Arctic Monkeys were formed in 2002 in High Green, a suburb of Sheffield, when teenage neighbors Alex Turner and Jamie Cook received guitars for Christmas of the previous year. Soon, the pair was rehearsing with school friends Andy Nicholson (bass) and Matt Helders (drums).
Their meteoric rise began in 2005, when an EP, “Five Minutes with Arctic Monkeys”, was pressed onto limited-edition vinyl and CD, as well as digitally via iTunes, and they began playing small stages at British festivals. Arctic Monkeys‘ audience spread as fans circulated the record via the Internet.
Arctic Monkeys‘ first two singles – “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” and “When the Sun Goes Down” – both topped the U.K. charts with favorable critical reception. Nevertheless, by then, few could have predicted the success of the band’s debut album, which beat Oasis “Definitely Maybe” as the fastest-selling debut in British history. “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” sold 363,735 copies during its first week alone, transforming Arctic Monkeys into mainstream figures.
Temporary bassist Nick O’Malley was brought aboard for the band’s American shows, while a fatigued Nicholson stayed at home. Nicholson then announced his official departure when the band returned home in June 2006, and O’Malley remained with Arctic Monkeys as a permanent member. Only the original band members, minus Nicholson, were present at the award ceremony when “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” won the 2006 Mercury Prize.
In April 2007, Arctic Monkeys’ second album “Favourite Worst Nightmare”, was issued going straight to Number 1 in the U.K. and Number 7 in America, while the band were picked awards all around the world. In June of that same year, they headlined the Glastonbury Festival and in December the band played their last show of the tour at Manchester Apollo, which was filmed for the live DVD “At The Apollo”.
Alex Turner took a brief hiatus to join Miles Kane of the Rascals to forme The Last Shadow Puppets, and released “The Age of Understatement” in May 2008, while Arctic Monkeys received another Mercury Prize nomination and took home two titles at the 2008 Brit Awards.
“Humbug” begin to gain shape in early autumn of 2008, where the band recorded 12 songs in the Rancho De La Luna with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. In the spring of the following year they recorded another 12 songs in New York, this time with James Ford. During the process, according to what Alex Turner stated, the band have listen a lot to Nick Cave, Jimi Hendrix and Cream.
Released on 19 August 2009, and like both of its predecessors, “Humbug” went straight to No. 1 in the charts. Arctic Monkeys first single for the album was “Crying Lightning” debuted at number 12 in the UK Singles Chart and number 1 on the UK Indie Chart. During this year the band embarked on a worldwide ‘Humbug Tour’, have headlined among other festivals, the 2009’s Reading and Leeds Festivals.
One year after the ‘Humbug Tour’ have finished, NME reported in May 2011 that the band were teaming up with producer James Ford once again, and would be releasing their fourth studio album. Q Maganize in their turn reported that the fourth Arctic Monkeys album would be of a ‘more accessible vintage’ than “Humbug”.
Recorded in Sound City Studios in Los Angeles in 2010 and 2011, “Suck it and See” arrived in spring 2011 with the band allowed fans to listen to the entire album on their website, before deciding about whether to purchase it or not.
Again, this time with “Suck it and See”, they went straight to No. 1 in the album charts. In doing so, Arctic Monkeys became only the second band in history to debut four albums in a row at the top of the charts. Meanwhile, Alex Turner wrote music for a Richard Ayoade film, ‘Submarine’, whose soundtrack was Turner first solo release.
In February 2012, Arctic Monkeys released a song entitled “R U Mine?” on their Youtube channel, which indicated that a new album was on the way. A few months later, the band played at the London Summer Olympics opening ceremony, performing “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” and The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2013 that a new album was to be revealed.
On 22 May 2013 the band started the ‘AM Tour’ at the Ventura Theatre in Ventura, California, where they debuted a new song titled “Do I Wanna Know?”. Entitled “AM”, the fifth album was released in September, a few months after a triumphant headline performance at Glastonbury 2013. The album was recorded in Rancho de la Luna again, and features guest appearances from Josh Homme , Elvis Costello’s drummer Pete Thomas and Bill Ryder-Jones of The Coral.
On 11 August 2013, the third single from the album, “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” was released, with B-Side “Stop The World I Wanna Get Off With You”. It debuted at no. 8 on the UK Singles Chart on 18 August 2013, making it the band’s first UK Top 10 single since 2007’s “Fluorescent Adolescent”, beating the previous two singles from ‘AM’ : “R U Mine?” and “Do I Wanna Know?”.
On 24 August 2014, the band announced a hiatus following their “AM” tour, and in December “Do I Wanna Know?” was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance. The pause from Arctic Monkeys , allowed Alex Turner to go on parallel projects, as his colaboration on Mini Mansions’s song “Vertigo” in March 2015 and most recently on the release of The Last Shadow Puppets second album “Everything You’ve Come To Expect”, which was released on 1 April 2016.
Matt Helders, by his side, in 2015 collaborated with Iggy Pop and Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme and Dean Fertita to record Pop’s acclaimed latest studio album “Post Pop Depression”. The album was released in March 2016 and Helders will tour with them to support the album.