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, an unnamed hacker stole a cache of unreleased Radiohead recordings. Lead singer Thom Yorke had 18 MiniDisc recordings, mostly an hour long each, of music the band made while working on the seminal 1997 album, OK Computer, and the hacker threatened to release the recordings online unless they paid a ransom of $150,000.
The band is donating the proceeds from the sale over the next 18 days will go to Extinction Rebellion, the activist group that locked down large parts of London earlier this year and was instrumental in forcing the UK Parliament to declare the world’s first national climate emergencywhile fighting to ensure we don’t end up living in a world full of fake plastic trees.
The group has hosted talks on climate change in local communities across Britain and has helped push for mass mobilization and elaborate public demonstrations, like when activists chained themselves to a boat hauled into central London.
Earther asked the band why they chose to donate to Extinction Rebellion, but this isn’t the first time the group has used their music to raise awareness about the climate crisis. The climate group said in a press release that it was “so grateful” to the band and that “words are inadequate but actions do change the world.”
Extinction Rebellion has rapidly shifted the discussion on climate change in the UK by staging theatrical protests there and around the world. Its goal is to get governments to face a moment of reckoning and “tell the truth” about the climate and ecological crises humanity faces. The group is also calling for governments to create “Citizens Assembly on climate and ecological justice” that will guide the government’s action to address said crises, acting as an airbag to protect humanity from its worst instincts of overconsumption, environmental destruction, and isolation from the natural world. All of which happen to be themes that run throughout Radiohead’s discography.