|Arctic MonkeysMaybe you?re about to read this and find out about a band called Arctic Monkeys. Or maybe you already know more about them than 1,000 words could ever convey. Maybe you downloaded their songs months before record companies cared and maybe you were grabbed by the sudden urge to drive for half a day just to see them play. Maybe you picked up one of the demos they handed out at early gigs, memorised every word and bellowed them back at them during their next gig. Maybe you were one of the kids who?s taken up surfing across Monkeys? crowds as a full-time hobby. And maybe you?ve also ended up with a permanent monitor-related injury because of it.Because unless your definition of success rests on how many private yachts you can afford, Arctic Monkeys were already massive way before they inked a deal with Domino in June 2005. People obsessing over the songs? Sold-out gigs full of stage-diving nutcases? Hardcore fans pressed up against venue windows, just hoping to catch a glimpse? Such checkpoints have all been ticked.Of course, it was guitars that started it all: two of them, given to Alex and Jamie Cook as Xmas presents just three years ago. The pair began practising furiously - some might say competitively - before Andy Nicholson (bass) and Matt Helders (drums) joined the throng.The boys may share a love of The Smiths, The Clash and The Jam (and sure, Jamie may boast a healthy passion for Oasis, System of a Down and Queens of the Stone Age) but in no way were The Monkeys ready to simply regurgitate the well-trodden Brit-rock path. Rather, they spent their school days listening to Roots Manuva, Braintax and other stuff on [UK hip hop label] Low-Life, not to mention Lyricist Lounge compilations and Rawkus Records cuts like Pharaoh Monch. Another unique influence was Mancunian poet John Cooper Clarke, who Alex is a huge recent fan of.And, naturally for a band who?ve never once sat and contrived things, questions of the ?where next? variety are met with a shrug: ?People already proper care about the music, before it?s even finished. You can see it in their eyes and nobody can take that away from you. I guess it can still get bigger, though. Instead of hundreds of people singing the words, it could be thousands. Does that feel any different, I wonder??Maybe like you, he?s about to find out.