Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner has long been celebrated as one of the most influential artists of his generation, gaining a cult-like following and immense success all over the world. After being inspired by garage rock bands like The Strokes and Queens of the Stone Age, as well as some of the music world’s classic icons, Turner and the Arctic Monkeys developed their own unique sound which oozed a disruptive teenhood aesthetic.
Over the years, Turner transgressed from a fluorescent adolescent to an artist with both poetry and irregularity at the forefront of his sound. With an enigmatic stage presence and unique charisma, it’s hard not to be intrigued by Turner and his unparalleled approach to both music and life. In fact, it’s the sense of mystery that Turner evokes which makes him all the more interesting.
Take a look at five surprising things that even the biggest Arctic Monkeys fan might not know about Alex Turner.
He forced his mates to learn instruments so they could start a band
While most musicians spend years mastering their instrument before they even think about starting a group, for Turner, it was quite the opposite. After Turner and Jamie Cook received guitars as Christmas presents one year, Turner decided they would play as a band.
As a result, Matt Helders was forced to learn the drums as the others were “already playing the guitar.” Surprisingly the three long-time buddies soon developed their skills and own sense of sound, becoming one of the biggest rock and roll bands in the world.
At first, he was too shy to be the frontman
Now this one is almost impossible to believe, but in the band’s early days, Turner was too shy to sing as the band’s frontman. He originally enlisted Glyn Jones, a fellow high school student to sing in the band. After a short time playing together, Jones left the project due to “not having the dedication to take it any further”.
This compelled Turner to finally get over his nerves and start singing for the band, and he is now renowned as one of the most confident and energetic performers around.
He has never used social media (and never plans to)
The Arctic Monkeys owe a lot of their success to the world of social media, known as one of the first bands to go viral as a result of Myspace. However what you might not know is that the group never had their own profiles, never created their own page, and were completely unaware of the site altogether, until the band started getting big. It was actually a fan which created the page on their behalf.
Since then, Turner has discussed his negative feelings towards social media, and to this day, he has no personal social media profiles.
He hates his first #1
Every fan of Arctic Monkeys will know I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, one of the band’s most successful songs and their very first number one. However, Turner’s feelings towards the track are less than positive.
Turner stated that the track is “a bit shit” saying that “the words are rubbish. It could be a big song, but I’d hate to be just known for that song because it’s crap.” Despite this, the Monkeys quite often play it live, because they know their fans still love it.
To this day, the song’s official video opens with Turner drawling “We’re Arctic Monkeys, this is I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, don’t believe the hype.”
He has a long-standing feud with Radiohead
This one is perhaps the most shocking fact about Alex Turner. But both the Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead have had a long-standing hatred for one another. It all started back in a 2006 interview when Thom Yorke criticised the modern-day music industry.
Yorke stated that “The fact that poor Arctic Monkeys are getting so much attention is purely based on the fact that the mainstream music business is such a bunch of fucking retards as far as I’m concerned”. Naturally, Turner was less than impressed by the comment, resulting in plenty of back-and-forth banter between the bands.