Alex Turner: "My Grandad Helped Me With My Lyrics"

20 May 2018, 08:00

Arctic Monkeys, 2018
Arctic Monkeys, 2018. Picture: Zackery Michael

The songwriter has been explaining how the words to the new Arctic Monkeys album were inspired by another member of the Turner family.

Alex Turner has revealed that he was given some help with the lyrics on the new Arctic Monkeys album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino from a very unexpected source - his grandad.

The album is full of intriguing and obscure references that have been delighting and confusing fans since the album was released last week (11 May).

The song American Sports features the mystifying couplet: “Breaking news, they take the truth and make it and fluid / The trainer's explanation was accepted by the steward.”

Speaking to John Kennedy on Radio X, the songwriter explained where the : “I was visiting my granddad, and I’d not yet started writing for this album.

“We were talking, he and I, and he declared out of nowhere: ‘You know I often think of phrases from time to time that I think you might be able to do something with’.

“I thought, alright, I can take all the help I can get at this point, I’m sort of drawing a blank. What have you got in mind?

“He’s a horse racing fan, and whenever there’s a steward’s inquiry, what you hear back after is: ‘The trainer’s explanation was accepted by the steward’. "

“He shared this with me and I thought, it’s so loaded. So I had to write that down, and I sellotaped it in my notebook. I wrote a lot of it around that [phrase] and what I interpreted it to mean.”

So the phrase made its way onto American Sports, the third track on the band’s sixth album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.

“It’s nice to know he’s got me back,” says Turner of his grandad.

Arctic Monkeys have announced a one-off date at London’s Royal Albert Hall in aid of the War Child charity on Thursday 7 June. Tickets are available by applying to be in a ballot, which opens on Wednesday 16 May at 10am and closes on Sunday 20 May at 8pm. See for all the info.

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