Love Letter To A Record: WHARVES On Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Scott, WHARVES – Arctic Monkeys’ Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not


I’ll never forget the moment I found you, it was 2007 and I was an awkward 15 year old kid trying to figure out who I was and what I was going to do with my life (nothing has really changed). One morning, I was watching Rage and next minute Alex Turner appears on the screen and he says “We’re Arctic Monkeys and this is ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’… don’t believe the hype”. My jaw actually fell to the ground and I was in complete awe. I went straight down to the record shop in town and bought the album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.

I had dabbled in music throughout primary school learning the piano, clarinet and saxophone but never committed to anything until I stumbled on the bass at the start of high school. I had lessons for bass for a few years before I heard you which gave me the basics (pun intended) but it was you that really taught me how to play music. I spent hours upon hours in my room listening to you on repeat. I learnt every single bass line on every song. Once I had learnt all of the songs on bass, I picked up my guitar and taught myself how to play guitar just so I could learn all of the guitar parts. I also picked up some pretty sick air drumming skills because of you, cheers Matt Helders for actually hitting the kit like you did.

You taught me so much about music on so many different levels. It was so refreshing to hear something so real and raw. I love that this album is, at its core, just bass, drums and guitar. There are no gimmicks, it’s a bit rough around the edges but that’s the charm of it. I was never one to pay attention to lyrics in a song, but Alex Turner’s dry wit completely changed how I listen to and appreciate lyrics.

I had never heard an album that had been recorded so live before you. In ‘Perhaps Vampires is a bit strong but…’ you can hear Jamie or Alex clicking off a pedal and turning another one on before Alex yells “ALL YOU PEOPLE ARE VAMPIRES”. It feels like you’re in the room with the band watching them play. For someone that didn’t go to many gigs growing up as I lived in a regional area, that was pretty special.

You gave me an identity and taught me that it was okay not to give a fuck about what people thought of you. You opened my eyes and ears to a world of music that I never knew existed. You were the album I never knew I needed until I heard you. You came into my life, grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me like a rag doll.

You said on your latest album “I just wanted to be one of The Strokes”. Well I just wanted to be one of the Arctic Monkeys.

Love always,

Scott x

WHARVES’ new single, Mo’s Desert Clubhouse, is out today. Give it a spin here!

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