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Rhesus To Be Cheerful
Now we’ve got the obligatory primate pun out of the way, it’s time for an exclusive chat with Arctic Monkeys. Installed in a super-trendy London club, frontman Alex Turner and his bandmates discuss the media spotlight, an unlikely friendship with P. Diddy and why, despite their jet-setter lifestyles, these humble Yorkshiremen are just homebirds at heart. Words: Olaf Tyaransen
Olaf Tyaransen, 25 Jul 2011
I take it you enjoyed the experience...
“Ah yeah, I love it out there,” he enthuses. “Not just the weather and the food and the drinks. It’s a good place to make records, I think. They’ve got some great studios there. We like to record quite live and that, and it was a good place to do that.”
Nick agrees: “Yeah, and they’ve got great equipment over there. You can get anything you want – guitars or amps or whatever. And Sound City was a brilliant studio. Some of (Nirvana’s) Nevermind was recorded there. They’ve got a great drum room.”
The band changed their normal working methods for this album. Rather than going into the studio with a few half-finished songs and then developing them with the clock ticking, they had the tracks almost finished before they started recording.
Nick explains: “Yeah, we had about a six week period down here rehearsing the songs and getting them ready and arranged. And James Ford came into the rehearsals and put his own ideas into it. So yeah, we had it more or less all polished and just ready to go before we went in. We didn’t really change much because we’d already made all the decisions about everything. It were quite good.”
So it were...
“We sort of got quite prepared this time," Alex adds. "That was the plan. To try and get closer to that point. Because when you’re recording a song and you’re making it up as you go along then... you know. There was a decision we made early on to try and get a really stable foundation of songs together.”
Some musicians have said to me that you really only finish a song properly after you’ve played it live countless times when you’re out touring it...
“That’s often true,” says Jamie, with a nod. “But we’ve had these songs around for quite a while. Sometimes when you write a song in studio and record it, you’re out on tour and you start playing it differently. And you’re going, ‘Shit! I wish I’d done summat like that when I was recording it!’ But with this record, I think we’ve bypassed that by living with the songs for quite a bit before recording them.”