Matt Helders

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Matthew Helders
Birth name Matthew Helders
Born (1986-05-07) 7 May 1986 (age 28)
Sheffield, England
Genres Indie rock,[1][2][3] post-punk revival, psychedelic rock, garage rock, house
Occupation(s) Musician, DJ
Instruments Drums, vocals, percussion, keyboards
Years active 2002–present
Labels Domino
Associated acts Arctic Monkeys
Diddy Dirty-Money
The Bottletop Band
The Last Shadow Puppets

Matthew Helders (born 7 May 1986) is an English musician and DJ, best known as the drummer for indie rock[1][2][3] band Arctic Monkeys. He is seen as the band's "quietly amiable diplomat."[4]


Helders has said that he ended up playing drums as "that was the only thing left. When we started the band none of us played anything. We just put it together. They all had guitars and I bought a drum kit after a bit."[5] However, Helders has stated the influence rap music has had on the band, saying "We were rap fans at school more than still influences us in some ways, like for me, it's the drummin'. The groove element, like foon-keh music."[6] In addition, Helders cites seeing Queens of the Stone Age as the biggest influence on his development as a drummer, saying "the one thing that changed me most was seeing Queens of the Stone Age live at a festival last soon as they came off I was like 'Fuck – I need to start hitting harder'."[7] Helders also explained the band's insistence on singing in their native Sheffield accent, saying, "when you talk between the songs at a gig and you're speakin' English in our normal accent, it seems a bit strange when you burst into song like you're from California or looks a bit daft."[6]

In a similar fashion to other members of the band, Helders has remained true to his hometown roots, suggesting that seeing places all over the world makes him more appreciative of Sheffield, which still provides the basis for the band's lyrics. "And all around you, there's still plenty of things to write about. Touring lets you see a lot of places that you realise you wouldn't want to live in...and when you come home, it's pretty easy to slip into your old ways, to all the places you've always gone."[7] Helders also points out that despite the fame of the band, he can still avoid being mobbed in the street – "If we all go out together at night clubbing, it's difficult, but alone you don't get recognised much."[7] Although he continued to live at home with his parents during the band's early career, Helders has followed Cook in moving into his own house, but has nonetheless stayed in the Sheffield area, saying "we still all live in the same place we grew up. It's probably just how we were brought up. We're never going to move away to London."[8]

The most comprehensive backing vocalist of the group, his vocals have been featured on many of the band's songs. He often sings in response to or in harmony with lead singer Alex Turner, and sings lead vocals on "D Is for Dangerous," "Brick by Brick," and "I.D.S.T.," as well as on parts of "You Probably Couldn't See for the Lights but You Were Staring Straight at Me," "Who the Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?," and "Teddy Picker." Also, during two shows of the North American leg of the band's Humbug Tour, he sang an interpolation of Wham!'s "Last Christmas" during an encore performance of "Fluorescent Adolescent".

Outside Arctic Monkeys[edit]

Helders remixed T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S (We Rule The World), the Hives's fourth single from The Black and White Album, and "Skin Divers," Duran Duran's second single from "Red Carpet Massacre." He recently drummed with We Are Scientists at some of their recent UK shows as well as remixing their second single "Chick Lit" as a b-side for the vinyl release. He is featured on Toddla T's album "Skanky Skanky." He also remixed "Again & Again" for Roots Manuva, which gained airplay from Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1.

In August 2008, it was announced that Helders would compile the latest release in the LateNightTales DJ mix CD series. The set, entitled Late Night Tales: Matt Helders, was released on 27 October 2008 and included a spoken work track performed and written by bandmate Alex Turner.[9]

On 12 June 2010 Helders (using the stage name Rufus Black) appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross drumming for Diddy's Dirty Money performance of the single Hello, Good Morning.

Helders is one of 3 creators of the Tramlines Festival in Sheffield.

Clothing line[edit]

Helders released his own clothing line, consisting of a jacket, a zip hood and three t-shirts. The garments went on sale in May 2007 with sales accompanied by a CD featuring an Arctic Monkeys remix by Matt himself and Supreme Being designer Skuff. One pound from each sale will go to the Arthur Rank Hospice.[10]


RCI with Premier Hardware (LUGS) Solid White and Clear Spiral

Pearl Drums 2000 Series

  • X2 Snare Stand (one for Tom and one for snare)

Drum Workshop 9000 Hardware

  • Bass drum pedal
  • 9500 Hi Hat stand
  • X2 9710 Straight Cymbal Stand

Evans Drumheads

  • Snare Evans EC Coated
  • EC2 Clear Toms
  • EMAD2 Bass Drum Head


  • 14" K Mastersound Hi-Hats
  • 18" K Dark Medium Thin Crash
  • 22" K Light Ride

Vater Drumsticks

  • 3a Fatback

1971 Ludwig Black Bowling Ball Wrap

  • 22x14 Kick Drum
  • 13x9 Tom Rack
  • 16x16 Floor Tom
  • Ludwig 402 Snare

During the 2009 Humbug Tour, Helders' bass drum head had the words "Agile Beast" displayed on it. This was done in similar fashion with the word "Missing" during parts of the Suck It and See Tour. In 2013 the number '0114' was displayed on his bass drum head, the phone area code for Matt's hometown Sheffield.

Solo discography[edit]

  • "Dreamer" (featuring Nesreen Shah) (2008)
As featured performer
  • Mongrel – "Barcode" (featuring Pariz 1, Tor Cesay, Mpho, Saul Williams and Matt Helders) (2008)
  • Mongrel – "The Menace" (featuring Lowkey and Matt Helders) (2008)
  • Toddla T – "Boom Dj From The Steel City" (2009)
  • Toddla T – "Better" (2009)


  1. ^ a b Arctic Monkeys go rap. Q Magazine
  2. ^ a b "BBC – Seven Ages of Rock "What the World Is Waiting For"". Seven Ages of Rock. 2007. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Arctic Monkeys – Intelligent indie-rock from Sheffield". Clash. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Lads Are Alright". Blender. May 2006. 
  5. ^ "Brits go bananas". 16 March 2006. Retrieved 9 June 2006. 
  6. ^ a b "Bring on the backlash". The Village Voice. 8 June 2006. 
  7. ^ a b c Usinger, Mike (3 May 2007). "Arctic Monkeys' Nightmare lives up to the hype". Retrieved 4 May 2007. 
  8. ^ "Arctic Monkeys conquer UK; Is America next?". Reuters. 17 May 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2007. [dead link]
  9. ^ Matt Helders From The Arctic Monkeys To Compile The Next LateNightTales. Late Night Tales. Retrieved on 13 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Arctic Monkeys member premieres clothes collection". NME. 6 March 2007. Retrieved 4 May 2007.