Arctic Monkeys: 10 facts you probably didn't know
With a rumoured Arctic Monkeys 2021 homecoming show in Hillsborough Park, we thought we’d take a look at some lesser known facts about Sheffield’s number one rock band.
Here’s 10 interesting facts you might not know about Arctic Monkeys.
1. Alex Turner was initially too nervous to be the singer
The original Arctic Monkeys singer was Glyn Jones, who went to secondary school with the band.
Current lead singer Alex Turner was apparently too shy to sing at first, but when Jones left the project due to “not having the dedication to take it any further”, the Arctic Monkeys frontman we know and love stepped up.
2. The band has a fierce rivalry with Radiohead
Fellow UK band Radiohead made some disparaging comments about Arctic Monkeys when the band first started to enjoy success.
Thom Yorke - lead singer of Radiohead - apparently said of their Sheffield rivals: “The fact that poor Arctic Monkeys are getting so much attention is purely based on the fact that the mainstream music business is such a bunch of f**king retards as far as I’m concerned.”
Later, drummer Matt Helders reported that he “nearly fell asleep at the wheel” while listening to a Radiohead album.
3. There was a storm named after an Arctic Monkeys song
— Arctic Monkeys (@ArcticMonkeys) 20 October 2017
In October 2017, Arctic Monkey fans were thrilled when the UK Met Office announced the next storm to hit the country would be called Brian. While this follows the alphabetic naming pattern, we can't help but think it was inspired by classic Arctic Monkeys track ‘Brianstorm’.
The band were grateful for the gesture, tweeting the music video for the song with the message “take care of yourselves.”
4. Emma Thompson thought she was going to die at an Arctic Monkeys gig
‘Love Actually’ actress Emma Thompson revealed her harrowing experience at an Arctic Monkeys concert to ‘The Graham Norton Show’ in 2017.
She said, “First, I got into the mosh pit while the Arctic Monkeys were playing and I was so crushed in and moved up and down by people I thought, ‘Oh, now is when I die. I always wondered when it would be, but I didn’t picture this."
The actress - who apparently did NOT look good on the dance floor - added, "Then the toilets overflowed and you had to walk through it. I thought, ‘This literally is hell.' It was grim and I am never going again.”
5. Guitarist Jamie Cook still worked as a tiler while Arctic Monkeys were on tour
Despite being a successful touring band, guitarist Jamie Cook was still working hard at his day job as a bathroom tiler right up until one month before they signed a record deal. The hard-working rocker even returned from a sold-out tour to finish off a job in London.
6. The first Arctic Monkeys album remains the fastest-selling record of all time
To this day, Arctic Monkeys’ debut album ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ is still the fastest selling record by a group of all time (fastest, not biggest). It sold 363,735 copies in its first week.
7. Alex Turner isn’t a fan of the band’s first hit single
Despite it being their first number one hit and the song that launched them into stardom, frontman Turner doesn’t think much of it.
He apparently said, “It’s a bit shit. The words are rubbish. It could be a big song, like. But I’d hate to be just known for that song because it’s crap."
8. Despite being mega-wealthy, Arctic Monkeys keep it real
Turner apparently celebrated his newfound wealth after signing a record deal by splashing out on a Vauxhall Corsa. Meanwhile, Cook refuses to be wined and dined by music executives and always insists on paying his share of the bill.
9. Former bassist Andy Nicholson now works in a pub
After leaving Arctic Monkeys when the success of their first album got too much for him, former bassist Andy Nicholson fulfilled a lifelong dream to open his own pub.
Sheffield’s The Bowery was inaugurated with an acoustic performance by Reverend and the Makers frontman Jon McClure, with whom Nicholson is a frequent collaborator.
10. Despite getting famous online, the band aren’t very internet savvy
Arctic Monkeys are considered to be one of the first bands to get big by going viral online.
But despite the massive success of their MySpace page, the band claim they had nothing to do with it and weren't even aware of its existence for a long time. Turner claims to have never looked at Facebook and the band’s official Instagram account has just one post.
Stay tuned to LineUp for more interesting facts about your favourite bands.