Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner: Now we don’t feel the need to prove ourselves

·2-min read
Arctic Monkeys (Zackery Michael/PA)
Arctic Monkeys (Zackery Michael/PA)

Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner has said the band no longer feels the need to “prove yourself as much” after two decades of making music.

The Sheffield outfit announced their return this week with their seventh studio album, The Car, which was partly recorded in a priory in rural Suffolk.

As part of the launch, Turner was interviewed by Line Of Duty star and Arctic Monkeys superfan Martin Compston for The Big Issue magazine.

Arctic Monkeys on the cover of The Big Issue (The Big Issue/PA)
Arctic Monkeys on the cover of The Big Issue (The Big Issue/PA)

Reflecting on the band’s time in the spotlight, the singer and songwriter, 36, said: “It probably does feel about 20 years ago, but that’s an interesting one, isn’t it? Because sometimes you feel like you could walk through a door and be right back there.

“I’m trying to scratch a little bit of that feeling here on the new record. It feels like a long time ago, but it can be right behind you. Something reminds you and it takes you back.

“There’s a lyric on Hello You that says, ‘I could pass for 17 if I just get a shave and catch some zzzzs’. Maybe that’s barking up that tree a little? Well, a lot.

“I’m thinking about going to the snooker club with my granddad and it feels like we were just there – but, wait a minute, there’s all this time in between.”

Recalling how Arctic Monkeys found fame, Turner said: “At the time it happened very quickly and was a shock to the system. We topped the charts for the first time and everything became quite different very quickly.

“But there was always a feeling that this could be over in a few months: the bottom is going to fall out any minute.

“I’m thinking about you mentioning (2006 track) The View From The Afternoon. We’ve been playing (it) in these last few shows (and) when I’m doing that, it feels like it would take more than a shave and a sleep to feel 17!”

Compston said he was “much better technically” at his own job than he was aged 17, but was trying to recapture the “fearlessness” he had while working with filmmaker Ken Loach on 2002’s Sweet Sixteen, which marked his film debut.

Turner responded: “Exactly, and that instinct is here somewhere, isn’t it?

“I’ve also had phases where I’m like, I need to get on top of all my references, but now you don’t feel the need to prove yourself as much.”

All six of Arctic Monkeys’ previous studio albums have gone to number one in the UK.

The group’s debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not was released in January 2006 to critical acclaim and commercial success.

The Car will be out on Domino Records on October 21.