Strutting out on stage, cheeky Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner donned his greaser coif and low-buttoned shirt in sexy rocker style. It was clear from his sardonicism and swagger that the Sheffield-born musician has taken some cues from his recent collaborator, Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age. The Arctic Monkeys’ new album, AM, even has that sultry loin-throbbing undertone that Homme brings to the table with Queens, but mixed with the natural, post-punk English sex appeal of the 27-year-old Turner.
In between their two shows at The Wiltern the night before and last night, Arctic Monkeys played a steamy five-song set at the Red Bill Sound Space at KROQ with all songs from their newest album, AM, including “Why’d You Only Call Me When Your High?, “One For The Road,” “Snap Out Of It,” “Arabella,” “Do I Wanna Know?,” and “R U Mine.”
During their interview, host Ted Stryker remarked that although the band has put out five albums, AM has been their most popular in the United States, in the one week that its been out. “It’s a great feeling, Stryker,” said Turner. “Cheers for that one, guys.”
The frontman was in his usual quippy mood, but said it was the “earliest in the day the band as actually been awake…with their eyes open.” A few retorts from the audience threw him off and Stryker’s reference to Ambien in “Do I Wanna Know?” was greeted with an “I beg your pardon,” but Turner got back on track when asked with Homme brought to the room when he worked with Arctic Monkeys on AM.
“What do you mean? Like substances, or…?,” joked Turner. “He’s so much more…Well, we worked with him on Humbug, the third record, and that was pretty much you know where we…that’s when we started to come out of our shell we think. I think without that record, we would have gotten to this one now which is, you know.”
Turner told Stryker that while the band usually just jams out and sees what comes of it, they had a “blueprint” for AM. “But, yeah, we just sort of got down to it and here we are,” said Turner dryly. “Yeah, I don’t know what the answers are today.”
An audience member asked what Turner thought of the Breaking Bad finale (which happened during their show) and Turner said it was “perfect.” Another audience member asked the band what their favorite albums of all time are. Turner started off by saying he doesn’t “really like music, “but that his favorite is probably Run Come Save Me by Roots Manuva which taught him how to be a lyricist. Bassist Nick O’Malley said he really likes the “Now 41 and Smash Hits 95.”
The theme of dance anthems was broached again when Stryker asked the band what was up with the ballad-y vibes of their song conversely named “No. 1 Party Anthem.”
Turner joked: “It was always designed to be a ballad although I’m beginning to wish we had actually done a double- bluff on everyone and it did actually sound like a David Guetta tune.”
We’re glad that Arctic Monkeys stuck with their original version of a “party anthem.”
–Nadia Noir, KROQ