The Boys Aren't Back In Town

14 years after its formation, it looks like the Arctic Monkeys have left the Steel City for good.


News piece for The University of Sheffield local news reporting (December, 2015)

Liberty tax strategy allegations aside, it looks like the four Sheffield chums have left the city for good. According to Forbes last summer Matts Helders, originally from High Garden, bought Zooey Deschanel's house in the Hollywood Hills, only a short drive away from Los Angeles. He now shares this house with his American wife Breana Helders neé McDow and their newborn daughter. However, the drummer is not alone. The rest of his band mates Alex Turner, Jamie Cook and Nick O’Malley (these last two with girlfriend and offspring included) have also made of LA their long-term residency in the last three years. 

After the success of their latest album titled ‘AM’, we haven’t heard much of the northern band this past year, but one thing is sure: the Arctic Monkeys are nowhere to be seen in South Yorkshire anymore. It is no secret that Sheffield has had an impact on the band's songs not only accent wise but also in their lyrics, but this tendency has changed in the last few years. Despite drummer Matt Helders, 29, proudly sporting Henderson's Relish in interviews and Yorkshire Tea on his twitter page, really there’s no much reference to their beloved hometown since they moved to LA. 

Most fans were taken aback with this move since the “LA vibe” is completely opposite to the indie bad-boy nonchalant attitude the quartet is known for having. Yet, most people forget that what is most surprising is the fact that they explicitly stated in early interviews that they had no intention to leave their hometown. 

The boys first went to LA to record their albums ‘Suck it and See’ and ‘AM’, but that was 2014 and the Arctic Monkeys have not set foot on British soil since their last tour ended- at least not for longer than a week. When asked about this sudden decision to change oceans the band’s lead guitarist Jamie Cook, 30, says that the main factor that made him change his mind about LA, which he had previously referred to as a dump, was the fact that “the weather’s a bit nicer than England”. 

Along these lines, Helders has also stated in the past that they had been spending a lot of time in the City of Angels because of work but hinted that they had been getting “kind of attached”. He has also said that it is a fun place to be a musician, but judging by the lack of new albums and his new parenthood, we don’t think this is the primary reason for fleeing the Steel City.  

With three-quarters of the band upping sticks to bring up their children in the U.S., is there much hope for us steelmakers to witness their long-awaited comeback to Sheffield? Well, truth hurts and while the straightforward answer is clearly no, we can always hold on to Turner’s Yorkshire rose tattoo and Helders’ assertion that Sheffield will always be their home. As Turner said in a previous interview with The Guardian in October 2013, ultimately, it is up to them to decide where they live as long as they keep providing us with their outstanding music and UK tours, with its mandatory Sheffield venue. After all, we cannot blame the group for some wholehearted comments they made while they were just a bunch of laconic teenagers.