Upon the release of the Arctic Monkeys‘ instantly canonised 2006 debut, people were as hooked by the band’s tinny, melodious tunes as they were charmed by frontman Alex Turner‘s shy schoolboy disposition. Though in recent years, Turner has taken on a somewhat more confident persona.
“Alex has evolved from being quite shy, quite kind of quiet,” guitarist Jamie Cook recently told Esquire of Turner’s change since the release of Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. “Some people have got freaked out by the change. But I think it’s much better the way he is now.”
However, the frontman himself explains that he doesn’t enjoy being the centre of attention, saying, “I’m in a difficult position in the sense that, preposterous as this might sound, I don’t like being the centre of attention.” He said that when he gets onstage, “the songs are the centre of attention.”
For many, Tuner’s newfound confidence culminated in a speech during the recent BRIT Awards ceremony, in which he gave what Alt-J‘s Gus Unger-Hamilton called a “self-indulgent and rambling” dissection of rock and roll and the “cyclical nature of the universe,” ending in a mic-drop.
Turner himself told the NME the speech was simply about “presenting an option that people may or may not know exists. It occurred to me that in that room, or certainly watching it on TV, were people who’d never heard the term ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ other than to describe a zip on a Topman jacket.”
Watch: Arctic Monkeys win Best Album Award for AM at Brit Awards