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Nice to know one of Britain’s biggest bands holds Metro’s music department in high regard.
“We only talk to who we think we should do,” says Arctic Monkeys bassist Nick O’Malley. “We’ve turned down others who are very pop-orientated. We avoid doing rubbish things.”
Well then, right back at them. It’s not like they haven’t earned it, either. Their 2006 album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not was the fastest selling U.K. debut ever, and was rated by NME as one of the top five British albums of all time. Now the Sheffield natives are back with Favourite Worst Nightmare, hailed by critics for its frenzied rock rhythms and sardonic observations. A not-so-subtle depiction of pop hipsters, Brianstorm is a perfect example of the Monkeys at their best.
“His name wasn’t Brian of course, but it was about a real person,” says O’Malley. “He was a slimy character that we met and he was full of great stories. He could hypnotize you and he always had loads of women around him as well ... The song was us wondering what he’d get up to in a day.”
It isn’t just the press doling out accolades. Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker lauded the band in a BBC interview, saying their success, as organic and natural as it came, was a lesson for the music industry.
“We’ve been lucky that way,” O’Malley says. “We haven’t had to do anything embarrassing to get where we are.”
The Monkeys do shield themselves from the hype, however. They say believing their own press will hurt the integrity of the music. “If you got caught up in that you’d go bloody mental and you’d end up sounding really shit … It can be nerve-racking, doing what we do, but it’s the best job in the world. Maybe this or a porn star.”