“We definitely are [coming to Australia], I just don’t know exactly when yet. It’s one of our favourite places to play, so we’ll be down there for sure.”
So said Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders in a recent Tone Deaf interview discussing the making of the Sheffield quartet’s fifth and latest album, AM, and now it appears that the band are making good on that promise with news that they’ll be headed to Australia.
Bequiffed frontman Alex Turner was much more specific about the band’s plans to hit Down Under; “I reckon we’re coming in 2014,” the Arctic Monkey told Triple J host Lindsay ‘The Doctor’ McDougall in a recent interview, “probably in the first half [of the year],” added Turner.
“I don’t really know when [exactly], but it’s going to happen,” he said. “I can hear the whispers in the next room. We’ll have to get together with the grown-ups again and figure that one out.”
Whether the Arctic Monkeys 2014 visit is for a standalone headline tour or for a music festival commitment remains to be seen, but a number of high profile festivals have already tried their hand at luring the British rock band.
They were heavily rumoured for the Big Day Out 2014 bill following their appearance on the Austin City Limits lineup (which was put together by Big Day Out partners C3 presents), while CEO Adam Zammit revealed that they were in discussions to book the band for a follow-up to their Big Day Out 2009 headline slot, tweeting: “They wanted to and we wanted to but it doesn’t always work out.” [do action=”pullquote”]”I reckon we’re coming in 2014… probably in the first half.”
– Alex Turner[/do]
Following slipping through Big Day Out’s net, fans crossed their fingers that the band would appear alongside Vampire Weekend, Grizzly Bear, and the Roots on the Falls Festival lineup, after all it was at the New Year’s festival’s 2011 edition that was Arctic Monkeys’ last visit in the country, alongside a series of headline shows.
So combined with Alex Turner’s confirmation that the four-piece are due in the first half of next year, that leaves only a few potential festivals open for speculation.
For speculation’s sake, the band don’t seem the right fit for Bluesfest’s 25th Silver Anniversary edition, which leaves them as potential headliners for Groovin’ The Moo 2014 or Laneway’s 2014 “mega lineup”, and though they’d be a goodish fit for either, we suspect if Big Day Out couldn’t nab Arctic Monkeys, then they may be a little too costly for the regional music festival or for Laneway’s balanced lineup.
Which leaves Future Music Festival, which recently announced a partnership with Mushroom Group and Frontier Touring just before it was revealed that (the company formerly known as) Future Entertainment Pty Ltd had entered into liquidation. Regardless of the latent controversy, Arctic Monkeys certainly suit Future’s tradition of bringing over big name British acts – such as Stone Roses earlier this year and New Order in 2012 – to bolster the rock demographic with their regular dance and electronic acts.
Now that the dates are locked in by new presenters Frontier Touring for Future Music Festival 2014, the rumour mill has begun in earnest, with industry whispers naming Iranian born producer Dubfire, the million-dollar-earning Deadmau5, the disco-dubstep of Skream, and a hopeful return from those South African purveyors of ‘freeeky’ goodness, Die Antwoord.
UPDATE: The Future Music Festival 2014 lineup date announcement has been set, with organisers revealing the “blockbuster” 2014 lineup next week on Tuesday 17th September at 4pm in the afternoon.
Whatever the speculation, we can lock in a 2014 Australian tour for Arctic Monkeys, who will arrive off the back of their recently released new album AM, which drummer Matt Helders has described as “definitely another step on” for the band.
“I think we just learnt to be confident in the fact that we can experiment a bit more and sound a bit different but it’ll still be an Arctic Monkeys record, people will still think of it as that,” says the skin-thumper, while discussing with Tone Deaf the influence of hip hop, the Californian desert, and Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme on the new album.