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Arctic Monkeys
Post-punk, dance-punk, indie rock… call it what you want, just know that brand new band Arctic Monkeys has everyone sing along to their tunes. Want to know what the buzz is all about? Here is our Arctic Monkeys FAQ.

What does the name ‘Arctic Monkeys’ mean?
Nothing! Don’t believe the stories you might read. The band clarifies that there is no meaning behind the name. Guitarist Jamie made it up when they were younger and the rest of the band liked it so the name stuck.

How old are they?
Three of them are 19 and one is 20. All four were friends before they formed the band.

Where did these guys suddenly come from?
The Monkeys (or The Arctics, if you prefer) have made their way from Sheffield, England to the rest of the world mostly thanks to the internet. Since they formed in 2002, the boys have gone from playing for free for friends in Sheffield to enthralling sold-out crowds across the UK, Europe, the US and Japan all because they generated such a cult following online that everyone was forced to sit up and take notice.
They played regular gigs in their hometown until 2004 and after the shows began to give out free CDs containing their songs. The CDs were quickly circulated around and one enthusiastic fan called The Sheriff decided to post the songs on the internet. Soon the demos were being downloaded by thousands of music lovers. The buzz was already quite loud when acclaimed British music magazine NME took notice. The band was quickly christened ‘the next big thing’ by the magazine. BBC Radio 1 also supported the band and soon they found themselves on stage at the 2005 Reading and Leeds festivals where, much to their amazement, the crowd sang along to all their tunes.

What is their album called?
Their record label debut is called Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I'm Not. The album was hailed by the press as the most anticipated release since Oasis’s 1994 debut, Definitely Maybe. Thousands of copies of Arctic Monkeys’ debut were pre-ordered and the anticipation was so high that the label had to bring the release date forward by one week to get it out to waiting fans.
Before the 2006 full-length debut, the band had self-released an EP titled Five Minutes With The Arctic Monkeys on vinyl and CD under the fictitious label Bang Bang Recordings. Only 1000 CDs and 500 vinyls were made, all of which eventually sold out and are now available only through digital download or for ridiculously high prices on eBay.
Their first single from the debut album is the easy-to-relate-to I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor. The single went straight to #1 on the charts, selling over 40,000 units in less than a week, beating established acts McFly and Robbie Williams in the process. Their second single, When The Sun Goes Down, also debuted at #1 on the charts. By now it was clear why they were being called ‘the biggest band in Britain’.

What changed for them after getting signed?
The band initially resisted offers from record companies ~ they had come so far on their own, they didn’t see the need to be signed to a label. Eventually they agreed to a deal with a record label called Domino because they were impressed by owner Laurence Bell, who ran the label from his flat and only signed bands that he liked personally.

You can read the rest of our feature on Arctic Monkeys in the April 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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