Alex Turner explains why he swapped guitar for piano for Arctic Monkeys’ new album

"The guitar had lost its ability to give me ideas"

Alex Turner has explained why he decided to switch from guitar to piano for Arctic Monkeys‘ new record.

The band’s new album ‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino’ is out today (May 11). In a four-star review, NME said the record “will reward deep-diving listeners – in particular, those with an interest in picking apart Turner’s densest and most self-aware lyrics to date.”

After predecessor ‘AM’, Turner started to write songs on a piano this time around. Speaking with Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1 last night (May 10), Turner explained his reasons: “The guitar had lost its ability to give me ideas. Every time I sat with a guitar I was suspicious of where it was gonna go. I had a pretty good idea of what I might be which is completely contrary to what I felt when I sat at the piano.”


Of the album’s space theme, the singer also said: “It might have had something to do with some of the stuff I was reading and films I was watching around then. I think it started with the idea of science fiction and the worlds that are created in it or the idea of space travel, time travel or whatever it is, is used to put out an idea about the world we’re living in.”

“I first became interested in that idea and I suppose it’s what the song science fiction explores. I couldn’t help myself – there’s a reference to a rocket every 20 seconds. But I’m only human.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Turner admitted that he is embarrassed about some of his old lyrics.

In preparation for going on tour, we flicked through some of our old records,” he said. “There were a few lyrics that went by where I thought [wincing noise], ‘Don’t know what you were thinking there. Probably leave that one out now.'”


Arctic Monkeys also appeared on US TV last night, performing ‘Four out of Five’ on Fallon.

Meanwhile, Arctic Monkeys have announced details of a one-off mini film festival, which will take place at the Sydney branch of their ‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino’ pop-up shops. Showing over two days will be the likes of Le Cercle Rouge, The Last Waltz, and Inherent Vice.