If this doesn’t make you smile I don’t know what will.
"We have people for whom we’re their favourite band, and we have people for whom we’ll always be corny, soul-less appropriators. But no matter what happens in the future, we have three albums. We built something. We started out being called the whitest band in the world, being told we were going to disappear. And maybe it’s because our band used to be viewed as divisive maybe it’s personal, but I feel like you constantly have to prove why you deserve to continue to exist"
Esquire: Music aside, what’s your role in Arctic Monkeys?
Cook: I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it.
Nick O’Malley: Central defender. [To Cook] You’re a bit of a right winger
Turner: My job is not to use football analogies.
Esquire: What makes a good frontman?
O’Malley: Someone who’s got charisma, I suppose. People always say, “I like it when frontmen of bands are really honest and themselves”. Well, I fucking don’t. I prefer a character you won’t meet everyday, someone that seems like they’re from another planet. It’s not, “What about that fucking weather?” Do you know what I mean? I want to think you’ve just landed from outer space.
Cook: Alex has evolved from being quite shy, quite kind of quiet. Like, some people have got freaked out by the change. But I think it’s much better the way he is now.
Turner: Certainly, in this day and age, a sense of humour. Because it’s pretty ridiculous. In 1969, there probably weren’t many laughs in rock’n’roll. But then they were probably funny people. They had a sense of humour, they just didn’t use it. Not to name-drop, but we bumped into Robert Plant last night and he’s hilarious. Just funny, straight away. [These days] I think if you start taking it too seriously, which I’m, like, sometimes definitely in danger of doing… then it gets ugly.
Helders: Probably a decent hairstyle wouldn’t go amiss.
Interviewers sometimes play the game of trying to extract from him whether a song is about a particular girlfriend. (They never get very far.) Lately, people have wondered if “Arabella” is about Arielle Vandenberg, the US model and actress he’s been seeing for the last few years. But it doesn’t seem particularly helpful to anybody to confirm this either way. Least of all him. “It doesn’t help the sales of my memoirs in 20 years’ time, either,” he says.
He’s happy to concede that girls still provide the best inspiration for his songs. “To write about women, yes. I haven’t really found a way round it yet. There’s other things I eventually might get round to writing about. But for now…” He reconsiders this. “In a sense they’re about girls. But in a sense they’re about loneliness. And longing.”