Images posted on Instagram by the photographer Andreas Neumann last night (October 12) show Helders sitting behind a drum kit in a Los Angeles studio, surrounded by a selection of keyboards and amplifiers.
“Loved seeing you brother @matthelders xoxo,” Neumann captioned the snap.
Neumann offered little context for the photo, but eagle-eyed fans noticed that he also tagged Arctic Monkeys’ Instagram account in the snap – prompting speculation that they could be back in the studio.
But another logical — and arguably more likely — explanation could be that it is Helders reuniting with Queens Of The Stones Age‘s Josh Homme, with whom he previously worked with on Iggy Pop‘s 2016 record ‘Post Pop Depression’.
Neumann is known for his extensive work shooting QOTSA and posted a photo of the band’s guitarist, Troy Van Leeuwen, over the weekend before sharing his photo of Helders.
Reacting to the snap, one Arctic Monkeys fan wrote: “Does this mean that a new album is close? Please tell me its trueeeeee.”
Others speculated that Helders could instead be recording in Homme’s studio.
“I’m seeing a Model T, V4, couple of cheap old Peavey heads – and is that the Baldwin organ? Definitely QOTSA/JHo soil,” one fan wrote.
It remains unclear whether the band have started work on the follow-up to 2018’s ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’, but drummer Matt Helders previously told fans that they won’t have to wait “another five years” until the next record like they did between ‘AM’ and ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’.
“I think that break was based on various circumstances and that was sort of what we needed at the time. But it’s not a pattern we’re going to get used to as a band. We like being in the studio. We’re keen on making albums,” said Helders.
He added: “We’ll talk about what we’ll do next. There’s no real concrete plan at the moment. We’re all enjoying it a lot, we know we want to do some writing at some point but there’s nothing really. We haven’t really talked about it yet.
“I suppose when we’re back together on these last couple of tours we’ll start thinking about that. But yeah, there’s nothing actually planned yet.”
Earlier this year, it was also claimed that Arctic Monkeys are planning a string of homecoming shows for 2021.
In March, promoters SJM gave notice of a license application for three shows between June 4-6 2021 in the city’s Hillsborough Park – with details of the event being posted on the park gates.
While the notice merely stated that the event will feature “the provision of regulated entertainment” and the “provision of live music”, eFestivals claimed that the application had been filed directly on the band’s behalf.