Arctic Monkeys’ Matt Helders says playing older songs feels like “karaoke”

"I'd rather they just have the memory of a version where we really meant it."

Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders has said that the band are often reluctant to play their older material because it feels like “doing karaoke.”

In a new interview with comedian James Veitch, Helders said that it was better that fans retained the “memory” of an older performance, as opposed to playing the track just to satisfy their demand.

“Some of it feels fine to still play, some of it feels like we’re doing karaoke of our own songs,” Helders said of their older material from albums including 2006 debut ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.’ “[It] Feel like a caricature. It doesn’t feel as genuine playing it anymore, I’d rather they just have the memory of a version where we really meant it, rather than we’ll do this for you.”



The band have instead been known to offer re-imaginings of their earliest material – including transforming ‘Mardy Bum’ into a slowed down ballad on the ‘AM’ tour.

But Helders remained coy about what’s next for the group, after they were rumoured to be planning a string of huge shows in Sheffield next year.

Earlier this month, 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.


It remains unclear whether the band have started work on the follow-up to 2018’s ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’, but 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.

The band concluded touring ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ at Colombia’s Estéreo Picnic in 2019. 

Last year also saw Helders team up with Milburn’s Joe Carnall to release their debut album as Good Cop Bad Cop.