Arctic Monkeys’ drumming extraordinaire, Matt Helders, turns 34 today so in celebration of his genius, we have had a dig around the Far Out archives and have discovered this version of ‘R U Mine’ solely featuring Helders drums. It showcases exactly why he’s one of the most revered drumming talents of his generation.
Helders is widely loved by fans as well as contemporaries who all accept the huge part he played in Arctic Monkeys’ rich successes. Undoubtedly the most important British band of the 21st century the Sheffield band inspired a new wave of indie in the late noughties before going on to re-invent their sound on numerous occasions.
‘R U Mine’ marked a poignant moment in their illustrious career, when the four members displayed a new level musical maturity and their sound had been elevated into a new genre-melding chart-topper. The track signals the moment that they shifted from boys to men and marked a major transition in their sound.
Arctic Monkeys were no longer considered ‘the boys from next door’ and their change in direction was a true reflection of their new desire, they were now bonafide rock gods with ‘R U Mine’ acting as a teaser for what fans had in-store 18 months later when AM would pick up exactly where the track leaves off.
Speaking with Zane Lowe on his BBC Radio 1 show, Alex Turner confessed that the direction for their fifth record did come from this track, a song which was initially supposed to be a stand-alone release for Record Store Day in 2012. “The record sort of started with ‘R U Mine?’ really,” he said. “[We] discovered something through the recording of that tune that we thought was worth exploring.”
The song took inspiration from contemporary R&B acts such as Lil Wayne and Drake rhythmically which had to make Helders adapt his style—something he did with meticulous ease.
Check out the isolated drums for ‘R U Mine’ as well as breathtaking footage of Helders performing the track live in Philadelphia in 2013 whilst filming it on a GoPro.