By Brian Ives
(RADIO.COM) – Interviewing Miles Kane and Alex Turner of the Last Shadow Puppets is a bit like talking to the Beastie Boys back in the day: Kane and Turner know each other well enough to have an unspoken telepathy between them. They also seem to have inside jokes that they generally opt not to let an interviewer in on. Also, they don’t really seem to love doing interviews.
But in this chat with Radio.com, they opened up a bit, and discussed their new album, Everything You’d Come To Expect, and how they balance their careers around the band (Kane is also a solo artist, and Turner fronts the Arctic Monkeys; in this interview, he hints at another project as well, while not elaborating much about it). And Miles reveals his nickname for Paul Weller that he won’t likely ever actually say to Mr. Weller’s face.
Did you originally form the band with the intent of bringing back orchestral music, or was it simply that you just wanted to work together and then you figured out what your direction was?
Miles Kane: Yeah, at the start it was the thing of working together was exciting us, you know. I’d played a bit of guitar on an Arctic Monkey’s song called “505”; that was the first time we’d ever played music together. And then we had this idea of creating songs that were like Scott Walker or something with a Ennio Morricone twist on it, and we always imagined a young band doing songs in that sort of vein. So that was the sort of birth of the idea, and I think we pulled that off, would you say?
It sounded like Roy Orbison or Isaac Hayes, guys who use orchestras to make rock or pop or R&B music.
Alex Turner: Yeah. The first time around that was part of it, the idea that we could go chasing after that sound, create something interesting, because all our contributions vocally or lyrically might be opposed to what was happening in the music. I don’t think we’ve ever put even like akeyboard on a tune before that, but then when we started doing this thing, there was a…
Miles: It opened a whole lot of doors.
You also wanted to have this band have a different visual identity.
Miles: It was the first time we ever put a suit on, really. The first time we ever tied a tie.
Alex: And now look at us, eh?
It seems to agree with you.
Miles: Oh, well thank you.
The album cover looks like something from the early ’60s.
Miles: It’s actually Tina Turner, that picture.
Alex: I thought it was Ronnie Wood.
Miles: It’s actually Tina.
Alex: It is actually Tina Turner.
How did you come up with that idea?
Alex: I’ve got a few photos from that photo shoot she did at home. This guy put me on to these lost photos that were found after the photographer died. That just immediately clicked; it looked like a record cover [to me] even a long time before we’d written this record.
Did Tina Turner have to co-sign for you to use the image?
Alex: Yes, I believe we had the thumbs up from—