How the Arctic Monkeys Got 'High'

Frontman Alex Turner tells RS about bizarre musical inspiration for 'AM' single

By |

The latest Arctic Monkeys' single has a title frontman Alex Turner laughs is clearly very "straightfoward": "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High." But its musical inspiration, it turns out, is quite complex.

"We took a Dr. Dre beat from like 2001, gave it like an Ike Turner Beatles bowl cut and then set it off galloping along on a Stratocaster into a liquid live show," he tells Rolling Stone.

500 Greatest Albums: Arctic Monkeys, 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not'

Trippy enough? The Monkeys rode the wave a bit further in their new video for the track.

In the clip, Turner chills in a bar with his guitar slung over his shoulder and texts a girl named Stephanie at 3:30 a.m. Clearly out for a little something something, Turner is on the prowl, but starts hallucinating and seeing visions, like a warped clock. He heads to the bathroom to freshen up, but sees his own reflection ebb and flow with duplicates.

After downing a few more shots, Turner's world starts spinning as he stumbles towards Stephanie's place. "Where are you?" he texts desperately. Turner wanders in vain, catching twisted glimpses of a cook having sex in a window, a taxi driver in the midst of something exciting, and a couple getting intimate on the street.

Turner eventually makes it to what he believes to be Stephanie's apartment, but in reality, her place is across the street. She sees her phone has 17 unread messages from "Alex band guy," but blows them off in disgust. Brazen, intoxicated booty-call texting finally gets some due shame.

"Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?" will be on Arctic Monkeys' forthcoming album, AM, due September 10th.

Additional reporting by Andy Greene