Alex Turner says hearing Leonard Cohen talk about songwriting ‘spurred him on’ to write ‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino’

The Arctic Monkeys frontman said an idea from the late icon helped him change his approach

Alex Turner has discussed Leonard Cohen‘s influence on ‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino‘.

Arctic Monkeys released their sixth album on Friday (May 11), which features a shift in sound and lyrical approach from the Sheffield band.

Speaking to Steve Lamacq on BBC 6Music, the frontman discussed his change in songwriting on the new album. “I suppose on the last Monkeys record, and even the record [The Last Shadow Puppets‘ ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect’] I did just before this with Miles [Kane], there are songs that are about what they’re about, you know?” he said. “Like ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High’ or whatever, it starts and ends with here.


“Maybe that thing spills onto some of the other tracks or the tone of that, but I think I became less concerned on this album [with] compartmentalising every idea to the point where each song became this episode that starts and ends in three minutes. I feel like I allowed me sen to spread these ideas across this while record, but make them all pull in the same direction.”

Asked how he felt about people pulling one or two lines out of each song and them losing their context, Turner replied: “I think saw Leonard Cohen talking about writing and that idea if you pull out one thing from one his songs, you’re gonna be like, ‘What is he on about?’ But in the context of everything, I feel like you know exactly where he’s coming from, especially with a writer like him – you’re right there with him as you listen to a song of his in its entirety or a record.”

He continued: “Hearing him talk about that idea of pulling one thing out and it not making much sense is definitely something that spurred me on to approaching this record in that way and not be so concerned with making the thing be about whatever it’s about.”

Meanwhile, ‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino’ is currently outselling the rest of the Top 20 combined in the Official UK Albums Chart. The record has achieved over 66,000 combined sales in the three days since its release.


Arctic Monkeys will embark on a UK tour in September. Remaining tickets can be purchased here. Before that, they will play new material in the UK for the first time in July when they headline Glasgow festival TRNSMT.

You May Like