Arctic Monkeys returned after a five-year absence with May’s Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, a weird and wonderful sci-fi experimentation that polarized fans and critics alike. In a new interview during which they responded to mixed reaction, the British alternative rockers also said a follow-up effort could come far sooner than expected — and they wouldn’t mind doing it with the help of Kevin Parker.
Speaking with Matt Wilkinson of Beats 1 during this past weekend’s Osheaga Festival, frontman Alex Turner and drummer Matt Helders admitted they hadn’t dug too deep into the reviews for the new album. “I’ve never found much use in reading the reviews, like in either direction – if it’s good or bad,” said Helders.
“That don’t mean it never gets back to you though – does it?” Turner chimed in. “You know with your mates or your relatives.”
Wilkinson pointed out that the band struck him as the types who would intentionally try to play with expectations with a record like Tranquility Base. “What I would say is, if that is the case, it’s sort of inherent in us making music together,” Turner responded. “To the point where we wouldn’t notice that we were trying to do it.”
Later on, Wilkinson brought up how he’d questioned Tame Impala’s Parker about collaborating with Arctic Monkeys. At the time, Parker seemed receptive to the idea, and it turns out the feeling’s mutual. “Let’s float, Kev,” Turner said. When Wilkinson asked if that was his way of asking for Parker, he responded, “Yeah, I just said it twice — I’d float with Kev.”
That collaboration may come sooner rather than later, as the Arctic Monkeys bandmates also said a fast follow-up to Tranquility Base could be in the cards. “You know, again I don’t know, we’ve not quite reached a conclusion on what we’re gonna do but, I’d like to, yeah,” Turner said of a quick return to the studio. “I’ve really been enjoying playing this one on the road and that excitement of playing together could lead to jumping back in the studio. Whereas, like when we made this Tranquility Base one, that wasn’t coming off the back of a tour.”
When asked what that next record might sound like, Turner admitted he doesn’t have anything written yet. “Hopefully Kevin would be floating in there somewhere,” he quipped. “I think he’s brilliant, no doubt about that.”
Take a listen to the whole discussion below.
Turner also recently spoke to our own Kyle Meredith about the inspiration for Tranquility Base, his writing process, and whether he could envision turning the album into a movie. Listen to that conversation below.