"I thought, 'This is it,'" Beck begins.
"There was this crazy choreography, where he was in a harness inside this moving wheel, being hit with sticks," explains drummer Joey Waronker. "In the footage, it looked like he was floating around. Somehow, he got seriously hurt."
The event the two refer to is Beck's 2005 music video for "E-Pro." The video was directed by London art collective Shynola, and features the singer floating over computer-generated landscapes. Beck was suspended by wires for the footage, and suffered a serious spinal injury during the shoot.
The accident caused the singer problems for years after the initial incident. "I stopped touring indefinitely [after 2008's Modern Guilt tour], and I didn't know if I ever would again," the singer recalls. "I wasn't able to use my guitar and voice in the same way. It altered my life for a long time."
The lingering effects also caused Beck to question if he would ever return to his previous form as a musician. "An executive said he thought I was better as a producer than an artist," he says. "I kind of took that to heart. I considered doing other things, like putting out books, or I don't know, making t-shirts?"
Beck seems to have returned to top form since, and says he doesn't like to focus on the injury "like the guy who won't stop talking about his war wounds at the picnic." The musician released his first album in six years at the end of February, titled Morning Phase. The work has been met with critical and audience acclaim.