Arctic Monkeys (formed 2002)
Arctic Monkeys are a mainstream indie band, from Sheffield, England. The band is renowned for the way that their MySpace page helped to propel them to fame.
Arctic Monkeys: Formation and Early Success
Alex Turner and Jamie Cook both taught themselves to play the guitars that they had received as Christmas presents in 2001. They formed a band with Alex's school friends Andy Nicholson and Matt Helders. Originally, Glyn Jones was the vocalist of the band, before he left and Turner took over vocal duties.
The band's first ever gig was at The Grapes in Sheffield. After a while, the band began to give away the demo CDs that they had recorded. Their fans set up their MySpace page, unknown to the band, who eventually admitted that they had no idea what MySpace was, when they were continually being asked about how much it had helped them.
Mark Bull, a Sheffield photographer, filmed some of the band's performances and made the video to 'Fake Tales of San Francisco' and showed it on his website. In May 2005, the band released their first EP, 'Five Minutes with Arctic Monkeys', which was a limited run of 500 CDs and 1000 "7s, as well as an unlimited iTunes Music store release. Their subsequent appearance on the Carling Stage at the Reading and Leeds festivals saw the tent massively overcrowded, unusually so, for the billing that they had been given.
Arctic Monkeys: Record Deals and Beyond
In 2005, Arctic Monkeys eventually signed to Domino Records, having resisted the temptation to sign to a controlling major label. They also reportedly signed a £1 million publishing deal and a £725,000 deal with Epic to cover the United States.
The band's first single with Domino was 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor'. Released in October 2005, the single went straight to number one in the UK charts, ahead of Robbie Williams and the Sugababes. Second single, 'When The Sun Goes Down', experienced the same chart success and Arctic Monkeys also appeared on their first NME cover.
Arctic Monkey's debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not was released at the end of January 2006 and became the fastest-selling debut album in UK chart history. The next week, the album was released in the US and sold 34,000 copies in the first week and debuted at 24 on the US album chart. At the NME Awards that year, Arctic Monkeys won three fan-voted awards, for Best New Band, Best British Band and Best Track.
In April 2006, the band released an EP of new material, 'Who the Fuck Are the Arctic Monkeys? Soon after its release, Andy Nicholson announced that he would not be taking part in the upcoming North American tour and upon the band's return, confirmed that he would not be returning to the band. Nick O'Malley, whom they had recruited for the tour, became Nicholson's permanent replacement.
The band's next single, 'When the Lights Come On' was their first single not to reach number one, when it peaked at number four in the UK charts. The three original band members, minus Nicholson were in attendance when Whatever I Say I Am, That's What I'm Not won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize Award.
Arctic Monkeys: The Second Album
Favourite Worst Nightmare was released in April 2007, with seven of the new tracks having been debuted at a secret gig at Sheffield Leadmill in February of that year. This album was also nominated for a Mercury Prize, but the band lost out to The Klaxons.
Chart positions for the album's singles were less consistent than the previous releases. Though the album reached number one in the UK charts, 'Brianstorm' reached number seven and 'If You Were There, Beware', reached number 189.
'Teddy Picker' was released in December 2007; the third single from the album. Just before the release date, the band also released a very short run of 250 vinyls of the single's b-sides, under the name the Death Ramps.
In 2008, Alex Turner's side project, The Last Shadow Puppets (with Miles Kane from The Rascals) also hit the UK charts and announced plans to play a number of UK festivals in the summer.