Bring Me The Horizon on bumping into Arctic Monkeys and their “fucking cool” live show

Oli Sykes attended the same school as Alex Turner, and has recalled meeting AM backstage

Bring Me The Horizon have expressed their admiration for Arctic Monkeys, describing their current live show as “fucking cool” and recalling bumping into them backstage after previously going to the same school.

BMTH and AM – both from Sheffield – co-headlined the same nights of Reading & Leeds 2022 on the dual festival’s Main Stage West and Main Stage East, respectively. Prior to their first bill-topping gigs at the events, Bring Me spoke to NME for this week’s Big Read cover story.

During the conversation, frontman Oli Sykes said he felt “starstruck” when he ran into Alex Turner on the European festival circuit in 2018. The pair attended the same school in Stocksbridge, Sheffield but hadn’t seen each other in person since.

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Turner eventually told Sykes that he’d been watching Bring Me The Horizon videos on YouTube. “I felt a little nervous, then [Alex] waved me over and he was like, ‘I’ve been waiting ages for this!’,” Sykes recalled, “and I was like, ‘What? How do you remember me?'”

Later, he told NME that he and bandmate Jordan Fish had been watching some of the Monkeys’ recent European festival shows online. “Arctic Monkeys’ set is so fucking cool and understated,” Sykes said.

Comparing AM’s live show to Bring Me’s, Sykes explained: “They pick up their instruments and get on with it, but we’re just the opposite of that.” Fish added: “Any [Arctic] Monkeys set is like a girlfriend playing it cool, and that’s what makes you like them, whereas we’re like, ‘Love me!'”

Bring Me The Horizon on the cover of NME
Bring Me The Horizon on the cover of NME

Sykes went on to say that Bring Me The Horizon will “never be cool, so we’ll just do our best to make everyone feel like a kid again”.

“We’re trying to make a Universal Studios-style experience in the form of a rock set: we’re so scared that people might be bored for one second that our show is full of constant flashing lights!” he told NME.

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Elsewhere in their NME Big Read interview, BMTH spoke about their “crazy journey” to headlining Reading & Leeds – a feat they described as “genuinely amazing” – and looked back on their storied history with the festival.

Remembering a bottling attack during Bring Me’s first Reading set in 2008, Sykes said: “You don’t even understand what it was like – I’ve never seen anything like it. It was so scary.”

Sykes also told NME that he still experiences self-doubt, despite Bring Me The Horizon’s extraordinary critical success and their reputation as a top-tier live act (NME hailed the group for “put[ting] on a blockbuster show” at Reading in a glowing five-star review).

Bring Me The Horizon are due to embark on a US headline tour later this month (find tickets here). A run of rescheduled European gigs will take place in February 2023 – see the full schedule for those dates here.

Meanwhile, Arctic Monkeys are set to release their seventh album ‘The Car’ on October 21 via Domino.

They’ve already previewed the record with comeback single ‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball’, as well as performing the unreleased track ‘I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am’ at some of their recent shows.

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