Arctic Monkeys
Arctic Monkeys

Since recording their last album and during the course of over two years, the boys had become accustomed to the routines of their everyday lives. With writing and recording paused, Nick, Matt, Jamie and Alex were each able to indulge in their own bespoke approach to enjoying life in their early twenties.

Matt, ever the sophisticate, had settled back into life in Sheffield neatly. Initially, and very happily, he spent his days devising new extreme sports, testing their quality by building prototypes for numerous watercraft, boards of all kinds, huge foam weapons and even two pocket-sized jets in his 'house of the future'. Life was sweet. He slept like a glove. After striking up a bromance with Sean Combs and subsequently agreeing to co-found a new and wildly experimental cross-Atlantic hip hop label, Good Boy Entertainment, Matt prospered further still, and was positively frothing with joie de vivre.

Jamie, who had developed a taste for all things exotic and adventurous, managed to effortlessly combine his new found interests in perilous travels to unexplored and far off lands. He felt fulfilled, notably by his discovery of not only a previously unknown and violently potent spice within the bark of a tree in a rainforest in sub-Saharan Africa, but also by his unverified sightings of two new species of giant anteater in deepest Bolivia. After emerging from a wood near his Sheffield home (where he had lived self-sufficiently and undisturbed for nearly seven months), Jamie declared himself ready to renew his relationship with his guitar and his band mates in the middle of last year.