The Best Known Indie Artists and Bands.
Arctic Monkeys is an English rock band formed in Sheffield in 2002. The band consists of Alex Turner (lead vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar), Matt Helders (drums, vocals), Jamie Cook (lead guitar, rhythm guitar) and Nick O’Malley (bass, backing vocals).
The indie band is known for being one of the first bands to come to public attention via the Internet, representing the possibility of a change in the way new bands are promoted and marketed.
Following are the names of the band’s studio albums:
- Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006)
- Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007),
- Humbug (2009),
- Suck It and See (2011)
- AM (2013)
It also released a live album, ‘At the Apollo’ in 2008. Their debut album is the fastest-selling debut album by a band in British chart history, and in 2013 they were ranked as the 30th-greatest debut album of all time.
The band has won several awards like the Mercury Prize in 2006 for their debut album, in addition to receiving nominations in 2007 and 2013, Best British Group and Best British Album three times, nominated for three Grammy Awards. The band also headlined at the Glastonbury Festival twice, in 2007 and again in 2013.
The band started practicing at Yellow Arch Studios in Neepsend and played its first gig in 2003 at The Grapes in Sheffield. After a couple of live performances in 2003, the band started to record demos at 2fly studio in Sheffield. 18 melodies were demoed and later released as Beneath the Boardwalk. These were, at that time, copied on to CDs to give away at gigs, which were quickly shared online amongst fans. The songs became an album and got a name when the demos were sent out by the first sender who had received it at the Broadwalk and named the file after the place.
Gradually, as more demos were circulated, they were all given this name. This has confused numerous fans into believing that Beneath the Boardwalk was an early collection, or that the early demos were all released under this title. However, The Arctic Mokeys claimed that “we never made those demos to make money or anything. We were giving them away free anyway – that was a better way for people to hear them.”
It is amazing that even their MySpace account was created by a fan and not by themselves!
In my blog “The Evolution of Indie Music” I have written about mavericks with little or no knowledge about business, turning the music industry on its head with their independent records. When Indie bands started gaining listeners through labels, they were able to reach out to a wider range of people and make a place for themselves in the world of music. While pop and rock continued to rule the hearts of listeners, Indie also started getting recognition. It’s main fan following comprised of people who wanted to listen to something more creative, experimental and original. Indie music got mainstream attention when small bands started performing locally.
Similarly, the Arctic Monkeys became popular locally and then across the north of England and caught the attention of the British Press and BBC Radio. Their video was also shot and released by a local out-of-college photographer, Mark Bull, on his website, by the name “Fake Tales of San Francisco”. Mark was also the person who had shared the band’s demo songs online amongst fans and named it Broadwalk, which later went on to become the name of the album.
Their first single “Five Minutes with Arctic Monkeys” was released in May 2005 on their own label called ‘Bang Bang’ featuring the songs “Fake Tales of San Francisco” and “From the Ritz to the Rubble”. This release consisted of 500 CDs and was downloadable on iTunes Store. Soon, the band played at the Carling Stage of the Reading and Leeds Festivals. The press and media went bonkers over the performance and from a lesser known band, they became famous, with an unusually high number of fan-following, overnight.
For all the Arctic Monkeys fans, I have randomly collected this information from sources available to me. Please feel free to share any and all “lesser known facts” about the best ranked indie band and I will add it, and more, in my next blog.