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Arctic Monkeys: Pioneering Internet Promoting

The early 2000’s witnessed a very intense rock movement in North America interested in bringing back that raw, dirty, and simple garage sound to rock music, with bands such as The White Stripes, The Strokes, The Hives and so on.

Inspired by The Strokes’ early works, four recently graduated teenagers from Sheffield, England, decided to start a band, what they didn’t know, is that they would become one of the most important alternative rock bands of the last 15 years, and how they got there, would also change the way musicians used the internet for good.

Holding their first concert on June 13th, 2003, the Arctic Monkeys were born.

The sound and the attitude were as raw as it could get: Telecaster, Stratocaster, clean Fender Amplifiers, barely any use of pedals, aggressive drumming, and there you had it, that early Arctic Monkeys’ sound.

Although the band had some covers on their setlist, going from The Beatles to White Stripes, they also already had some original songs going on, that would later be in their debut album released on January 2006: Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.

Before they signed to British independent label based in London, Domino Records, the way they found to share their music with the audience, and keep them updated, was to record homemade demos and burn them to CD’s, distributing them for free at the end of the shows.

With the ongoing growth of the internet and the number of users growing bigger and bigger in the early 2000’s, social media started its rise as well. Released in August, 2003, people started using social medias with the purpose of sharing, discussing, and listening to music: MySpace.

Those demo CDs the band was distributing for free at the venues, started being uploaded in MySpace, the word about the band started to spread more and more, and people started showing up to the concerts already knowing the songs, that’s where the band started its ascend to success, and becoming of the most important music internet stories of their time.

Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, released on January, 23rd, 2006, becoming of the most successful debut albums of UK’s history, selling over 360,000 copies on its first week, and remains the fastest-selling debut album by a band in the country. Later in America, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling at least 1,000,000 copies there.

Arctic Monkeys became since then of the most successful and important indie rock bands of the last 15 years, with its biggest hit, Do I Wanna Know, released in the album AM (2013), reaching over 2 billion streams on Spotify. And became one of the pioneers of modern indie, and changing the way musicians look, and use the internet to promote their music.

If you’re curious about the early demos released back in the day, you can find them in the unofficial compilation Beneath The Boardwalk.

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