The story behind Arctic Monkeys' Brianstorm track

16 April 2022, 18:00

Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner in 2007
Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner in 2007. Picture: Rosie Greenway/Getty Image

By Jenny Mensah

Celebrate the thunderous Arctic Monkeys single, which opens the Sheffield band's Favourite Worst Nightmare album.

Brianstorm is the opening track from Arctic Monkeys' second studio album, 2007's Favourite Worst Nightmare.

Also the first single to be released from the record, the epic song definitely packed a punch and showed their fans that the Sheffield band meant business on their follow-up album.

Released on 16 April 2007, the thunderous track debuted at number 21 in the UK on downloads alone, before peaking at number two overall.

It's one of the Alex Turner and co's most memorable tracks, but where did the name and inspiration for their raucous and defiant single come from? Find out here.

READ MORE: The story behind Arctic Monkeys Mardy Bum

What is Arctic Monkeys' Brianstorm about?

Brian was inspired by a real person who met the band in their dressing room after a gig in Osaka, Japan.

Needless to say, the guy was a real character, and left a lasting impression on the Sheffield rockers. So much so they started writing a brainstorm about Brian... hence "Brianstorm," which makes the title a pun.

As NME reports, frontman Alex Turner previously revealed: “When he left the room, we were a bit freaked out by his presence. So we did a brainstorm for what he was like, drew a little picture and wrote things about him."

"He was right weird," added guitarist Jamie Cook. He just appeared with like a business card and like a round neck T-shirt and a tie loosely around it, I’d never seen that before. It felt like he was trying to get inside your mind. We were checking out his attire – it freaked us out."

He added: “He definitely left a mark on us. He might have been a magician. He might even be here now. But if we ever find out who he was, it might spoil it.”

READ MORE: Where is 505 in the Arctic Monkeys song?

Arctic Monkeys Brianstorm single artwork
Who and what is Arctic Monkeys' Brianstorm about? Picture: Press/ Artwork

And I wonder
Are you putting us under
'Cause we can't take our eyes
Off the t-shirt and ties combination?
Well, see you later, innovator

- Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm

Although Arctic Monkeys never quite got their heads around the character they encountered, it's quite clear his unapologetically oppressive presence made quite the impact on them and caused one of their most defiant-sounding tracks.

QUIZ: Which era of Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner are you?

While the inspiration behind the track could be considered an open and shut case, the story of Brianstorm doesn't end there.

In 2017, the noughties single was given a new lease of life when it was confirmed that an actual storm named Brian would be hitting our shores.

The batch of bad weather came a mere few days after the deadly Storm Ophelia, which caused 80 mile-an-hour gale-force winds, flooding and even power cuts.

Watch a clip of a weather report on storm Brian below:

Though its name was a complete coincidence after being named by Met Éireann, the joke wasn't lost on Arctic Monkeys fans or the band themselves, who warned fans to "take care".

An epic song with an epic name and an even more epic ending. We'd call that a perfect storm.

READ MORE: A commentary on Arctic Monkeys Cornerstone


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