Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien Deals with Coronavirus Alongside New Album “Earth”

Though he suspects he has the virus, EOB’s record remains on track for release April 17.

It is a prickly and poignant thing to be releasing an epic-sounding album called Earth at a time when our planet is undergoing the ravages of COVID-19. In his solo debut as Ed O’Brien, the Radiohead guitarist and harmony vocalist surveys the joyous hopes and existential dilemmas of a world spinning wildly to the score of an aptly tumultuous, moodily atmospheric soundtrack. Due out in April and produced by Flood and Alan Moulder, EOB’s forthcoming record is both as lushly verdant and icily chilling as our planet itself.

Ask O’Brien about the irony of crafting a topographical biography of the globe and our emotive roles in existing on it at the time of coronavirus, and he comes out with a shocking admission.

“I’m holding up…I’m actually just getting over the virus,” he tells me from the home in Wales he shares with his wife and children. “I’ve had it for ten days. I haven’t been tested—frankly, they’re not doing tests here—but it’s almost certain that what I have is that.”

Not long after this admission, O’Brien reported as much on his own Instagram account.


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Sending love and strength EDX

A post shared by EDward O’Brien (@eobofficial) on

Despite the surprise of hearing from yet another public figure who has contracted the coronavirus (like Tom Hanks and Idris Elba before him), O’ Brien mentions that, in his daily life, he is a fit and healthy person—a fact that is probably aiding any level of recovery.

“I want to reassure anyone, as I come from a place of good health, that it feels like a bad case of the flu,” he says. “My wife had it before me. She’s now out of it. We have teenagers, age sixteen and fourteen, and they seem to be fine. I’ve still got it. I’ve lost my senses of taste and smell. I can feel it in my throat, it’s in my lungs a bit. I’ve been keeping fit for years, running and all of that. It passes through someone like myself without too much aggravation. And I’m self-isolating with the rest of the family.”

O’Brien reminds us that though his teenage children seem fine and he and his wife are feeling better, no one is out of the woods when it comes to COVID-19. “Stay safe, man,” he warns me.

While nothing has changed officially with tour dates at this time, EOB’s Earth is still on its axis for an April 17 release—which is, appropriately enough, Earth Day 2020.

A full-length feature on Ed O’Brien will be coming to FLOOD soon.

UPDATE: O’Brien posted a video message on Saturday, March 28, while stating he’s “feeling much better.” Watch below.


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Feeling much better… Love and strength to you all ❤️?

A post shared by EDward O’Brien (@eobofficial) on


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