Matt Helders

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Matt Helders
Arctic Monkeys @ Sir Stewart Bovell Park (7 1 12) (6693049021).jpg
Helders performing with Arctic Monkeys in 2012
Matthew Helders

(1986-05-07) 7 May 1986 (age 35)
Sheffield, England
Other names
  • Matthew J. Helders III
  • Agile Beast
  • Drummer
  • vocalist
  • songwriter
Breana McDow
(m. 2016; div. 2019)
Musical career
  • Drums
  • vocals
  • percussion
  • keyboards
Years active2002–present
Associated acts

Matthew Helders (born 7 May 1986) is an English drummer, vocalist and songwriter. He is best known as a founding member of the indie rock band Arctic Monkeys, with whom he has recorded six studio albums.

In 2015, Helders collaborated with Iggy Pop and Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme and Dean Fertita to record Pop's studio album, Post Pop Depression (2016).


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."[4] However, Helders has mentioned the influence rap music has had on the band, saying "We were rap fans at school more than now ... it still influences us in some ways; like for me, it's the drummin'. The groove element, like foon-keh music."[5] 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 the most was seeing Queens of the Stone Age live at a festival ... as soon as they came off I was like – 'Fuck, I need to start hitting harder.'"[6] 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 something ... it looks a bit daft."[5]

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."[6] 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."[6]

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 interpretation of Wham!'s "Last Christmas" during an encore performance of "Fluorescent Adolescent". Before a live performance of "Brick by Brick", Turner introduced Helders as "That young man over there on the drumkit, Mr. Matthew J. Helders the third everyone! As if he hasn't done enough for you all already, he's gonna sing this next tune."[citation needed]

Helders prefers playing the drums wearing a comfortable pair of 'joggers' instead of jeans "due to movement and sweat." Helders says "You don't want to sweat in your jeans and wear them the next day. Some people will call that rock and roll. I just call it unhygienic."[7]

Outside Arctic Monkeys[edit]

In 2008, Helders remixed "T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S", the Hives's fourth single from The Black and White Album, and "Skin Divers", Duran Duran's second single from Red Carpet Massacre. He played a few TV shows with We Are Scientists in the UK[8][9] 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 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.[10]

Helders recorded the drum tracks on Post Pop Depression, written by Iggy Pop and Josh Homme, which was released on 18 March 2016. Helders toured with them to support the album.[11]

Helders played on American singer Lady Gaga's 2016 album Joanne.[12]

In 2018, Helders produced for Milburn frontman Joe Carnall on his new project, released under the moniker Good Cop Bad Cop,[13] with an eponymous album being released on 29 March 2019, and a tour following, although Helders himself wasn't present at any of the gigs.[14]

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 Helders and Supremebeing designer Skuff. One pound from each sale was to go to the Arthur Rank Hospice.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Helders dated model Breana McDow from 2011.[16] The couple became engaged in 2013[16] and married in 2016.[17] In 2015, the couple had a daughter, Amelia Darling Helders.[18] Helders lives in Los Angeles.[19] In early 2019, he filed for divorce.[17]

Solo discography[edit]

  • "Dreamer" (featuring Nesreen Shah) (2008)
As producer
  • Good Cop Bad Cop – Good Cop Bad Cop (2019)
As featured performer



  1. ^ Arctic Monkeys go rap Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Q Magazine
  2. ^ "BBC – Seven Ages of Rock "What the World Is Waiting For"". Seven Ages of Rock. 2007. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
  3. ^ "Arctic Monkeys – Intelligent indie-rock from Sheffield". Clash. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  4. ^ "Brits go bananas". 16 March 2006. Retrieved 9 June 2006.
  5. ^ a b "Bring on the backlash". The Village Voice. 8 June 2006.
  6. ^ a b c Usinger, Mike (3 May 2007). "Arctic Monkeys' Nightmare lives up to the hype". Retrieved 4 May 2007.
  7. ^ "The view from... The Laundry Room". YouTube. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  8. ^ "We Are Scientists: Powerful, Non-Vacuous, Brain Thrust Masters of Rock". Sentimentalist Magazine. 24 April 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  9. ^ Reynolds, Simon (19 March 2008). "We Are Scientists want Arctics drummer". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  10. ^ Matt Helders From The Arctic Monkeys To Compile The Next LateNightTales Archived 1 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Late Night Tales. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  11. ^ "Iggy Pop and Josh Homme Team Up for Secret Album". The New York Times. 24 January 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Meet the Creative Team Behind Lady Gaga's 'Joanne' Album". Billboard. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Listen to a clip from 'Good Cop Bad Cop' – the project of Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders and Milburn frontman Joe Carnall". 1 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Good Cop Bad Cop on Twitter: "Nah, not having this Emily. 1. Matt produced the record which means he helped make it, doesn’t mean he’d play it live. He’s kinda busy. 2. I’ve put out numerous messages saying he won’t be there. 3. To my knowledge, his image does not appear on any tour related promotion.‌ "". 16 April 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  15. ^ "Arctic Monkeys member premieres clothes collection". NME. 6 March 2007. Retrieved 4 May 2007.
  16. ^ a b "Arctic Monkeys' Matt Helders confirms fiancée is pregnant with their first child". NME. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  17. ^ a b "Arctic Monkeys' Matt Helders files for divorce from Breana McDow". metro. 17 January 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  18. ^ Matt Helders (13 November 2015). "Amelia Darling Helders – I became a Dad the night before Halloween". Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  19. ^ Moayeri, Lily (3 May 2018). "British Indie Band Arctic Monkeys Return With Tranquility". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 15 May 2018.