While UK indie superstars Arctic Monkeys have managed to propel their fifth studio album, AM, into becoming arguably their biggest since their much lauded 2006 debut, the band fears some of their actions in the aftermath of its mammoth success have contradicted some of their early core values.
From the release of debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, the Sheffield outfit made their feelings regarding other bands who purposely invited publicity known, refusing to give the music press a soundbite and routinely turning down interviews and promotional opportunities.
“We said no in the beginning [to almost everything] because we didn’t want to do it,” frontman Alex Turner said in a recent Esquire interview. “I never liked the idea of being everywhere. And I think because it was such a whirlwind, you try to keep some semblance of control. You try to be, like, ‘Well, I don’t want to overdo this thing…’ and there’s this idea that maybe it will burn out if you do.”
Turner conceded that the band’s aloofness eventually became a selling point in itself, saying, “Our nonchalance was the USP, yes. I don’t even know where that attitude came from. It was our world and we didn’t want to let people into it in the beginning. Even when it came to record producers.”
Guitarist Jamie Cook had previously said that he “can’t imagine doing the Brit Awards ever,” a promise the band broke when they not only performed at the recent Brit ceremony, but opened up the show, with an acceptance speech given by Turner later in the evening causing headlines.
“We said we’d never do radio IDs [promotional sound clips] out here, either,” bassist Nick O’Malley told Esquire, with Cook adding, “We’ve sold out.” “We never really wanted to do any of that stuff, but now we’re like, number one. We never really realised the benefit before,” said O’Malley.
In the same interview, the band also addressed what some have described as Turner’s newfound “arrogance,” with Cook saying, “Alex has evolved from being quite shy, quite kind of quiet. Some people have got freaked out by the change. But I think it’s much better the way he is now.”
Watch: Arctic Monkeys win Best Album Award for AM at Brit Awards