Alex Turner On The Importance Of The Strokes To Arctic Monkeys

by Eric Van Dril · 43 comments

This isn’t really Strokes-related news, but I really like the following quote from Alex Turner. I think it’s well put and highlights the importance of The Strokes to many bands currently on the radio.

Here’s Turner in a recent interview with Stereogum

“To be honest, The Strokes were really a big deal for us. That was a gateway to a lot of other music for me. There is always that one band that comes along when you are 14 or 15 years old that manages to hit you in just the right way and changes your whole perception of things.”

That said, the fourth albums from The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys are very different. Take Arctic Monkeys’ first single, for instance…

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Webs May 31, 2011 at 10:00 am

two best bands ever yep!

saw the monkeys last week in central park and it was fucking awesome!!!

2 yo May 31, 2011 at 10:19 am


3 Matt May 31, 2011 at 10:23 am

I think Arctic Monkeys were exactly that band that came along when I was 14 and hit me in the right way. Suck it and See is awesome.

4 Halberto May 31, 2011 at 10:34 am

They were born as a combination of The Strokes and The Libertines, and they’ve always been wiser than the others… always writing, and putting out new good stuff, while The Strokes have a little bit lost their way…sadly

5 Arturo P May 31, 2011 at 11:13 am

@Halberto, I dont know about that, I mean they are kinda the child of those bands but, its not like they are wiser than the others, its just different time and different kind of attention, like, there wasnt any good new signed bands before the Strokes (in the U.S) and The Libertines (in the U.K.) (and I know that The Strokes were first), but, most of the hype the bug big hype of being the new thing was on those bands or myabe not so much for The Libs but for The Strokes, and that changes the things up, while when Arctic Monkeys came along there were a lot of other bands that had got to the spot light (Interpol, Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon, Killers, Franz Ferdinand) so the hype was distribuited some way or another (and I know that Arctic Monkeys sold a lot of records on the first week and all but still….) different situations and different people, so it is not like The Strokes lost their way and while they were on the brake they put out (individually) great records (Little Joy, Albert Hammond Jr, Julian Casablancas, Nickel Eye).

6 TheMondo May 31, 2011 at 11:27 am

It’s always been known that Alex Turner has had an eternal man crush on Julian. He went to go see them perform at the Alexandra Palace in ’03. And Arctic Monkeys have a decent cover of Take It or Leave It. It’s always nice to see how great music inspires more great music.

7 heather May 31, 2011 at 11:54 am
8 Halberto May 31, 2011 at 12:23 pm

@Arturo P, yes, I agree with the story of the hype and all the different attentions, but beyond all this ”external” facts, I was talking about what they’ve concretely made in their carreers. Just talking about The Strokes (’cause I think that The Libertines got just the end that they were looking for XD) I said that they’ve lost their way because of the low quality of their last album compared with the previous ones and all the solos that they’ve made. I mean, listening to it, it looks more like a ”compromises” album. I don’t prefer AM, musically speaking, to TS, but they’re always evolving as a band, trying different styles but always keeping their own mark. They’re very concrete, and that’s what i really appreciate of them, how I wish it was the same for The Strokes!!!

9 lisa May 31, 2011 at 12:50 pm

idk i think AMs did loose their way a little bit with their last album

10 wolfman May 31, 2011 at 1:27 pm

alex’s look is very julian in this video.

11 Iasmiine May 31, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I thought Angles was brilliant as in ‘Hello, this is not the Strokes you used to know. This is not the music you’d normally listen to. We’ll now get you out of your comfort zone and hell, you won’t know what hit you.’ If that makes any sense. Surely, l would’ve preferred not to think about Michael Jackson during Machu Picchu, or about that awful Shout Out Louds song, Show Me Something New, during Gratisfaction… I’m lying, l’m way past it now, however it really made me wonder, at the time – how did they let this happen, it’s MJ, even a 10 year old would recognize it.

Wait wasn’t l praising it? I was. I think it’s a class album. Anyone else have a freaking eargasm when they hear Two Kinds of Happiness? Chills and all. Oh and it’s pretty much a transition album. Can’t be easy, writing together for the first time.

12 Siobhan May 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm

They always bring up the strokes in interviews. It’s a bit mad. Even a few weeks ago there was some article about how alex said he was inspired by their set list because of the order of their songs. Although what he says about them here is reasonable, I think it’s a bit too far to say that a set list, which is not ever something too surprising with the strokes, is inspiring… I know he’s just being nice but thought it was a bit daft. It’s like he’s doing product placement for them, trying to think of as many opportunities to stick their name in.

13 Julia May 31, 2011 at 2:59 pm

AM and TS, my favourite bands. SIAS is awesome, just like all of AM previous albums.

14 Bobby May 31, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Not a fan. I wouldn’t put that band in the same league as The Strokes. Not even close.

15 AlexK May 31, 2011 at 3:20 pm

anyone know if there’s a good website like this one but for arctic monkeys?
thanks 😀

16 connor pierce May 31, 2011 at 3:54 pm

I was starting to think the Arctic Monkeys were a bit of a one album wonder with a few good songs sprinkled into their other albums, but Suck It And See is great. I love that they decided to turn to a softer almost pop-oriented sound and that it actually worked so well. I also saw them play at the Ogden Theatre in Denver last night and they are an outstanding live band.

17 JulesMc May 31, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Suck It and See > Angles… Just bein’ honest.

@Siobhan: It wasn’t Alex who said about the setlist it was Jamie, and they’re not always talkin’ about the strokes, and if they were, i don’t think that’s a bad thing to do.

@AlexK: Try with The Forum section is like this page

18 Jessica May 31, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I don’t see anything wrong with them mentioning The Strokes so often, not that they do. If it were me I would talk about them all the time. I saw AM last night and they’re great live.

19 Ben May 31, 2011 at 5:36 pm
20 Ben May 31, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I think it’s great they mention the Strokes all the time. I think some bands are hesitant to cite them as an influence, for some reason.

21 Lewis May 31, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Just watched this great documentary about Queen on the BBC. Some really interesting parallels with the Strokes. If you guys get the chance you should watch it. it’s only available in the UK but will probably be on Youtube somewhere,

22 Ben May 31, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Speaking of Strokes covers, check out this horrific butchering of The Modern Age by Pete Doherty:

23 alx. May 31, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I think is great that Alex can say that, and we all know is true. And I also love the fact that The Strokes themselves have also compliment them in their music, and don’t get on a high horse just because they were kinda the ones that started all. Albert specifically said he loved Mardy Bum and the excellent Cornerstone. Pretty cool.

The 4th album Suck it and see is a pretty good work. I think it may be stronger than Angles. If you compare them in terms of what it means to each band separately. Also comparing both albums, I think Suck It And See is easy-listening and it’s a pretty clean good work, a little slow to what we’re accustomed, but with some of their finest work. While Angles is a fine, pretty good album, but definitely not their best, definitely not that easy-listening as a whole, a little more disorganized, but with some moments of greatness that feel like a classic already. (Plus they are The Strokes, so I can’t be objective, damn it…)

I think AM have a pretty consistent carreer, with good albums and singles. The things is that maybe they evolve in a way which is difficult to go back to their early songs. And that does not happen at all with the Strokes. You can listen ITI, ROF, FIOE, Angles and they don’t cancel each other.
And I also love Humbug, it’s a great album if you give it a good number of listens. Love the “difficult-album”, just as I loved FIOE. Both of my favorite songs of the Band are in those two.

Sorry about the ranting, but been listening to too much Angles and Suck it and see and had to share it.

24 Lulu May 31, 2011 at 7:03 pm

This is an interesting subject matter. Did you get Albert Hammond Jr.’s Twitter from last Thursday night.

He said one of his favorite songs is Cornerstone by the Arctic Monkeys. Here’s the official:

That sounds a lot like Albert’s songs, basically his style.

That being said, I get Eric’s point with the song he included in this post. Yes, I know exactly what he means about wishing The Strokes had remained closer to their original sound. Angles does not do that.

But still, I liked Angles and am really looking forward to what they do next. One thing, for certain, they are interesting.

25 Alucius May 31, 2011 at 7:51 pm

@Siobhan, in the interview you are talking about, it is actually Jamie who was talking about the set list. Also, he didn’t say that he was inspired by the Strokes’ set list, he just thought it was cool that they open with the first song of their first album, and they decided to do the same.

26 connor pierce May 31, 2011 at 7:56 pm

@Jessica: At the Ogden in Denver? Cause that’s where I was last night

@Ben: Yeah, Pete should just get the Libertines back together cause he pretty much butchers everything he tries these days

27 heather May 31, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Poor Pete. I’ll give him an A for effort at attempting TMA. Its such a shame because he’s really talented.He just was never really focused and wasted a lot of it. I like the Libertines and thought his solo record was pretty good. He could have had a decent career, but its just too bad he is always so messed up on drugs. :\

28 SharonGuitar500 May 31, 2011 at 9:23 pm

The Strokes inspired me to make music as well (I fail at it, but I’ll be good…Someday…). I remembered when I was about 10, my brother had Heart in a Cage as his ringtone. I had never really cared about music until that point. Heart in a Cage was the first song I ever liked.

I must admit I don’t like The Arctic Monkeys, though. I respect them, but their covers of Take It Or Leave It and Is This It (I think, might be another song) made me dislike them. Nobody can cover Julian, he’s too good. He’s an ass sometimes, but his voice is awesome.

29 Jettski1 May 31, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Well I’m glad that people here like AM too, I saw this link and was afraid that a war would be raging on. Personally I like Suck it and See a whole bunch more than Angles. It’s a great record that mixes poppy stuff like their first album with a good bit of Nirvana, Queens of the stone
Age, and this whole grungy and almost metal-y sound. I like that the two bands are
expanding, but IMO the Strokes went the complete wrong direction. I want more classic sounding rock, and it seems like the Strokes just looked at the crappy dance music that was topping the charts and said “hey, let’s throw that in”. Lemme be straight, ITI and RoF>any AM album, but I think most AM albums are better than Angles and maybe FIOE.

30 alex May 31, 2011 at 10:27 pm

All AM songs sound the same what is wrong with you people!? angles is the best strokes album as well imo

31 alex May 31, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I do like the arctic monkeys but come on… we can’t pretend like MOST of their songs aren’t practically copies of one another

32 thomass June 1, 2011 at 2:05 am

arctic monkeys are legit. Different band… heavier sound. Still very talented and one of the best rock bands out there right now. No doubt. Alex Turner is an excellent songwriter and the drummer is sick as well. You all know it’s true. Don’t be difficult people.

33 lisa June 1, 2011 at 4:16 am

yep Angles is great isnt it? AMs are good. But none of their albums are better than TS!! (not trying to be difficult)

34 Dillon June 1, 2011 at 9:18 am

I am a fan of both bands and This will sound biased but i really do prefer Angles to Suck It And See. if onlyteeny bit. And here is why

Suck it and see is a more consistant record i would say, and i think reckless serenade and a few others are amazing, but its also a very obvious “mid career” album. They arent trying anything very new for them its just a solid batch of AM songs. A very very solid batch. I dont have much bad to say about it except that Brick By Brick is a little annoying. and the album title and cover is a little stupid i think but the songs are great so they get away with it. But Black Trecle Shes thunderstorms…..its a great album. Shows the AM’s have longetivity.

Angles on the other hand is a band with a very distinct style trying new things on everysong. And while some people think its their worst album i still think its better than FIOE by alot (atleast consistancy wise FIOE still has four or five of my favorite strokes songs every). And it has way more obvious and amazing highlights than Suck It and See. UCOD obviously and Gratisfaction LISITM, TFAF. And im sure very few will agree with me but Two Kinds Of Happiness and Games actually had real legs for me and became some of my favorites on the album. The only thing i think holding it back is the fact that it has two songs that are not great a.k.a Call me Back and Metabolism and its only ten songs so two duds brings the whole thing down noticably. But i can honestly say that the other eight songs are so enjoyable that the album is still great. It has been long enough since it came out that i can say with a clear head that i sincerely love angles (or atleast 8/10ths of it. They had to have had a better song in the vaults than call me back…..)

So yeah its a tough call but i would say:
Suck it and See B
Angles B+

Both bands are great!

35 Jessica June 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

@connor pierce: Yeah I was at the Ogden. I thought it was a great show. Though I wish I would have went with someone who likes AM a bit more.

36 Evan June 1, 2011 at 8:36 pm

@alex I really disagree with that. You could argue that on each album (Mostly just Whatever People Say…) songs sounded similar but each album progressed a considerable amount. I mean Humbug and Suck It and See (Even Favorite Worst Nightmare) are so different sounding from how the began.

I love both bands a lot and of course ITI is the best by either. After that its hard to pick even my second favorite. (My least favorite from both bands would be FIOE but still i love it)

37 alex are stupid June 2, 2011 at 3:51 am

The rating would be like this… ITI. The best by both. ROF the second best by both. What ever people say bla bla.. The third best. FIOE the fourth best. Then Favourite worst nightmare and humbug. and then Angles. I really can’t see how alex can say that angles is the best. He must a really noob in music. He dosen’t get the great art of the two first albums. If you count there solo’s Phrazes would be second or third place.
I’m sorry but.. i am so right

38 Fab June 3, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I met the Arctic Monkeys at the Strokes show at MSG, it was awesome and Alex is such a chill dude

39 james June 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm
40 Yo June 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Well it looks like someone is trying to look like Julian…

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