Intriguing continuity alert: explaining ‘Humbug’’s title, Alex Turner said it was named after the hard boiled sweet. He said, “You’ve got to suck it and see”. Two years on, ‘Suck It And See’ is also the name of their new album.
The original singer in the band was Glyn Jones, a fellow student at Stocksbridge High. Alex Turner was too shy to take the mic at first.
When Alex Turner moved to Brooklyn, what did he say he missed about the UK? ”Friends and people of course. But crumpets. You can’t really get that, can ya?,” he said. Watch a brand new video interview with Arctic Monkeys
Influences on ‘Suck It And See’ included country music’s Johnny Cash, George Jones and Patsy Cline.
The first gig Alex Turner ever went to was The Vines in Manchester. He said he was inspired by frontman Craig Nicholls.
The band seem to be fans of The Wizard Of Oz. Not only does ‘Old Yellow Bricks’ end with the line ‘Dorothy was right though’, the band dressed as characters from the film for the Brit Awards in 2007.
Alex Turned was named the 16th ‘Richest Brit Under 30’ last year, with a fortune of £7.5 million, just below Cheryl Cole and Amy Winehouse.
Jamie Cook worked as a bathroom tiler as late as May 2005. Once he returned from a sold out tour to complete a tiling job.
The first track Josh Homme heard of ‘Humbug’, before agreeing to produce the majority of the album, was a demo of ‘Dance Little Liar’.
In 2008, former bassist Andy Nicholson opened his first pub ‘The Bowery’ in Sheffield. Matt Helders said he’s like to follow suit, opening a pub called ‘The Cautious Horse’.
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke hit out against the band’s success, saying: “The fact that (the) poor Arctic Monkeys are getting so much attention is purely based on the fact that the mainstream music business is such a bunch of fucking retards as far as I’m concerned.”
We don’t think the band were bothered. Matt Helders said he once ‘nearly fell asleep at the wheel’ after listening to a Radiohead album.
Of his songwriting process behind ‘Humbug’, Alex Turner said: “I wrote a lot during the middle of the night. I’d wake up, jot things down, then get back to sleep. And some of them became songs about that time of day, when you’re not as alert.”
The Kills’ Alison Mosshart helped write (and provides backing vocals for) ‘Humbug’s ‘The Fire And The Thud’.
Matt Helders has been known to write messages on electrical tape and tape them to his bass drum instead of a band logo. Phrases he has written include: ‘Guilty Feet Have Got No Rhythm’, ‘The Funk Might Fracture Your Nose’ and ‘Agile Beast’.
‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ was co-written by Alex Turner’s then girlfriend Johanna Bennett. It was penned when the two were on a Mediterranean holiday. The two were reminiscing about characters they knew at school.
When asked why he got Alex Turner to write songs for his film Submarine, Richard Ayoade said (with a large dose of sarcasm): “It was him or Jay Kay (or Jamiroquai). It actually came down to a coin toss in the end. It was the only fair way to do it.”
The band recorded a version of Shirley Bassey’s ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ while appeared on the Domino compilation ‘All The Rage’.
Jamie Cook still plays for his local team, Packhorse FC.
Alex Turner allegedly has the name of poet ‘John Cooper Clarke’ tattooed on him.
Last Shadow Puppet and now solo star Miles Kane plays guitar on the studio version of ‘505’ and ‘The Bakery’.
Lauren Socha who played ‘Nina’ in the band’s film Scummy Man went on to star in Misfits.
Matt Helders broke his arm last year during a workout in a boxing ring. He had to have a metal plate fitted in his left arm. “I’m like the bionic drummer,” he said.
The title of debut ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ is a quote from the book and Albert Finney film Saturday Night And Sunday Morning.
Matt Helders is inspired by Led Zeppelin’s deceased drummer John Bonham. He said Bonham was “my biggest hero. I think he just inspires me to play drums in general.”
In 2007, the band joked they wanted Girls Aloud’s Sarah Harding to join the band. “Third album, we’ll get Sarah Harding to front this band,” he said at the time. Sadly, that never happened.
Matt Helders famously joined P Diddy’s Dirty Money band for a performance on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross.
‘Suck It And See’ briefly had the working title of ‘Thriller’.
Former PM Gordon Brown said he was “more interested in the future of the Arctic Circle than the future of the Arctic Monkeys”. Well, at least he wasn’t an embarrassing Smiths fan…
‘Brianstorm’ is about an odd fan who made his way into the band’s dressing room in Osaka, Japan. Jamie Cook said: “He was right weird. He just appeared with like a business care and a round neck t-shirt and a tie loosely tied around it…It was like he was trying to get inside your mind…He might have been a magician”
Alex Turner’s favourite drink is a Bourbon called Bulleit.
The John Cooper Clarke poem Out Of Control Fairground was printed inside the single of ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’.
‘505’ includes a sample of an organ taken from Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack for The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.
Josh Homme joined the band for a gig at Pappy and Harriet’s in California
Alex Turner has said that his favourite album is ‘Rubber Soul’ by The Beatles.
Matt Helders favourite song from ‘Humbug’ is ‘Dance Little Liar’.
The lyric in ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ (“Your name isn’t Rio, but I don’t care for sand”) is a reference to the Duran Duran song ‘Rio’.
Matt Helders released his cover of Livin’ Joy’s ‘Dreamer’ with singer Nesreen Shah on his ‘Late Night Tales’ compilation.
The band are big fans of The Wire, and watched the whole thing on their tour bus. Alex Turner stayed up all night to watch ahead while the others slept.
During the Humbug tour, during ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ the band would add bits of other songs into the middle of it. These included Dion’s ‘Only You Know’, Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’, Patsy Cline’s ‘Strange’ and their own ‘Mardy Bum’ (sung by Matt Helders).
Alex Turner said that the band were very influenced by The Prodigy’s ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’ album on ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’.
When asked what Madonna song they would, if forced, cover Alex Turner said ‘Holiday’, Matt Helders said ‘Beautiful Stranger’.
Before the band premiered ‘Crying Lightning’ on Radio 1, Alex Turner told Zane Lowe: “This was deemed the best signifier of the record. It was a favourite during recording.”
‘Potion Approaching’ was allegedly inspired by Alex Turner’s love of his Mini. The car is apparently named ‘Floyd’.
The Sugababes covered ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ in 2006.
While the band have covered Amy Winehouse’s ‘You Know I’m No Good’ for Radio 1’s Live Lounge.
Alex Turner’s former English and Drama teacher Steve Baker recalled to The Guardian: “I remember giving a class a bollocking once, and he was sitting there like Gromit from Wallace And Gromit.”
‘Teddy Picker’ contains another Duran Duran reference. The lyrics: “I don’t want your prayer, save it for the morning after,” allude to their track ‘Save A Prayer’.
Yorkshire folk-pop/poet legend Jack Thackray was an inspiration for ‘Cornerstone’ from ‘Humbug’. “The way he pronounced things was hilarious,” said Alex Turner.
Alex Turner denied that ‘My Propeller’ was about, erm, his propeller. He said: “If that was a euphemism, then I wouldn’t be saying that my propeller wouldn’t spin- ‘cos you wouldn’t wanna go shouting that out, would you?”