In a new interview with Mojo, Alex Turner revealed that he invited Jamie Cook to discuss the new songs he'd written.
Turner invited Jamie Cook out to Los Angeles to help him decide how out-there he’d gone. Is Cook the band’s gatekeeper? Turner laughs. “I think he has good judgment, yeah. And maybe it comes from the fact that this was all his idea – the band.”
Apparently, Turner needed Jamie to say if it was or it wasn’t Arctic Monkeys? “I suppose I did, yeah.”
Cook concedes that Tranquility Base was nearly an Alex Turner solo album. “I think at first, because it was quite basic – piano, vocal and no guitar – Al was in two minds about, ‘Is this Arctic Monkeys or am I going somewhere else with this?’” says Cook. “And maybe at first I was a bit like that as well. It’s definitely not a guitar-heavy record, not typically what we’d do. It took a lot more thinking about.”
While Cook was visiting Turner, he added subtle guitar parts to the latter’s piano demos. Matt Helders, a near neighbour in Los Angeles, insinuated drums around Turner’s own. Nick O’Malley and James Ford were flown in to contribute.
If the final result is Arctic Monkeys, it’s a long way from their roots, sneaking into shows at Sheffield’s Leadmill to see The Strokes, Libertines, The Coral, the vanguard of the guitar revival of the early ’00s.