Disappear Completely" from the album "Kid A", and "Pyramid Song" and "Dollars and Cents" from the album "Amnesiac". The song "Where I End and You Begin" from "Hail to the Thief", which also features the instrument, was dedicated to the memory of Jeanne Loriod, a pioneer of the Ondes.

Greenwood and Yorke also collaborated on the song "Arpeggi" which is a piece in a classical style centered around arpeggios for voice, Ondes, and orchestra. It was performed with the London Sinfonietta and Arab Orchestra of Nazareth at the Ether Festival in March 2005; [ [ BBC - Radio 3 - Hear And Now - Ether Festival ] ] the song would later be adapted for the full band to play in 2006, rearranged for guitar. A studio version (closer to the full band version than the orchestral version) appeared on the album "In Rainbows" as "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi".

olo work and current projects

In 2003, Greenwood released his first solo album, "Bodysong" (2003), the soundtrack for the movie of the same title by filmmaker Simon Pummell. "Bodysong" also features contributions from his brother Colin on bass.

Jonny Greenwood was hired by the BBC as its composer in residence in May 2004, a job which gave him the opportunity to compose several pieces for symphony orchestra, piano and/or Ondes Martenot: "smear", "Piano for Children" and "Popcorn Superhet Receiver". "smear" premiered in 2004, and on 23 April 2005 Greenwood premiered his new work commissioned by BBC Radio 3, with music performed live by the BBC Concert Orchestra in London. [ [ BBC - collective - Jonny Greenwood - BBC commission ] ] The printed music for "smear" and "Popcorn Superhet Receiver" are available from Faber Music Ltd in London. "smear" has also been recorded by the London Sinfonietta conducted by Martyn Brabbins and is Greenwood's recorded debut in the genre.

Greenwood won the Radio 3 Listeners' Award at the 2006 BBC British Composer Awards [ [ British Composer Awards 2006 - Nominations ] ] for his piece, "Popcorn Superhet Receiver". The piece was inspired by radio static and the extended, dissonant chords of Polish composer Penderecki's "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima", it can be streamed from a BBC website. [] Upon winning the award Greenwood received £10,000 from the PRS Foundation towards a commission for a new orchestral work. [ [ Radiohead guitarist takes prize in Radio 3 awards - News, Music - The Independent ] ]

A fan of dub reggae, [ [ Dead Air Space ] ] Greenwood released a compilation in collaboration with Trojan Records, entitled "Jonny Greenwood Is The Controller" in March 2007. This is the latest in Trojan’s Artist Choice Jukebox series, to which DJ Spooky and Don Letts have already contributed. [ [ Trojan Records ] ] Trojan Records provided Greenwood with its extensive catalog of songs, of which he chose 17. [ [ Jonny Greenwood to Curate Reggae Compilation | Spin Magazine Online ] ] The title is a play on the first track on the collection, entitled "Dread Are The Controller", by Linval Thompson. The album contains tracks by artists such as Derrick Harriott, Gregory Isaacs, The Heptones and many more.

Greenwood composed the score for the 2007 film, "There Will Be Blood", from director Paul Thomas Anderson. The soundtrack contains excerpts from "Popcorn Superhet Receiver". His work as the composer for this film earned him an award at the Critics' Choice Awards. On January 21, 2008, however, the score was declared ineligible for an Academy Award nomination under a rule that prohibited "scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other pre-existing music." [ [ Red Carpet District - Blog on - 890000489 ] ] [ [ Eight is Not Enough: Jonny Greenwood's 'Blood' Score DQ'ed - Cinematical ] ] On 4 February 2008 it was announced that Greenwood had won the trophy for Best Film Score in the Evening Standard British Film Awards for 2007. [ [ Best of British | News ] ]

Musical influences

Greenwood is greatly influenced by jazz and hip hop; his favourites include Lee Morgan and Miles Davis. He is a major fan of the Mo'Wax label (onetime home of Blackalicious, DJ Krush, DJ Shadow and Dr. Octagon). Along with other Radiohead band members, he loves Krautrock band Can and Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. Although Greenwood says he dislikes later Pink Floyd, one of his favourite albums is "Meddle" (1971). [ [ w.a.s.t.e. #14 ] ] Greenwood's all time favourite piece of music is Messiaen's "Turangalila Symphony", a gigantic piece for orchestra and Ondes Martenot, which he discovered as a teenager. [ [ Jonny Greenwood ] ] According to one of his entries on Radiohead's blog Dead Air Space, Greenwood has recently become a dub reggae aficionado, listening as of late 2005 to little else. In February 2007, Trojan Records released "Jonny Greenwood is the Controller" - he was given access to the archives of the legendary Trojan Records and hand picked tracks by the likes of Linval Thompson, John Holt, Lee Perry and The Heptones ranging from classic Ska and Rocksteady cuts to some vintage Dub and Roots. This compilation was recently nominated by Mojo Magazine as the compilation of the year. On the last date of Radiohead's summer 2008 tour with Grizzly Bear in support, Greenwood spoke of his love for them on stage, saying they are his "favourite band in the world." []

Personal life

Jonny is married to Sherona Greenwood. Together, they have a son, Tamir, who was born in 2002 and to whom Radiohead album "Hail to the Thief" was dedicated. They also have a daughter named Omri, born in 2005. He became a father for the third time in February 2008, a son named Zohar. [ [ No BAFTA for Jonny Greenwood] ]

As well as his iconic arm brace, Greenwood has a hairstyle that sets him apart from other band members. His hair is black, straight, and worn long, cut at an angle and often hanging over his face which has been replicated in recent years.

However, while Greenwood is sometimes seen as the most flamboyant and stylish member of the band, he also professes shyness. He is apparently somewhat uncomfortable with the sound of his voice, and did fewer interviews than other band members until recently. A longstanding joke among fans calls for Greenwood to sing, something he claims he will never do, though he did speak of his love for Grizzly Bear at a recent concert. []

Greenwood is red-green colourblind. [ [ "Undercover" magazine interview with Jonny Greenwood] ] [ [ "Radiohead Live in the MTV Arena" webchat transcript] ]

Equipment used

Electric Guitars

*Fender Telecaster Plus, with a custom cut-off switch and special rewirings made by Greenwood and Plank (Radiohead's Guitar Technician). This guitar is equipped with Lace Sensor pickups.
*Fender Telecaster Standard converted into a Plus which also has a custom cut-off switch and Lace Sensor pickups
*Fender Starcaster, with Fender Wide Range pickups, can be heard predominantly on Kid A and Amnesiac, It can Be seen on stage with songs such as I Might Be Wrong.
*A Gretsch G6119-1962HT Tennessee Rose HT.
*Gibson Les Paul HD.6X-Pro Digital
*Gibson ES-335 (used on the acoustic Tour 2003)
*Gibson Les Paul GoldtopJonny currently uses Dean Markley Signature Series 10-46 strings.

Acoustic Guitars

*Martin D-35
*Taylor Big Baby (played by both Jonny Greenwood and Thom Yorke in pictures from Dead Air Space)


*Vox AC30, used for clean tones.
*Fender Eighty-Five , solid state amp, used for distorted tones.In the earlier years he used a Fender Twin Reverb for clean tones. He recently replaced the Deluxe 85 with an Eighty-Five.

Current Effects Pedals

*Marshall ShredMaster
*Digitech WH-1 Whammy
*Demeter "The Tremulator", older version of the Demeter TRM-1 Tremulator
*DOD 440 Envelope Filter
*Electro-Harmonix Small Stone
*Electro-Harmonix Poly Chorus
*BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive
*BOSS RV3 Digital Reverb/Delay
*BOSS FV-300H Volume Pedal
*BOSS TU-12H Chromatic Tuner
*BOSS LS2 Line Selectors (3)
*Roland Space Echo RE-201 (Activated via Vox Egg Footswitch)
*Mutronics Mutator (Primarily for studio use)
*Akai Headrush E2
*BOSS RE-20 Space Echo


*Analogue Systems RS8000 Integrator
*Analogue Systems RS8500X
*Analogue Systems French Connection
*Ondes Martenot
*Sequential Circuits Prophet 5
*Korg Prophecy
*Hammond XB2 Digital Organ
*Moog Rogue
*Mellotron M400
*Rhodes Suitcase Piano Mark I 73
*Fatar Keys CMS-161
*Upright Piano
*CelesteKeyboard Effects
*BOSS RV-3 Digital Reverb/Delay
*Electro-Harmonix Small Stone Phase Shifter
*BOSS LS-2 Line Selector
*Akai Headrush E1 or E2


*Jonny uses a portable radio, specifically during the songs "Climbing Up the Walls" and "The National Anthem"
*Laptop Computer running Max/MSP (Used to process his guitar sound, such as in the guitar solo at the end of "Go to Sleep". Also used to control electronic parts in live versions of songs such as "The Gloaming" and "15 Step")
*Korg Kaoss Pad (for sampling, such as Thom Yorke's voice in the song "Everything in Its Right Place")
*Harmonica (for the song "I Am A Wicked Child" and on the Pavement songs "Platform Blues" and "Billie" from their final album Terror Twilight)
*Glockenspiel (for "No Surprises", "Morning Bell/Amnesiac", "Sit Down. Stand Up" and "All I Need")
*Toms (he uses a pair of identical toms with two drum sticks for each hand. These are featured in "There There", where most members of the band play percussion)
*He has recently been spotted with a banjo. The band played a sound check on their recent tour where Greenwood played the banjo on Radiohead song "I Am A Wicked Child". Although other members of the band have said that banjos are "banned", and despite Jonny's constant attempts to include them with songs, they will not feature.
*Voodoo Labs Pedal Power units power all pedals.


;Velvet Goldmine: Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood got together with Bernard Butler (Suede), Andy Mckey, and Paul Kimble to form the band, The Venus in Furs, named after the Velvet Underground song. They recorded five songs (Roxy Music, Brian Eno and Steve Harley covers) for the Todd Haynes film "Velvet Goldmine", which was produced by Michael Stipe. The tracks are: :* "2HB" (vocals: Thom Yorke):* "Ladytron" (vocals: Thom Yorke):* "Baby's on Fire":* "Bitter-Sweet" (vocals: Thom Yorke):* "Tumbling Down";Pavement: Greenwood played harmonica on Pavement's final LP, Terror Twilight (1999). He played on the songs "Platform Blues" and "Billie". The album was produced by long-time Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich.;Bryan Ferry: Jonny appears on the track 'Hiroshima' from the Frantic album.;Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Greenwood played lead guitar in The Weird Sisters along with fellow Radiohead member Phil Selway, former Pulp members Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey, electronica artist Jason Buckle and Add N to (X) member Steve Claydon. They performed three tracks, composed by Cocker::*"Do The Hippogriff":*"This Is The Night":*"Magic Works"


External links

* [] : Official band website
* [] : Link to Jonny Greenwood Is the Controller page
* [ Jonny Greenwood's (Radiohead) guitar rig] : Information on the guitar gear used by Jonny Greenwood.
* [] : A tour blog by Plank, Jonny's guitar roadie.

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