"Arctic Monkeys" are a British Indie band from High Green, a suburb of Sheffield. Formed in 2002, the band currently consists of Alex Turner on lead vocals and guitar, Jamie Cook on guitar, Matt Helders on drums and backing vocals and Nick O'Malley on bass guitar and backing vocals, who replaced Andy Nicholson.
Arctic Monkeys achieved chart success with their first single, "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor", which reached #1 in the UK Singles Chart. Their debut album "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not", released in January 2006, became the fastest-selling debut album in British music history, surpassing Oasis
' "Definitely Maybe". It remains the fastest-selling debut album for a group. It received critical acclaim, winning both the 2006 Mercury Prize and the 2007 BRIT Award for Best British Album. The band's second album, "Favourite Worst Nightmare", was released on 23 April 2007, sold over 225,000 copies in its debut week, and was nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize. The group also picked up the award for Best British Album and Best British Group at the BRIT Awards in 2008.
Arctic Monkeys achieved their success through fan-made demo tapes and online file sharing. They were heralded as one of the first acts to come to the public attention via the Internet, with commentators suggesting they represented the possibility of a change in the way in which new bands are promoted and marketed. The band eventually signed to the independent record label Domino Records.
===Formation and early years===
In 2001, neighbours Turner and Cook asked for instruments as Christmas presents and both received guitars. After teaching themselves to play, the pair formed a band with Turner's schoolmates Andy Nicholson and Matt Helders. Nicholson already played bass, so Helders ended up on drums — "that was all that were left... they all had guitars so I bought a kit after a bit." However, U.S. sales for the first year did not match those of the first week in the UK for "Whatever..." . US critics were more reserved about the band than their UK counterparts, and appeared unwilling to be drawn into the possibility of "yet another example of the UK's press over-hyping new bands". However, the band's June 2006 tour of North America received critical acclaim at each stop — the hype surrounding them "proven to exist for good reason". Meanwhile, the UK's "NME" magazine declared the band's debut album the "5th greatest British album of all time". They also equalled the record of The Strokes and Oasis
at the 2006 NME Awards, winning three fan-voted awards for Best British Band, Best New Band and Best Track for "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor".
===Nicholson departure; Mercury Prize===
Arctic Monkeys wasted no time in recording new material, and released a five-track EP on 24 April 2006, entitled "Who the Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?", and was seen by critics as a swipe back at the snowballing hype surrounding the band. Due to its length, the EP was ineligible to chart as a UK single or album. Furthermore, the record's graphic language has resulted in significantly less radio airplay than previous records, although this was not a reported concern — "since they made their name on the Internet — and that got them a No.1 single and album — they don't care if they don't get radio play".
However, soon after the release of the EP in the UK, the band announced that bassist Andy Nicholson would not take part in the band's forthcoming North America tour due to "fatigue following an intensive period of touring". Upon their return to the UK, Nicholson confirmed that he would start his own project, and by that leave Arctic Monkeys. Other than the project, his reason for leaving was that he couldn't deal with the fame and the success that the band had acclaimed over the past six months. Turner, Cook and Helders released some of a statement on their official website: "We are sad to tell everyone that Andy is no longer with the band", also confirmed that Nick O'Malley — former bassist with Arctic Monkeys' fellow Sheffield rock band, The Dodgems
, who had drafted in as temporary bassist for the tour — would continue as bassist for the rest of their summer tour schedule. Shortly after, Nick O'Malley was confirmed as a full-time member and bassist of the band.
Arctic Monkeys' first release without Nicholson, the single "Leave Before the Lights Come On", came on 14 August 2006. Turner suggested that "it feels very much like it could be on the album", and that the song was one of the last songs he wrote before their rise to fame. Although reaching #4 in the UK, the single became the band's first failure to reach #1 — leading to Turner referring to it as "the black sheep of the family" at the band's performance at the 2006 Reading Festival. The band were re-united at the Leeds Festival when Nicholson met up with his former band mates and his replacement bassist, O'Malley. 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 two weeks later. The image on the CD itself is a shot of an ashtray full of cigarettes. The band's product manager denied the accusation, and suggested the opposite — "You can see from the image smoking is not doing him the world of good". and earlier artists such as Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker, He went on to reference this in his speech at the 2006 Labour Party Conference about the risk of global warming, joking that he was "more interested in the future of the Arctic Circle than the future of the Arctic Monkeys". Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell also referred to the band at the 2006 Liberal Democrats Party Conference, mistakenly claiming that they had sold more records than The Beatles, a comment which led to much derision from the media.
Helders and O'Malley have also expressed doubts about the Live Earth concerts in 2007. They stated that it would be "patronising" given their age and that people should pay more attention to experts than to musicians about climate change. They also stated that it would leave them open to accusations of hypocrisy owing to the amount of energy they used in concerts. They did, however, claim to travel on normal airliners as opposed to private jets.
* "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" (2006)
* "Favourite Worst Nightmare" (2007)
Referenced from Wikipedia: Arctic Monkeys