Well, as I promised, I scanned Alex’s article at Rolling Stone Spain this month and also, as I promised, I have translated the whole article into English all by myself. I tried my best and if something doesn’t make sense I’m really sorry.
Alex Turner, a torrent of impudence.
THE FUTURE OF ROCK
At the front of Arctic Monkeys, Alex Turner has starred many of the good news of music in recent times. But, with only 26 years on the ID, the only thing that remains clear is that the best part of the road is coming.
Some scandalous laughters are heard at the bowels of the Palacio de Deportes de Madrid. It’s 5 pm and we try to get to them through the long and narrow corridors with white and fluorescent lights. The British quartet Arctic Monkeys are playing to the Playstation in one bare room where there’s only a sofa, a TV and four adolescents that do rock and roll and break out laughing. Have we said adolescents? Not that much any more. Minutes later, one of them, Alex Turner, 26 years old, opens a beer bottle with the confidence of Jeff Bridges and lights a cigarette with the class of Travolta. Between gulp and drag he tells how was the first day he was combed with a quiff and his appearance changed from good boy to dangerous rockabilly. ‘It was eight months ago’, he points.
'I just entered into an old barber’s in Austin, Texas, and I asked the barber to make me a quiff. I thought things would make a big difference.' We stare at him carefully. Without saying a word. He talks again. 'Yes, I use the same hair gel brand that Richard Hawley uses.' he points out. It suits him. The same think his fans, that at this time- four hours remaining for the concert- are already queueing in front the venue despite de cold weather. They, girls, are capable (true story) of carrying banners to their gigs where they write a non-modest: 'Alex, we wanna fuck you'. They, boys, more discreet, think: 'Alex, we wanna be like you'.
Although he has his own idols. We show him the front of the last month Rolling Stone: Mourinho. ‘Fuck, he is a great man, a big one.’ exclaims Turner. ‘He has the Sheffield Wednesday doors opened for when he wants’. It doesn’t seem the best destiny for the Portuguese football coach. The Sheffield Wednesday is a second division team, but Alex defends it with a passion like the one Sabina flaunts when he talks about Atleti (Sabina is an Spanish famous singer and Atleti an Spanish football team). The same to Def Leppard, the (big) hard rock band which Alex, tastefully, confesses being a fan, even though in 2012 they are a band of second range. They are banal examples, but there’s where Alex’s maverick condition lies, this word is used to describe people who act with initiative, who grow a pair and face life not caring about what others say or think. Is there someone that still doubts that Alex Turner is a XXI century man? But it hasn’t always been like this. Let’s remember what happened at the end of last century…
Only child of a humble family (his father is music teacher and his mother German teacher), born at the Sheffield suburbs, in central England, Alex began fooling around with the guitar at 15. Relatively late, some would say. Fiver years later, with 20, he released beside his band mates one of the CDs that revolutionized the first decade of the century. Not only because Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I Am Not, 2006, contained all the required adolescent rage to wake up a half asleep rock and roll, but also because of the amazing record that it broke, joined by, obviously, great headlines. The CD -title inspired on the film by Karel Reisz Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, 1960-became the best-selling debut album in England in its first week, beating The Beatles’ mark.
Part of this instant success was thanks to their first single, I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, where they threw to hit the the weary and dying revival from the eighties: ‘I said, I bet that you look good on the dancefloor dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984. From 1984!’, sang Alex with impudence underneath a cloud of accelerated guitars. Surprise for everyone: first because of the age of the band, that still sported pimples, and then their talent to make difficult things really easy. We were used that bands formed by thirtysomethings were called ‘young bands’, determined to talk about their adolescence’s ghosts (but that’s the age of decadent journalists or managers!). Alex answered with accurate irreverence to the media boom excesses, which rose him as the greatest band of the planet… or of the moment: ‘We were already there when the press found us, so don’t fuck us over any more’, he said at the time. They also replied musically with an EP titled Who The Fuck Is Arctic Monkeys?.
Since then, Alex and company started a journey with a propose: not doing what was expected from them. With their second CD, Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007) the success was moderate. The same when they toughened their sound to the desertic American stoner rock in their third album, Humbug (2009), after meeting another icon: John Homme, a Californian with a titanic curriculum (founder of Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age, Eagles Of Death Metal and Them Crooked Vultures).
'A while ago I was talking to him' tells Turner, who has nearly finished the beer bottle. 'I've been asking him some advices. He is, without question, one of the coolest guys I've met in the rock and roll. How much fun we had that night together and drunk at a karaoke in Joshua Tree [the mythical national park of California iconic for U2 where Keith Richards and Gram Parsons used to smoke weed in search of aliens]. The American experience has been crucial for us', emphasizes Turner.
Specially for him. Alex lives now in London, but he moved to New York when he met who was his girlfriend, Alexa Chung, a spectacular MTV presenter who he walked around with without problems at last edition of the Benicàssim Festival. He no longer goes out with her. And when he gets asked about girls he makes a face of not having hurt a fly. ‘For now I am calm’, he says. But seeing the photos of the model he is seeing since last summer it doesn’t seem that his life is really calm. Her name’s Arielle Vandenberg and she has also been an actress of second range. If you don’t know her and you’re going to search a photo of her on Google, it’d be better you don’t do it at work; wait for the intimacy of your house.
At the Palacio de los Deportes sound check, the band have been playing new songs. The ones that would form part of their new CD after Suck It And See, released in 2011. There’s still no date, but Alex squeezes the hand like there was no tomorrow. Before going he asks for any place where taking some beers that night in Madrid, after the concert. We recommend him a couple of discreet places, where he would not have to fist off fans. He says he hasn’t got into a fight for a long time, but he practices boxing. ‘If I go to the gym I get bored, so I prefer doing boxing’.But he assures that what he really craves is going back to Australia. ‘I surfed there for the first time and it was amazing.’ We advise him to be careful with the quiff beneath the waves. ‘It’s under control’, he answers with confidence, ‘like everything’
Mick Jagger, with great talent for these things, said once that Alex had ‘good aura’. That he reminded him what he was once. If the prediction is right we have genius for a handful of years.
Influential Despite his youth, he can already boast having seen Miles Kane, his best mate, growing under his wing, who stood out in 2001.
ID:he was born on January 6, 1986 in Sheffield (England).
Genetic heritage: Death Ramps, band meeting place in Sheffield which name bears in his ring.
Basic kit: Leather jacket, a pretty girl and Josh Homme’s phone number wrote down on his hand.
The moment: When they swept MySpace before having recorded anything.
Future: Maybe a new The Last Shadow Puppets CD.
I’d love you if you could please reblog this so it hasn’t been a waste of time. Thank you!