From the moment the Arctic Monkeys released ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ in 2006, they’ve been one one of the most buzzed-about bands on the planet. Last year’s ‘AM’ finally proved to be a commercial breakthrough for them in the U.S. But how much do you really know about these popular British indie rockers? Check out some fun facts about the Arctic Monkeys.
When the band first started, they made up loads of stories as to why they decided to call themselves Arctic Monkeys, because they were always asked about it in interviews. In reality, guitarist Jamie Cook just always wanted to be in a band with that name.
In 2007, they collaborated with a couple other British artists under the name the Death Ramps and played a few secret shows. Some of their songs were released as Arctic Monkeys B-sides.
They were one of the first bands to make it big via MySpace. Fans shared their free music, which eventually led to a huge following before they even signed with a record label.
Their debut album was the fastest-selling album in U.K. chart history at the time. It’s since been beaten by Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle.
The album art sparked some controversy. The front features a photo of a friend smoking; on the back is a pic of an ashtray filled with cigarette butts. The band refused to change the artwork, despite pressure from critics who claimed it encouraged smoking.
One of Cook’s many odd jobs include bathroom tiler, a gig he returned to after the band played a sold-out tour so he could finish a project.
Their song ‘When the Sun Goes Down,’ about prostitution in their hometown of Sheffield, inspired an award-winning short film about the same topic called ‘Scummy Man.’
Frontman Alex Turner wrote ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ with his girlfriend, Johanna Bennett, who’s now married to King of Leon’s Matthew Followill. They wrote the song while playing a game on vacation in the Mediterranean.
They seriously considered naming their second album ‘Lesbian Wednesdays, Gordon Brown and Gary Barlow’ instead of ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare.’ Fortunately, they decided to change it.
The song ‘R U Mine’ was inspired by hip-hop stars Lil Wayne and Drake.
Turner contributed a short story — which he wrote and narrates — to the compilation album ‘Late Night Tales.’
In 2011, Turner wrote six songs for the movie ‘Submarine,’ a British comedy about a boy trying to lose his virginity. It gave him the opportunity to perform stripped-down pieces on piano and acoustic guitar.
Drummer Matt Helders played for Diddy’s crew Dirty Money under the alias Rufus Black to protect his indie street cred.
Turner’s recent transformation into a ’50s-style heartthrob was a conscience decision to be more of “a dick.” “I am the singer after all,” he said. “I saw an Elvis picture where he had the curl, and I thought, ‘Maybe I could do that.'”
As soon as they moved to Los Angeles to record ‘AM,’ they started riding motorcycles. They spent countless hours riding to the Mojave Desert.
Helders was replaced by Elvis Costello’s drummer Pete Thomas during the recording of ‘AM’ because the Arctic Monkeys drummer broke his hand after drunkenly punching a wall one night.
Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme is such a big fan, he produced 2011’s ‘Humbug,’ and has since often covered ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’ in concert.
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