Haim Turned Down Guest Spot on Arctic Monkeys' 'AM' Album

Producer James Ford tried to get the sisters to sing on "Do I Wanna Know?"

Ultimate Guitar

Haim have exclusively revealed to NME that they turned down a guest spot on the Arctic Monkeys' forthcoming new album, "AM."

In James Ford, Haim - who are also set to release an album next month - share a producer with Arctic Monkeys, and it was Ford who suggested that the three Californian sisters come into the studio and record backing vocals for the Monkeys' fifth LP.

Speaking to NME, Ford said he played Haim the Monkeys song "Do I Wanna Know?" whilst they were still recording, and suggested they lay down the track's backing vocals. "They loved it. So me and the Arctics had the discussion, 'Should we get some real girls in?'"

However, Haim had to turn the offer down, as they were too busy trying to complete their own album, "Days Are Gone" - out September 30. "We tried to push things around to make it work," bass player Este Haim told NME. "But when it came down to it, we had to finish our record ... That would have been our biggest dream come true - to sing on an Arctic Monkeys record ... It was one of the most painful calls to say no. Maybe the worst day of my life."

Instead, the high pitched backing vocals were laid down by Jamie Cook, Nick O'Malley and Alex Turner of the band. Ford, who is also one half of Simian Mobile Disco, has recorded all of the Arctic Monkeys material since 2006, as well as the Last Shadow Puppets' album and Alex Turner's soundtrack to the film "Submarine." He co-produced "AM" album at LA's Sage & Sound Studios with Ross Orton. It will be released on September 9.

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    That's weird. I mean, singing on the new record of one of the biggest bands of this decade is a perfect way to branch out and tap into their fanbase for a new band.
    If they had done the spot, I can guarantee it would do wonders for their fanbase (here in the UK at least!)
    That's my point, the only thing I imagine would make them say no would be if they wouldn't get credit for this.
    link no1
    They said they couldn't because they couldn't fit it around their own album. This could have been anything from extra cost they couldn't afford, their producer couldn't work around it, who knows. I think if asked I would do a guest spot on any 'big band' (even if I wasn't fond of them) for the free publicity but if I couldn't for whatever reason, I wouldn't lose sleep over it.
    They have the same producer, doesn't make much sense. What, transport? Aren't the Arctic Monkeys based in LA as well now? Wouldn't take them more than a few hours to sing a few backing vocals in one song.
    Pikka Bird
    I can see why people would think that, but having been in a studio, even with a small band like ours, everything took a LOT longer than you'd expect, so with a high-profile production like this you'd have to put a lot of work into every aspect of the collaboration. It's not as simple as "get the girls to stand around a mic and just have them sing it". Also, they'd have to actually practice the song (we don't even know how long the backup vocals section actually is) and the hours would just add up, which isn't nice when you're on the clock.
    Jacques Nel
    Looks like Eminem with a guitar in that picture.
    "Eminem's reinvention as Rockabilly singer less popular than Snoop Lion. Prince's Black Metal reinvention even less popular."
    "Instead, the high pitched backing vocals were laid down by Jamie Cook, Nick O'Malley and Alex Turner of the band." "by Jamie Cook, Nick O'Malley and Alex Turner of the band." "Jamie Cook" Wrong: Jamie Cook doesn't even remotely sing, or even better, he CAN'T sing (as he stated a long time ago), the backing vocals are (as always) provided by O'Malley, Turner, and Matthew Helders (the drummer of the band, who also sings on stage)