Monkeys record 'not more mature'

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

image source, Other
image captionArctic Monkeys are headlining this year's Reading and Leeds festivals

Arctic Monkeys have denied that their new album Humbug is more 'mature' than their previous two albums.

Early reviews of the new LP, released on 24 August, have focused on the Sheffield band exploring a more grown-up sound.

Recorded in the Joshua Tree National Park and New York with producers Josh Homme and James Ford, the band disagree.

Speaking to Newsbeat, drummer Matt Helders said: "I don't think mature is the right word, honestly. Who knows? Next time they'll [the critics] be calling it immature because of the bar of maturity we've set."

More to Monkeys

Helders and lead singer Alex Turner were keen to stress that Humbug, the follow-up to 2007's Favourite Worst Nightmare, was a step forward.

"There is more to this record," said Turner. "Steve Lamacq just described it as tantalising which I quite liked."

"It's been a while since I've been on the eve of a release, so it's quite exciting," added Helders.

Earlier in the month one of Humbug's producers James Ford said the band's third album wouldn't be what fans were expecting.

"It'll definitely surprise people, especially people who are familiar with things like [I Bet That You Would Look Good On The] Dancefloor… and stuff like that, [they] might be quite taken aback.

"They've just got more relaxed with themselves. They're comfortable doing what they're doing."

Oxfam record

As of today (17 August) the band release a seven-inch vinyl version of new single Crying Lightning via Oxfam charity shops throughout the UK.

"There are more Oxfam shops than record shops I imagine these days, that's the thing," reasoned Helders for the decision.

Hidden within two copies of the record are two 'golden tickets' to this year's Reading And Leeds festivals, which the band will headline on the August bank holiday.

However, the band admit the plot wasn't their idea.

"I'd love to say it were ours…" confirmed Turner. "It was the folks at Domino (the band's record label) that thought of the Oxfam idea initially, but like you say, it's a great idea."

"Oxfam were responsible for the tickets. Barnardos next I reckon," joked Helders. "Children then aged."

Following the release of Humbug the foursome will headline the annual rock festival saying they'll "definitely be better prepared" than their last outing at the event in 2006.

"I like the fact we've been playing a lot up towards it, because if ever we stop I'm always rubbish," said Helders.

"If we have a week gap I'm always rubbish on the first one. I'd play the day before if I could."

Prodigy pals

The foursome will take to the festival's main stage after The Prodigy, a band they've struck up an unlikely friendship with.

"It'll be good to watch them before us and pretty scary because they're obviously going to be a bit louder than us," said the drummer. "But I don't think people will be going for the decibels.

"I think it works out quite well. We watched them a few times in Australia [at January's Big Day Out festival]. We had a great time, they're very nice people.

"I shared a wonderful plane journey with Keith [Flint]," said Turner. "He's a lovely chap."

The band also confirmed they will be shortly announcing details of a UK tour this autumn.

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