By Leah Greenblatt
Updated June 21, 2010 at 03:38 PM EDT
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Image Credit: Kevin WestenbergAccording to a BBC 6 Music interview with Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien, the UK brood-rock icons’ followup to 2008’s In Rainbows is nearly complete—and may be available by the close of 2010.

“Ideally, it would be great if it came out sometime this year. It has got to. I hope so,” he said. “We’re at the finishing line. When you’re making a record, a film, write a book for ages and ages you think the finishing line is miles away. Now it feels it’s in touching distance. But of course, it being a creative process, at the last bit also, you have bursts of energy, you achieve a lot of things in a small period of time and then you’re nearly there. It might slow down. But yeah, hopefully it will be a matter of weeks.”

The still-untitled release is, he says, “genuinely exciting” and “very different from what we did last time.It’s really nice to be doing this. It’s so good to be making music with the band that you feel is still as good as it’s ever been.” It also sounds like a better time than Rainbow‘s apparently taxing process: “It wasn’t fun making the record,” O’Brien admits. “Traditionally, Radiohead in a studio has been: Don your tin helmet, just see it out, like a war of attrition … We hear it all the time: ‘it sounds like you had a great time in the studio’. But, oh man… that [In Rainbows] was a slog. It was a really long process.”

“At the end, for instance a song like ‘House Of Cards’ has been recorded six times. Plus the fact: we had this genius idea in 2006 to go on tour and do 50 odd shows, play all these songs, go back to studio and record them. And that’s when we went back in with [producer] Nigel [Godrich]. We went in and recorded them having played these songs 50 times … And we got them down and most of them were rubbish. A lot of work in the creative process is rubbish.”

“We knew we had these songs,” he continues. “We really believed in these songs. So, we had to do it right. It just took a long time. And we basically decided then and there at the end of that record: ‘We are never doing this again this way’. That was kind of like the end of Radiohead, mark 2. We decided, the only way that worked for us to carry on was to do it in a different spirit. Enjoy it.”

No word yet on whether this more enjoyable outing’s digital and physical release will follow Rainbow‘s unorthodox release route. Readers, how do you think it should be done?

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