mardy bum

Arctic Monkeys in their dressing room at The Plug
Monkeys at The Plug
Hey, hey it's the Monkeys!
The Arctic Monkeys are taking the new music scene by storm and they're yet to release their debut album - we catch up with the download superstars...

Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys have gone from strength to strength over the last year and are now labeled as the first superstars of the download generation.

They're currently on their third mini-tour and are set to export their sound and steel city lyrics across the globe.

Later this year they'll head to Europe, Japan and the United States - a true sign of the growing popularity enjoyed by the High Green quartet.

They've recorded their first album which is due for release in the new year and have already written most of the material for their second album as they look forward to a hectic 2006.

We caught up with lead singer / guitarist Alex Turner [AT] and guitarist Jamie Cook [JK] to talk about their conception and what lies ahead for Britain's most talked about band.

So how did you guys get started?

AT - It was 2002, we all got guitars for Christmas and started playing in my garage that summer, rehearsed there and in a warehouse for a bit for about a year.

We did our first gig in June 2003 and we played a few gigs in and around Sheffield for a bit then started doing gigs outside of Sheffield about this time last year, recording demos while all this was going on.

We got to the point where we could pack in us jobs we were doing 'cause we had enough interest to know we'd go somewhere with it for a bit.

We did us first proper tour in June this year which sold out, we did our second tour in August which ended at Reading and Leeds Festivals and this one is like our third proper tour and it's a sellout. So that's a brief history for ya!

What have been the highlights so far for you?

JK - Reading and Leeds were good, when we headlined at the Leadmill, that was good. We'd played before, but when we headlined we sold it out which were good.

AT - Yeah, 'cause that's where we used to go and watch bands and stuff, that was good but recording the album, finishing that and listening back was sound!

When did you finish recording?

Alex on stage at The Plug
Alex getting ready to rock The Plug

AT - Just before this tour [October 2005], we start mixing it next week. We recorded as we'd recorded stuff before, live. But there is the odd tambourine there [laughs] to try and make it more of a record, but we did it pretty much live. It's out in January.

We were in the countryside, Lincolnshire, cut off from civilisation, the chef at the studios calls the place Darwin's waiting room [laughs]... there's no-one for miles around.

The interest from the public and the media is immense...

JK - We went back home in the car just now, we dropped us mate off and it came on Radio 2. On 'way back just before our mate got in the car it were on Radio 1, and when he got in the car he goes 'I've just seen you on MTV'... it's too much though man, it's a bit daft.

Has the popularity freaked you out?

JK - Yeah, some things do. I don't normally get recognised so I'm alright, I don't mind it that way, I don't want it ever to get really big.

AT - It's a bit difficult sometimes.

JK - It's when you're trying to watch other bands, I mean I know people aren't being rude but sometimes you just wanna go home [laughs].

AT - You don't want to be rude... it's nice in a way. It's like when we're trying to watch Milburn, but people are gonna talk to ya I suppose. It's nowt to moan about really.

People say Sheffield is the most happening place in the country for new bands - what do you think?

Jamie Cook plays warms up at The Plug
Jamie is happy he's not recognised too often

JK - There are bands like Harrisons, Milburn... we used to go and watch Milburn when we were 15 and that, but the bands started out at the same time, like Bromheads Jacket.

We started doing alright for ourselves and a lot of focus came onto this 'scene'. But there are loads of good bands, and people want to create a scene, and it's not like the London scene.

AT - It's good how we all know each other as well, it's not like I'm mates with Tom from Milburn, I'm just mates with Tom.

JK - And I used to play football with him for Red Rose [laughs].

AT - People do ask me if I see the other Sheffield bands and I do, but it's like, I see my mates and they happen to play as well too.

So are you at home in Sheffield very often?

AT - We haven't been back very often 'cause of the tour, but we're new to this, we've not been doing it very long.

JK - I was looking at next year's schedule the other day and we've only got about three weeks off... a lot of it is just touring.


Disclaimer: This article is from the November 2, 2005 online BBC South Yorkshire Music article. It has been posted here for general information purposes and no profit is being made from this article. Visit The BBC website here.


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