The music world reacts to Alex Turner’s “rock and roll” speech

Arctic Monkeys’ frontman Alex Turner’s infamous Brit Awards acceptance speech was “self-indulgent” according to Gus Unger-Hamilton of Alt-J. Haim think it was “badass”, while Johnny Marr thought it was “quite poetic”.

Chvrches, Metronomy and Sydney’s Papa Vs Pretty have also offered up their thoughts on the speech. Even Peaches Geldof felt the need to chime in, calling Turner “an absolute tosser” and “an ungrateful twat with glaring insecurity issues”. In a rant on Instargram, which has since been deleted, Geldof argued that “There’s one thing ‘fucking the system’ and there’s another thing when the system is your livelihood and you’re just a well-oiled cog in it, no matter the amount of ‘ker-azay rock n roll antics’ and grandiose pseudo-intellectual statements [you make].”

Turner made the speech as Arctic Monkeys picked up the trophy for British Album of the Year at the recent Brit Awards. “That rock and roll, eh?,” Turner drawled in his thick Sheffield accent. “That rock and roll, it just won’t go away. It might hibernate from time to time, sink back into the swamp. I think the cyclical nature of the universe in which it exists demands that acquiesce to some of its rules. But it’s always waiting there, just around the corner, ready to make its way back through the sludge and smash through the glass ceiling.”

Here’s how the music world reacted:

Este and Alana Haim

“I thought it was pretty badass. Badassery. He killed it.”

Chvrches’ Martin Doherty

“It’s not that any form or genre of music is dead per se, it’s just that things move faster and more genres of music are readily available. No form of music will ever actually die so long as there’s still people listening to it and making it.”

Alt-J frontman Gus Unger-Hamilton

“It was pretty self-indulgent and rambling but it was probably the most memorable speech of the evening.”

Johnny Marr

“What was said was quite poetic.”

Disclosure’s Howard Lawrence

“He wasn’t saying that dance music should fuck off and that rock and roll should dominate all. He’s just saying that rock is still here which is great. We listened to guitar bands growing up and all sorts of music from prog-rock to well everything. I don’t think he was trying to eradicate dance music.”

Metronomy frontman Joe Mount

“I’m sure there’ll be some nice t-shirts made. You’ll see them alongside Kurt Cobain’s suicide note. That’ll look great. I mean it’s nice that he said it but it’s kind of a funny thing.”

Papa Vs Pretty frontman Thomas Rawle

“I liked it a lot. That guy’s got bravado man – where the fuck did all the bravado go? – and he seems passionate too. There seems to be this general fear of being passionate because it’s not cool. And then someone is passionate and everyone’s like, ‘Oh yeah … I was thinking that too!’”


Arctic Monkeys will tour Australia in May with support from Pond. Check out the tour dates here.