Basic Background Info

Birth: May 23, 1967
Location: Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England
Band: Radiohead
Genres: Alternative Rock
Instruments: Drum
Occupation: Musician


Philip James Selway is best known as the drummer for English alternative rock band Radiohead.

Philip Selway was born in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England. While attending the Abingdon School, teenagers Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Ed OíBrien, Colin Greenwood, and Phil created the band On a Friday. They played their first gig in late 1986 at Jericho Tavern. Even as he studied History and English at Liverpool John Moores University, Philip Selway and the band continued rehearsing. In 1991, they hit the studio to record demos and performed live in Oxford. After signing a recording contract with EMI later that year, the band changed their name to Radiohead.

Although their debut EP, Drill, received mediocre reception, Radiohead's first single, Creep, garnered serious international attention. After releasing their 1995 sophomore album, The Bends, the band toured with R.E.M. The move brought them critical acclaim and a cadre of fiercely loyal fans. Nonetheless, the band avoided joining the mainstream musical ranks.

Radiohead's artistic direction took a major left turn on their third album, OK Computer. The album incorporated many of the avant-garde, electronic, moody, ambient, and experimental elements which make up the bandís signature sound today. OK Computer received wide mainstream recognition on American charts and was praised by critics around the world.

For their next release, the band agreed to refocus on the role of instruments rather than lyrics. 2000's minimalist Kid A featured electronic beats, strings, and jazz horns. As for drums, Philip Selway first introduced the use of drum machines into Radiohead's sound on Kid A. He would go on to further manipulate the machines on future albums to allow the band to evolve electronically. Kid A was Radiohead's most commercially successful release and earned a Grammy for Best Alternative album and a nomination for Album of the Year.

Radiohead's jazzier 2001 effort, Amnesiac, once more brought electronic manipulation and art rock to the forefront of the bandís repatoire. Hail to the Thief, which was released in 2003, marked a return to mainstream alternative rock sensabilities and was said to be heavily Beatles influenced. Though it topped charts in terms of sales, critics hardly gave it glowing reviews because it was not the genre-redefining work the world had come to expect from Radiohead.

After a brief rest in 2004, Radiohead recorded their seventh album, In Rainbows. In 2007, In Rainbows was released in a manner that turned the record industry on its ear. In a radical departure from typical business models (some might say financial suicide), Radiohead released In Rainbows as a digital download and allowed fans to choose how much they were willing to pay for the album. Their faith in their fans was well placed--not only did the album garner impressive sales revenues, but critics lauded the album. The single, 'Nude,' charted on the Billboard Top 100.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1993 Pablo Honey Radiohead
1993 Volume Seven Various Artists
1995 Bends Radiohead
1995 Sharks Patrol These Waters Various Artists
1997 OK Computer Radiohead
1997 Tibetan Freedom Concert Various Artists
1998 MTV's 120 Minutes Live Various Artists
2000 Kid A Radiohead
2001 I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings Radiohead
2002 7 Worlds Collide Neil Finn
2002 Capitol Records 1942-2002 Various Artists
2003 Hail to the Thief Radiohead
2003 Ultimate Chillout Classics Various Artists
2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Patrick Doyle
2007 Radiohead Box Set Radiohead
2008 Best Of Radiohead
2009 True Stories Martin Simpson
2009 The Sun Came Out 7 Worlds Collide
2009 Drill Radiohead
2010 Familial Philip Selway
2012 20 Kate Rusby
2014 Weatherhouse Philip Selway
2014 Moon  Snowbird


  • Phil appeared as a member of the band The Weird Sisters in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with Jonny Greenwood and Jarvis Cocker of Pulp.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Premier/Gretsch
Cymbals: Zildjian
Hardware: Premier
Heads: Attack

Pics & Clips