Alex Turner – Why I Love The Strokes’ ‘Is This It’

As The Strokes’ ready themselves to release new music, we dig out Arctic Monkey Alex Turner’s thoughts on what their debut album meant for him.

“I remember I used to play that first album in college all the time, when our band was first starting. Loads of people were into them, so loads of bands coming out sounded like them. And I remember consciously trying not to sound like The Strokes, deliberately taking bits out of songs that sounded too much like them, but I still loved that album.

“As much as they probably hate hearing this as well, they were the band that encouraged me to rip the knees of my jeans and write on them in marker pen. I wrote on them in red ink, ‘I’ve got soul and I’m superbad!’.


“My favourite Strokes tune is probably ‘Trying Your Luck’. But have you ever heard the Monkeys’ version of ‘Take It Or Leave It’? We did it on French TV when they asked us to do a cover. It was terrible, but I enjoyed it anyway.

“I finally saw them live on the tour for the second album, when they played at Alexandra Palace [December 2003]. Me, Helders and Andy [Nicholson, former Arctic Monkeys bassist] got the National Express coach down to London to see them.

“We were staying in a hotel in Golders Green that didn’t have running water but it only cost us, like, £30! We met Pete Doherty in the crowd that day. It was a little adventure for us, and it was an amazing gig.”

What’s the greatest Strokes track?

Gallery – The making of The Strokes’ ‘Is This It’

NME meets The Strokes in 2001 – archive feature.


This article originally appeared in NME magazine.

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