Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner says ‘The Car’ songs are ripe to “hang out in a stadium”

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys‘ songs from their new album ‘The Car‘ are ripe to “hang out in a stadium”, singer and guitarist Alex Turner has said.

In this week’s Big Read cover interview with NME Turner addressed the fact that his band are playing a full stadium tour across the UK for the first time ever next summer, saying the time didn’t feel right before.

“It wouldn’t have made sense for us to play stadiums before this album,” Turner said, “and I don’t think we were mentally ready for it up until now.”

He added: “I don’t want to get ahead of myself and say that some of our songs ‘belong’ in a stadium, but they could definitely hang out in a stadium.”

Arctic Monkeys
Credit: Zackery Michael

Among the Monkeys’ UK stadium shows are a huge hometown concerts in Sheffield at Hillsborough Park.

Turner added that he’s confident that their seventh album, which NME praised in a five-star review as a “swashbuckling, strings-fuelled epic”, will translate live.

He went on to liken songs on ‘The Car’ to the splendour of ‘A Certain Romance’, a song from from their debut album, 2006’s ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not‘.

“I remember when we were recording ‘A Certain Romance’ and having a conversation with the producer about the final guitar solo,” Turner said. “There’s something that happens at the end of that track where we break some rules in a single moment. We focused on the [emotional] effect of the instrumentals over the words – and I feel like we’ve been trying to do that again and again since then.”

Arctic Monkeys on the cover of NME
Arctic Monkeys on the cover of NME

Elsewhere in the interview Turner discussed the band’s 2007 song, ‘505’, finding “a new life” among younger fans.

The track, which appears on the band’s second album ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’, recently enjoyed viral success on TikTok. It’s also the third most popular Monkeys tune on Spotify at the time of writing (behind ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ and ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ from 2013’s ‘AM’).

Earlier this year ‘505’ surpassed hits by Eminem and Coldplayclocking in an average of 1.7million plays a month on Spotify alone. The song has since beaten its 2007 peak on the UK singles chart (via the Official Charts Company).

‘505’ is currently used as the main set closer at Arctic Monkeys’ live gigs, and prompts a particularly passionate response from young crowd members – as do other staple ‘AM’ cuts.

Turner said it was “genuinely moving” to witness such a reaction, but admitted he’s somewhat bemused by the ‘505’ revival.

“Without having ‘505’ at the end of our shows for a few years around 2008, I’m not sure if it would have found the new life it has now,” he added.

“I hope that doesn’t sound like I’m taking credit [for the revival] – even if it wasn’t totally unexpected, the attention around [‘505’] is really quite special.”

Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys on 'Later...With Jools Holland'
Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys on ‘Later…With Jools Holland’. CREDIT: Photographed for the BBC by Michael Leckie

In other news, Arctic Monkeys will perform during a special Later…With Jools Holland episode that’s dedicated entirely to them.

The November 5 episode of the latest live music series will see the Sheffield band join host Holland for an intimate performance of songs from their new album ‘The Car‘, including ‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball‘ and ‘Body Paint‘. They will also revisit old favourites from their back catalogue such as ‘505’.

The band’s New York Kings Theater concert from September is also streamed in full online today (October 23). Fans can tune at 8pm BST tonight – get the details here.

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