Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Arctic Monkeys

This is an interview I did with Matt Helders, the drummer from the Arctic Monkeys, on November 10th, 2005.

- Do you like to dance? I noticed that many of your songs have the word “dance” in their lyrics.
Matt Helders: I’m not the best dancer in the world but it’s always fun… it’s always good to dance when you are drunk.
- Would you like to be considered a “dance band”?
M.H.: I don’t think we are strictly a dance band, but we definitely got dance elements… I suppose that’s what makes the big difference.
- I heard a live version from “Curtains Close” which ends with “The Rockafeller Skank”. Is it how it’s going to be on the album?
M.H.: No, we dropped that one… we only played it in about two gigs… I think the recording is from our first gig ever. We were playing it and Jamie’s (Cook, guitar) sister thought it sounded a bit like The Rockafeller Skank so we decided to end it this way.
- I found it interesting because we usually have people like Fatboy Slim and various deejays sampling from bands and this time it was the other way around.
M.H.: Yeah, it’s an interesting observation. I don’t know if we’re going to do more of this, but it’s obviously an interesting idea…
- You chose something that doesn’t exist as a name. How do you feel about it now?
M.H.: Band names are obviously important, but I don’t think they matter as much as people think… After a while you stop thinking of their meaning… When you see a poster advertising the Arctic Monkeys, you say, “ah, let’s go ’cause they have a good gig”… You know, nobody thinks about the meaning of the name Beatles now…
- Funny that you mention the Beatles… You are going to play your first German gig tonight and they were about your age when they were playing in Hamburg.
M.H.: Yeah, we are very excited about tonight!
- What was your goal when you were forming the band?
M.H.: Just to do a gig! We practiced for about a year ’cause we wanted to be good before we appear in front of an audience.
- How long have you known each other?
M.H.: We grew up together but we started playing in 2002.
- Your influences? Would you like to mention a couple of names?
M.H.: Well, for me as a drummer I’d say John Bonham from Led Zeppelin and from the modern day people, Chris Dangerous from the Hives.
- I noticed some references in your lyrics such as the Police song “Roxanne”, the film “Karate Kid”, in your single you mention very accurately the way people danced in 1984, a year in which you weren’t even born I suppose…
M.H.: Yes, that’s right… we watch t.v., movies from that time… Having older friends helps, as well.
- Do your parents have a large record collection?
M.H.: No, not particularly. Alex’s (Turner, voice and guitar) father is a big jazz fan, though.
- I assume you follow what’s been happening in France during the last days. Do young people in Sheffield have similar problems?
M.H.: I don’t think so… Sheffield is a very small place, nothing like Paris… We have problems with girls and things like that. Personally, my life has been very easy so far.
- There are a couple of famous musicians who come from Sheffield: Joe Cocker, Human League…
M.H.: Jarvis Cocker as well!
- So “Cocker” seems to be a popular name there! Are you planning on being bigger than all of them?
M.H.: (laughs) No, no competition really. There are many more bands that started before we did, we used to open for them but they didn’t become famous…
- But you’ve been to number one now. How much did your life change since then?
M.H.: Not a lot, surprisingly! Everybody thinks that we are rich but, no… The day we went to No. 1 was a bit special, maybe the day after as well, but we still see the same people as if we had only gone to No. 10!
- I saw in your schedule that you are going to be playing in Japan in a couple of days. Are you planning on conquering the world?
M.H.: I’m more interested in making an album that you can put on ten years later and still like it, like the two first albums from Oasis were for me.


Mixalis E. said...

me tis diastaseis poy pairnei i ypothesi arctic monkeys...ayti i synenteyxi einai mia karagagan !!! apokleistikotita.....dikaiologimena tin anevazeis kai sto blog soy....poioi alloi akolouthoun ?...

Mantz said...

Και ποιο είναι το κουκλί σ' αυτό το εξώφυλλό τους;

katiana said...

I love Arctic Monkeys!!!!!!!!