We caught up with Alex and Andy before they were due to play the Kasbah Nightclub, Coventry in October 05.

How does it feel to be the most hyped band in Britain?
Alex – It’s Alright

Andy – I think its alright, you can’t stop them hyping you up. As long as were not doing it and if we fail at least we didn’t say we were going to be the biggest band ever

Is it weird to have coverage in places like the Star when you only had one single under your belt? (The Star reported that they’d received a £1m publishing advance, which they denied on their website)
Andy – Weird, I don’t think many people do that, I mean we only released 3000 copies of it.

People are saying you’re a social commentator, is that something your comfortable with or is something that you like to put aside?

Alex – I’m just trying to take the same attitude that we took to it before, like, when we first started writing it we never thought of any silly titles like ‘urban poet’ or any of that bollocks.

From what I can gather, one of the attractions to your songs is the Northern wit. Do you think theres any reason why Northern bands tend to have that aspect in there music?

Alex – I dunno, I think there all just being themselves really. In the same way a band from London or wherever would be themselves. I don’t know perhaps for whatever reason that band is more appealing to the masses. People ask me whether I’ve based it on that or maybe that there just cheeky Northern boys.

Do you think people are looking to much into the lyrics?

Alex – Yeah probably

What can we expect from the album? Does the sound differ from your live performances?

Alex – We tried to record it pretty live to keep that energy, we also added things to it, to make it distinctive. Theres songs that there’s not a recording of already and some that are new recordings of the demos. I think’s important to keep them on the debut.

Andy – I think we wanted to have it live, like a polished up gig.

What kind of recording technique do you go for? Do you all go into one room and bash it out or layer it up seperatly?

Andy – It’s more or less all together. We have all amps in a different room but were all together in a room with the drums and play like a band, like we normally do. It’s definitely were you can get your best results from.

Do you think that’s important way of getting across what your music’s all about?

Andy – I think so, yeah.

Did you find it an easy process working on it?

Andy – Yeah, yeah I thought so. It came together pretty well. We did a song a day. We’d wake up not do out, have tea, and then get to work.

Did you have a large selection of songs to choose from?

Andy – No, no, we just went in with the tracklisting and recorded them in order that’s it was going to be.

Alex – We wanted to keep on the ones that have become anthems, and some that are not so well known it wouldn’t be fair to leave them off, as you would look at it in 5yrs or so and it wouldn’t be a true representation of us at this time.

On your next single you have a song called ‘Chun Li’s Spinning Bird Kick’, Big Streetfighter fans are you?

Alex – Oh’r

Andy – (Laughs) You’re the first ones to actually noticed what its all about.

Obviously the internet has been a massive help in spreading the word. Do you think there’s a worry that the album release could be a bit of a anti-climax as your fans know most of the songs already?

Alex – I don’t know. It might be.

Andy – It depends what your expecting from it.

Alex – We’ve been playing like the albums been out for a while anyway, its kinda like the only way to document it is to put a record out. Its just better for people to have it and they can play all the songs in one.

What would you like to achieve with the Arctic Monkeys?

Andy – Just to carry on like were doing now and to churn out good records

Alex – Probably to carry on like were doing now, we’ev created something people seem to like so to try and maintain that.

A lot of people look to you as the band to take on the torch of The Libertines, do you find that frustrating or is it something you enjoy rising to?

Alex – I dunno, I think people have started to shut up about that now. I think NME put something out a month ago saying actually they don’t sound anything like them. So it was kind of an apology.

When did you start to realise that you were experiencing a cult following?

Andy – We sold our soul to the devil I think. After we’ve been t’crossroads (laughs)

Alex – At Christmas time (2004) we started to notice people knowing songs. Then we did out proper tour in May/June and by then they were really kinda of having it

You’ve just played a massive gig at the Astoria aswell as a packed out tent at Reading Fest, has it become a breeze to play crowds at smaller venues?

Andy – I don’t know, err, not that I find it hard anyway.

Alex – Its still exciting doing places like Coventry, cause it’s places where you don’t know whats going to happen.

Andy – Were more used to doing this size of gigs. I was saying to Tim t’other day whats the smallest gig were doing and he said 400, but if you said 400 a few months ago I would’ve been ‘400 people!’

Do you prefer larger venues like Astoria or do prefer the intimate setting of the ‘toliet circuit’

Andy – I think I prefer smaller ones to be honest, As long as people are there and there enjoying it then I’ll enjoy it.

Alex – I don’t know about any easier, you always get the people at the back that you’ve got to try and win over.

Andy – Theres always the people going mad at the front then you’ve got those at the back with there arms folded.

Did you do many gigs where it was literally 5 or 10 people?

Andy – Yeah definitely, our first gig out of Sheffield in 2004. We played in York at Certificate 18 and there must have been about 4 people there.

Alex – We played there 3 times and the collection of people was probably no more than 20 people there. We were just earning our stripes!

Theres appears to be a good scene in Yorkshire at the moment, did you ever feel part of it or did you just do you own thing?

Alex – I don’t think anyone feels a part of it. Its just a perception. I mean we’d see each other out and play gigs together but from the inside you don’t really see it as a scene, until it gets covered and is given that name.

How would you like your music to be described?

Alex – (Laughs) I don’t know, we’d probably pass it off and let someone elses describe it.

Andy – Someone told us other day what someone had wrote about us and they’d put Indie/Rock/Funk/Jazz slash I don’t know, fucking Folk or something daft.

Interviewed 11/10/05

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