Matt Helders gives update on new Arctic Monkeys album
The follow-up to 2018's 'Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino'
Last updated 14th Jan 2021
Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders has given fans an update on the band’s seventh studio album.
Speaking on Instagram live last night (13th January), Matt Helders said Arctic Monkeys are in the “early stages” of attempting to write the new record but they’re being blighted by “various obstacles” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s the early stages of trying to write a record but (we’re) faced with the obvious obstacles,” Helders explained: “Being separated by the sea is one of them.”
Confirming that the despite the hurdles, Arctic Monkeys are very keen to work on the follow-up to May 2018’s ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.’
“We’re eager to do it. We would have been doing it by now in a normal time,” 34-year-old Helders continued.
“There’s definitely a desire from our end to do a new record as soon as possible.”
In an interview with Music Week last month, Arctic Monkeys manager Ian McAndrew said the band had booked studio time to commence work on the new album last summer. This, of course, was thwarted by Covid-19.
“They were recording plans in the summertime that got canned as a result of the travel restrictions,” McAndrew said.
“They’re working on music. In this rather disjointed time, the guys are beavering away and I hope that they’ll start working on some new songs, new ideas, with a view on future release.”
‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ became Arctic Monkeys’ sixth consecutive number one album when it was released three years ago.
Arctic Monkeys released the live album ‘Live at the Royal Albert Hall’ in December, with all proceeds from sales going to the charity War Child. The album debuted at number three.
A quick guide to Arctic Monkeys' six studio albums:
'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not', 2006
An instant classic upon its release in the opening overs of 2006, Arctic Monkeys' 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' was already familiar to the hundreds of thousands of fans who not only propelled it to the top of the UK album charts, but also made it the fasting-selling debut album in UK chart history.
'Favourite Worst Nightmare', 2007
Released just over year after its predecessor, 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' is the sound of band truly developing its own sound and identity. This isn't an album that's been agonised over or thought about too deeply; as evidenced by the singles 'Brianstorm', 'Flourescent Adolescent' and 'Teddy Picker', a year of solid gigging and youthful energy sharpened the band's reserve, playing and, in the case of Alex Turner's songwriting, widen the lyrical concerns that come with seeing a world beyond their hometown.
The news that Arctic Monkeys, a band that at this point was still very much defined by its Sheffield roots, would be working with Queens Of The Stone Age mastermind Josh Homme was met with more than just a few raised eyebrows. Surely this combination of angular, indie rock and one of the key architects of stoner rock was to clash too harshly? Whatever fears were aired, they were soon allayed with the evidence presented within the grooves of 'Humbug'. Less an encounter in one party trying to dominate the other, this was a meeting of minds, talents and ideas that took Arctic Monkeys out of their domestic comfort zone and into New York, Los Angeles at the Mojave Desert.
'Suck It And See', 2011
With the material written in rehearsed well in advance of their return to the studio, many of the album's 12 songs were recorded live in the studio with the minimum of overdubs. And while it's evident that the band has matured, 'Suck It And See' is possessed of that nervous energy that characterised their earlier material. It's there on the title track and the single 'Black Treacle'.
'AM' is a consolidation of all that has gone before it and delivered with all the confidence of a band hitting its stride at the point when most groups flounder, wither and die. Blending the razor-sharp indie smarts of their youth with the heady and heavy rock that had been introduced under Josh Homme's tutorage, Arctic Monkeys also introduce the hitherto untapped influences of hip-hop and R'n'B.
'Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino', 2018
The five-year gap between the release of albums may have suggested a band resting on its laurels or simply running out of ideas, but the reality was far different. 'Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino' finds Arctic Monkeys doing what so many bands refuse to countenance – taking a chance. Indeed, the band's sixth studio album is such a radical departure from the hook-laden rock music that made their name that fans are still divided over the record's merits.
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