It might be stating the obvious, but Arctic Monkeys had a banner comeback with the release of their latest album, AM, last year.

The Sheffield quartet’s fifth full-length release was a major hit with the Australian public, not only hitting #1 on the ARIA charts and reaching Gold sales status, but more impressionably was named by Tone Deaf readers as the best International Album of 2013, an opinion shared by Triple J listeners who put AM at the top of the heap in the station’s annual public vote.

Along with enviable positions in the upper echelons of many ‘Best of 2013 lists’ across the globe, British media have displayed their patriotic pride in showering Arctic Monkeys with accolades, including a coveted Mercury Prize nomination, while the four-piece are up for Best British Group and Album of the Year nods in the just announced 2014 Brit Awards nominees.

So how does Arctic Monkeys cope with such widespread adulation for their brand of rock in a time when guitar bands aren’t necessarily the popular music of choice these days?

Quite well apparently. “If guitars are a dirty word at the moment, then I like that, I think that’s a good thing,” says the band’s drummer Matt Helders in a recent interview with NMEwho not only named AM as the best LP of the last 12 months, but as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time, just one month after its release.

The comments from the skin-thumping Monkey arrive while discussing his predictions for the shape of popular music in the future. “If guitars are a dirty word at the moment, then I like that, I think that’s a good thing…”

“It’s hard to say what will happen in 2014, because things are moving quicker than you could ever predict,” the 27-year-old tells NME.  

“Nowadays you don’t walk into a gig and see a band and think, ‘That’s the next scene’… Music is instantly available, and by the time you discover it, someone else will have already listened to it and moved on,” he says.

“Maybe guitar bands will come back around again and reclaim the charts, but it’s all very well me saying that – it all comes down to them: they’ve got to have songs that are good enough to play on the radio. But if guitars are a dirty word at the moment, then I like that, I think that’s a good thing,” explains Helders. “When it’s popular, it feels like there’s something weird going on – like you’ve hijacked the charts.”

The drummer says “that’s how we felt when it happened to us”, in regards to their album, “even though there were still a lot of guitar bands around at the time. We didn’t even expect our first single to get into the Top 20, so we definitely felt like we shouldn’t have been there.”

Speaking to Tone Deaf back during the album’s release in September, Helders described AM as “the album we’ve always been waiting to make,” by incorporating more elements of the band’s own musical tastes.

“Me and Alex [Turner] grew up listening to hip-hop, before we got into guitar music,” admitted Helders (who has been a close friend to rap mogul P. Diddy in recent years), while listing “70s rock bands like [Black] Sabbath” and fellow rock stalwarts, Queens Of The Stone Age.

In fact, QOTSA ringleader Joshua Homme actually makes a cameo on AM (one of his favourite albums of last year too), returning the favour for Alex Turner guesting on QOTSA’s …Like Clockwork.

Arctic Monkeys will also return to Australia this coming May, playing the country’s arenas in their biggest Australian tour to date and their first visit Down Under since 2011 for the Falls and Southbound festivals.

Arctic Monkeys Australian Tour 2014

Tue 6 May – Sydney | Entertainment Centre (All Ages) | Ph: 132 849

Wed 7 May – Brisbane | Entertainment Centre (All Ages) | Ph: 132 849

Fri 9 May – Melbourne | Rod Laver Arena (All Ages) | Ph: 132 849

Sat 10 May – Adelaide | AEC Theatre (All Ages) | Ph: 132 849

Tue 13 May – Perth | Perth Arena (All Ages) | Ph: 132 849

Frontier Members pre-sale via
AUS: Tue 3 Dec (4pm AEDT) to Wed 4 Dec (4pm AEDT)
General public on sale from 9am local time, Wednesday 11 December