Recently, neuroscientists made a startling discovery about the human brain. It appears the frontal lobe, which is partly responsible for impulse control, judgment and spontaneity, doesn't fully develop until the mid-20s. Some have used these findings to account for the heightened impulsivity and risk-taking that often accompany young adulthood.
So it's not Arctic Monkeys' fault.
For instance, if lead Monkey Alex Turner were to point at an audience member and bitch, "That man just yawned!" during a performance on Saturday Night Live, it wouldn't be his fault, but the fault of his anemic frontal lobe. Same goes if guitarist Jamie Cook were to end the song by tossing a beautiful, expensive telecaster guitar into an amp and storm off stage with a sneer and a laugh.
When you're a band of 20-year-olds, there's a shit load you can (and will need to) blame on immature lobes. This is just one of the reasons Cook rashly says the band's done with TV. The mega-hyped British rock band is already tired of their every move being recorded for posterity.
"I don't think we'll ever do [Saturday Night Live] again," says Cook. "We don't do TV in England anymore because it's not fun playing stuff like that. It feels very unnatural. So I don't think we'll ever do any TV again."
Cook's dislike of the media isn't limited to TV. He says he "fucking hates [print] news" and that he doesn't watch or read anything about the band. That makes it nearly impossible for him to pick up a paper or magazine. Across the world, the group has been called the best British band since Coldplay, since Oasis or since The Beatles, depending on who's making the claim. The cheering is so loud, it's easy to forget that a year ago the band were just wannabe punk kids living with their parents.
"Actually, I'm still living with my mum and dad in Shetfield," explains Cook. "I haven't had the time to move out yet."
Cook's been busy since last May when Arctic Monkeys' released their debut EP, Five Minutes with Arctic Monkeys. In the year that followed, the band's first two singles went to No. 1 in the U.K. and their debut LP, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, became the fastest-selling debut album in the country's history.
As quickly as they appeared, the band has retreated from the press and now rarely gives interviews because, as Cook says, "You don't need to be in everyone's faces if your music is good enough."
When asked about almost anything, Cook responds with tight, short, single sentences. It's as if he's being interviewed by his parents.
"Why'd you start playing?"
"I got a guitar and decided and I need to learn it."
"Why'd you choose to play a telecaster?"
"I don't have a fucking clue."
"And how'd the band begin?"
"We started doing a few covers, then a few originals, then we started playing a few gigs."
The one thing Cook will talk about with youthful exuberance is the new album, which the band plans to record in August. Already with two EPs and an LP recorded, Arctic Monkeys are taking an Elvis Costello approach to their career: tour constantly, write quickly, record quickly and tour some more.
"I couldn't see us being like Coldplay," says Cook. "It'd just be fucking boring, wouldn't it? You tour your album for three years and play the same fucking gig night after night. It must really be depressing. Some people might enjoy doing that, but we couldn't. It would probably end us."
After all, rock 'n' roll isn't about impulse control. It's about inarticulate rock stars calling out bored fans and ruining perfectly good guitars.
Arctic Monkeys play with We Are Scientists at Soma on June 2. Doors open at 7 p.m. Sold out.