Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner has discussed a heavy influence from Leonard Cohen when writing the new album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.
The album, which has seen the band score yet another number one record, has resulted in sell-out tours worldwide. Turner’s lyricism on the new material has sparked numerous debates about the change in style, what inspired it and how it has shaped the band.
“I suppose on the last Monkeys record, and even the record [The Last Shadow Puppets‘ ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect’] I did just before this with Miles, there are songs that are about what they’re about, you know?” he said. “Like ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High’ or whatever, it starts and ends with here,” Turner continued.
“Maybe that thing spills onto some of the other tracks or the tone of that, but I think I became less concerned on this album [with] compartmentalising every idea to the point where each song became this episode that starts and ends in three minutes. I feel like I allowed me sen to spread these ideas across this while record, but make them all pull in the same direction.”
The conversation moved on to Turner’s lyrics directly. Asked how he felt about people taking snippets of his words and leaving out the context, Turner replied citing Cohen: “I think saw Leonard Cohen talking about writing and that idea if you pull out one thing from one his songs, you’re gonna be like, ‘What is he on about?’ But in the context of everything, I feel like you know exactly where he’s coming from, especially with a writer like him – you’re right there with him as you listen to a song of his in its entirety or a record.
“Hearing him talk about that idea of pulling one thing out and it not making much sense is definitely something that spurred me on to approaching this record in that way and not be so concerned with making the thing be about whatever it’s about.”