Arctic Monkeys need a break

ARCTIC Monkeys fans should savour every second of the band's T In The Park headline slot on Sunday.

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The Arctic Monkeys headline at T In The Park on Sunday
The Arctic Monkeys headline at T In The Park on Sunday

That's because the band are considering taking a break before making another album.

Last year's AM record was a huge hit critically and commercially, and the band have already been touring it for over a year, with more dates planned through to November.

"I don't think we'll be rushing in and making another LP, I don't think anyone needs that now - by the time we're done this summer there'll have been enough Arctic Monkeys for a while, from outside and from our side," says singer Alex Turner, speaking over the phone just before a Chicago gig.

"That's not to say we aren't enjoying this tour, it's going better than it ever has, but we've been out for a year now and I don't want to overcook the goose.

"There's a possibility that we might do a new song, but as far as us shooting straight back into the studio, that doesn't seem likely."

It's been a fantastic year for a group long acknowledged as one of Britain's best. AM brought a new style and swagger to the group, and hits like Do I Wanna Know? and Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High? were suited for dance floors as much as arenas.

That means their T set on Sunday, when they become the final headliners at Balado before the bash moves location, should be packed with hits.

"T is one of the best crowds, and you can feed off that [as a band]," says Alex.

"I think it's something that goes both ways, you might not be able to see that everyone's having a good time, but you can feel it, and it gets everyone onstage excited more. It makes you flail onstage a bit more…"

This will be the Sheffield foursome's third time topping the bill at T.

They've also been regulars on the arena circuit for years now, including selling out Glasgow's SSE Hydro last year.

Alex believes the group have adjusted to playing bigger gigs, and that they now better understand how to approach them.

"It never seems completely comfortable doing big shows, and I don't think it should, because it's an unusual and remarkable position to be in, but we're a lot more at home in that environment now," he says.

"When we first started playing big rooms we were pretending it was still clubs, we didn't want a lot of production and it took time to cross to the mindset that you need when you're playing bigger rooms or festivals"

It also took time to adjust to playing AM live. The record, which scooped Best Album at the Brit Awards earlier this year, was built up in the studio over a period of time.

That meant the songs have changed as the band have gigged more.

"When we tried different things on the last record, there was an unspoken understanding between us and various producers on how far you can push things," says Alex.

"When we recorded AM, it wasn't the sort of record where we were standing in a room working it all out, so when we were playing the songs for the shows it was a case of figuring out how to do it [live] and that was a little lumpy at first.

"It's sort of become something else now [from what they were] but we're still really excited by those songs."

As the band's music has changed, so has their onstage style. Alex's onstage accent at Glastonbury last year prompted a string of remarks about how American he sounded, while the group now all live in Los Angeles.

The singer believes it's just been a natural progression, though.

"Image has always been a part of the band, from when where we all wearing trackie tops and still had acne to having the leather jacket," says the singer.

"That's always been part of the appeal for some people, like it is with most bands. It's part of what draws you into a band.

"That's not to say we sit around having board meetings about how we should look, it's just an image that's pretty natural and has evolved over time to what it is now."

l Arctic Monkeys, T In The Park, Sunday.

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