Arctic Monkeys guitarist on first hearing new album demos: “Shit. What do we do with this?”

Jamie Cook says he was "blown away" by Alex Turner's new direction

Arctic Monkeys guitarist Jamie Cook has revealed his reaction to first hearing Alex Turner’s demos that eventually became the basis for his band’s new album.

The Sheffield group release their sixth album ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ next week (May 11). Read the NME review here.

Last month, Cook revealed that the LP was at one point considered as a Turner solo record, because the music was primarily “quite basic”.

Now, Cook has elaborated to Rolling Stone about his initial reaction upon listening to Turner’s rough recordings.

“I was blown away by the direction Alex had gone in,” Cook said. “It took a few listens to even begin to, like… It was just, like, ‘Shit. What do we do with this?'”

Arctic Monkeys, 2018

Elsewhere in the feature, drummer Matt Helders spoke about how he adapted during the recording of the album.

“Every time we’ve made a record before, I’ve always wanted to do something completely original, like a drum beat no one’s ever thought of,” Helders said. “This time I settled down a bit, realised it’s not about me, it’s about playing for the songs.”

Asked whether he saw the shift away from big guitar riffs as a “fuck-you gesture”, Turner told Rolling Stone: “Maybe there’s a time and place for both that guitar riff and a fuck-you gesture.”

Last night (May 2), Arctic Monkeys played their first live show in three and a half years at San Diego’s Observatory North Park venue. They debuted several new tracks from their new album.

In a four-star review of the band’s new record, NME‘s Thomas Smith writes: “The album’s title is a fitting one: this record feels a lot like gazing into the night sky. At first it’s completely overwhelming – you’ll be trying to connect the scattered dots on this initially impenetrable listen, and maybe even despairing when it doesn’t all come together. But when the constellations show through, you’ll realise that it’s a product of searingly intelligent design.”