English garage rockers-gone- glam Arctic Monkeys have long been popular overseas. They’ve played Wembley Arena, smashed debut album sales and made girls all over the world buckle at the knees.
While they’ve scored a few hits in the U.S., Their latest record, 2013’s AM, catapulted the group into the realm of full-fledged American favorites, garnering radio play and critical acclaim.
England’s new Fab Four miss the United States, so bassist Nick O’Malley couldn’t be any more thrilled that the band has returned to these shores.
“We’re ready for the U.S.,” says O’Malley via telephone from England. “We’ve done a lot of Europe recently. We’re missing the U.S. a little. I really miss the bars. I think Americans do bars really well. Oh, and the food. And the friendliness. You do Mexican food well.”
Heck yes, we do.
Arctic Monkeys are touring on the heels of AM, a collection that NME—a seminal U.K. music magazine—called perhaps the best album of the decade. Although O’Malley is flattered by the comment, he’s not quite sure that that’s true.
“I don’t know about that,” he says with a laugh. “It’s nice to hear that, definitely. I’ve tried to avoid reading stuff like that and getting too into it. Whether it’s good or bad, it can affect you negatively in your brain. If it’s overly positive, you start getting a bit big headed. If everyone is saying your record’s sh*t, then you get upset. From what I hear, people tell me mostly pretty positive comments.”
AM merges hip-hop drum beats with ‘70s heavy rock, a reflection of Arctic Monkeys’ penchant for listening to songs like “Ziggy Stardust.”
“You know, riffs that are a bit sexy without being too heavy,” O’Malley describes.
The writing of AM was collaborative, as opposed to previous efforts when the members penned parts individually. While other bands may find this daunting, Arctic Monkeys found it refreshing.
“Of all the bands we know, we’re the four least likely to bicker,” O’Malley says matter of fact. “We let each other try what we want to try and reach a decision. We all come up with the same conclusion.
“When someone’s into something, you can read what they’re thinking.”
Arctic Monkeys will play a sold out, career-spanning show at the Comerica Theatre on Saturday, October 25. It marks the second time in a year that Arctic Monkeys have played the area, having performed at the Marquee in December.
“We played Tempe a few times now—four or five times, maybe,” O’Malley says. “We always have a great show whenever we’re there. It’s a good one for us. Some places in America we’ve never really been before. We don’t know if anybody’s going to turn out. But, Tempe, we have a nice rapport there. We always have a good time.”
Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, 800.745.3000, comericatheatre.com, Saturday, October 25, 8 p.m., $30-$45