Aren’t fooling around (Part 2 of 2)

Aren’t fooling around (Part 2 of 2)

Here is part 2 of the interview with the Arctic Monkeys.

Click here to read part 1 of the interview.



PM: What’s the story behind the video for “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”?

Arctic Monkeys: We had a program in England called “The Old Grey Whistle Test,” from the ’70s and ’80s. It was a live show that a lot of great bands played on. We all liked watching the program from DVD and then we just tried to recreate that. We were going to do it full-on and get the guy who used to introduce bands in the beginning, and go for that sort of thing – so that it looked like a British, ’70s music show – use the same cameras they used to use and whatnot, go for an old look.


PM: I like the video, but it seemed weird that you guys were going nuts without an audience.

Arctic Monkeys: We played it live – it’s not a backing track. It’s a separate recording, like the Strokes do with their videos sometimes. When you see people on T.V. shows you still have to give a good performance. 


PM: Is it weird to play that song now that it’s so big?

Arctic Monkeys: Yeah, it is a bit. It’s still good to play because of the reaction, especially in different countries.


PM: Do you feel obligated to play it?

Arctic Monkeys: I suppose so. In England, on the U.K. tour we did “Fake Tales of San Francisco” and then “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” as the first two songs, which were the first two singles. It’s just one of those things we were doing just to see what we can get away with.


PM: What has been the most difficult problem the band has encountered up until now? Have you had any major issues?

Arctic Monkeys: No, not really. Just sometimes decisions about photo shoots. It’s always awkward when you don’t want to do something. You say no, but you also don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.


PM: Is that your least favorite part of the whole press thing? Photos? Interviews?

Arctic Monkeys: I guess photos. In England we can afford to say no to a lot more things – we’re in a position to do what we want. Obviously it wasn’t always like that. There are just so many things that get suggested for photos or T.V. You feel like saying no to everything. Apparently we’ve turned down 60% of the press.


I don’t know what the worst thing is, really. Usually it’s photo shoots, when you don’t want to do something. You just report to these busy cities, and it’s just like, No, we don’t want to do that. And then you see their faces, and it’s like, “I’m sorry. We just don’t want to do it.”


PM: Looking back, was there a specific turning point for the band?

Arctic Monkeys: Yeah, there was one gig where we noticed things were advancing. We were at a gig in Sheffield around Christmas last year. That was like the first gig that was really full. It wasn’t a big venue – probably about the size [of Mercury Lounge]. It was the first gig where people [who we didn’t recognize] were singing along. We were like, How do you know the words? That was definitely the point where we were wondering, What’s happening here. Then we got off stage, Alex said, “Did you see that girl who was singing along? Who was she? We don’t even know who she is.”


PM: What are your upcoming plans?

Arctic Monkeys: After this U.S. tour we’ve got Japan and then we’re back in England for about a weekend. Then we’re back in Europe for press and a couple of gigs with Franz Ferdinand, and then we have a gig straight after that – our own gig in a club. So it’s like, we finish supporting Franz Ferdinand, practice, and then play our own gig to spread the word in Europe more. Then a little bit of recording, three weeks after Christmas, and then next year’s pretty hectic.


PM: Are you worried about getting burned out?

Arctic Monkeys: Yeah, but it’s all exciting these days. It’s still all new to us.


PM: You’ve been to the U.S. before, right?

Arctic Monkeys: Yeah, not with the band but on vacation and stuff. I’ve never been to New York, but my brother lived in North Carolina. I’ve been to Florida and Disneyland and all that.


PM: You guys are fans of Oasis, correct?

Arctic Monkeys: It’s a band we’ve always been into. Oasis has always been there, ever since we were young and growing up. Not necessarily their newer stuff, but I’ll always pick up their first album and their second album and listen to them.


PM: Have they been talking about you guys?

Arctic Monkeys: On Radio 1 Noel Gallagher talked about the band name, saying it was a crap name. But we’ve been told by their manager – ’cause our manager knows their manager – that he really likes us. But a lot of people have blown it out of proportion. Jo Whiley is the Radio 1 deejay who interviewed him, and she had a bet with him. He said any band with a name like that won’t win any Brit awards or Grammys. They bet like 50 quid. So they had a bet on air, and it’s an ongoing thing now in the U.K.


PM: What’s with bands in the U.K. dissing each other in the press? It’s like hip-hop in the U.S.

Arctic Monkeys: Yeah, it’s like the rap scene. But that’s another thing that’s blown out of proportion by the press. Now, NME is trying to make it out like with have some beef with Kaiser Chiefs, but I think it’s ’cause we don’t do enough to write about. We don’t go out punching reporters or throwing TVs out windows, so they have to find something to write about.


PM: People are trying to create a beef between you guys and the Kaiser Chiefs?

Arctic Monkeys: There have been a couple of things said, but nothing that has made any beef.


PM: Do you guys have girlfriends now? 

Arctic Monkeys: I have, but the other guys don’t.


PM: Do you guys get calls from ex-girlfriends or people you haven’t heard from in awhile?

Arctic Monkeys:  Actually, yeah, the day we went number one. She wasn’t a girlfriend, but she went to school with me and Alex, and she was always a close friend that you’d look to go out with. We lost contact completely after school, and then she pretended she didn’t recognize us in the queue for a club a year later. And that influenced a song we’ve got now. Then she got Alex’s number from someone a few weeks ago. So she phones one day and says congratulations and stuff like that. Then she asks, “Is anyone else there? Is Matt there?” and Alex says, “Oh, yeah, Matt’s here.” Then he puts me on and doesn’t tell me who it is. She was talking to me for ages and saying congrats on being number one. She says, “Text me your number. We’ll have to get together and go out sometime.” I’m like yeah, yeah, yeah. I didn’t realize who it was until I got off the phone.


Then there was another one that Alex used to go out with. She went at it face to face. [One of his friends told her he was in a band now] and that they just got signed, and then she says, “Oh, can I have his number.” Just because we’re signed. Then these girls used to say, “Text me when you’re signed.” What do you mean, text me when you’re signed? I’m never gonna text you in my life. It’s funny though. The person I’m going out with, we’ve been going out since before we were signed.


PM: That’s good. You’ve got a good one.

Arctic Monkeys: That’s what I mean. Now, you can’t trust anyone.


PM: I read somewhere that you guys were pretty big into hip-hop?

Arctic Monkeys: Well, three of us are. Not so much anymore but when we were in school.


PM: Mostly U.K. stuff?

Arctic Monkeys: I suppose so, but when we were in school it was always Dr. Dre and Eminem. Like Dre’s 2001 and the Up in Smoke tour. We bought that DVD the other day for the tour bus. Also stuff like DJ Format.


PM: For the next questions, I’m going to say the title of your songs, and you tell me the first word that comes to mind. The first one is “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.”

Arctic Monkeys: Number one.


PM: “Fake Tales Of San Francisco.”

Arctic Monkeys: Funky.


PM: “Still Take You Home.”

Arctic Monkeys: Ex-girlfriends.


PM: “Dancing Shoes.”

Arctic Monkeys: This is gonna be more than word, but “looking for love.”


PM: “Ritz to the Rubble.”

Arctic Monkeys: Doormen, or bouncers.


PM: “Red Light.”

Arctic Monkeys: Taxis.


PM: “View From the Afternoon”

Arctic Monkeys: Clubbing.


PM: “Vampires Is a Bit Strong But .”

Arctic Monkeys: Drum solo. That’s my time to shine. [Laughs.]


PM: “You Probably Couldn’t See.”

Arctic Monkeys: Secret love.


PM: “Sun Goes Down.”

Arctic Monkeys: Scummy. That’s what the song used to be called. It’s what it’s known as sometimes, but it’s not the actual name.


PM: “Mardy Bum”

Arctic Monkeys: Girlfriends.


PM: “Certain Romance”

Arctic Monkeys: Classic.


Read part one of the interview

Arctic Monkeys on SNL “A Certain Romance” (Video)

Arctic Monkyes on SNL “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” (Video)

“When the Sun Goes Down” (Video)

“Love Machine (Girls Aloud Cover)”

Jools Holland (Live Video)

“Fake Tales of San Francisco” (Live Video 2005)

More articles on the Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys home page

Domino Records
Comprehensive list of free MP3s by the Arctic Monkeys

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