Clash Speaks To Arctic Monkeys

On the influence of Hendrix and Cream...

Clash spent some quality face time with exactly 50 per cent of Arctic Monkeys* this week, shortly after we had the chance to listen to the Sheffield band’s new album – read our first impression HERE.

Our full feature will run in the near future – the as-yet-untitled third LP isn’t released ’til August 24, via Domino – but here’s just a taste of our time together…

(*That’ll be Alex Turner and Matt Helders, then; questions posed by Simon Harper)

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The biggest difference with this album is the ethereal and psychedelic sounds. Where did the psychedelic influences come from?

Alex Turner: Hendrix is a big thing – we listened to him loads during this. We got into Hendrix as you do: when you first pick up a guitar; you’re like: “Wow, look what he can do with this thing that’s hurting me fingers”. But we got back into that, and perhaps appreciated it more and got more into the records than we had before. ‘Electric Ladyland’ and ‘Axis: Bold As Love’ and that. And we were listening to Cream a little bit – there’s some good harmonies and stuff on there, it’s cool. And the drumming on there, obviously…

That’s funny, as they are two bands where every member is playing their instrument as a lead, all competing for space.

Alex Turner: Yeah. I love Ginger Baker’s drumming. That’s summat we were chatting about. It’s laidback… I dunno what it is. And then Josh [Homme] turned us onto a load of things, and that guy Dave whose studio it was – like Roky Erickson and this band called Captain Beyond.

This album might split opinions with fans, as it’s a bold step for Arctic Monkeys. Are you putting this out as a statement of the direction you’re going in?

Matt Helders: Not necessarily. It’s just what happened this time. Next time probably will be different again, so it’s not necessarily that we’re going that way now, it’s just how this one turned out.

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Clash’s full Arctic Monkeys feature will run in issue 41 (August 2009). Find the band online HERE.

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