So just how hot are British band Arctic Monkeys - AGAIN - on the heels of their fifth album, AM, which came out this week?
The disc was nominated for England's Mercury Prize - and is the favourite to win alongside David Bowie's A New Day - while I was speaking with drummer Matt Helders on the phone from Paris.
It's the lastest kudo for the Sheffield indie rock quartet whose AM, which fuses '70s rock with modern day R&B, is currently poised in the U.K. to overtake Daft Punk's Random Access Memories to become the fastest-selling album of 2013.
The scenario seems familiar to the group, hugely hyped by the British music press when they released their 2006 debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, a buzz that never really translated across the pond although the group are poised to make good on that now.
"It's amazing, it's like we're teenagers again when we did the first record," said Helders, 27.
"It's gone really well with the press. And then in England, it's sold quite a few already. It's been a really exciting week for us. ... It feels like like it used to, like the first album. We've noticed (the increased response) more in North America."
We caught up with up with the drummer before their sole Canadian date on Sunday in Toronto which kicks off the latest leg of a North American tour.
Q. Do you have any explanation for why AM is going over so well everywhere?
A. I don't think I want to know. We didn't make any sort of pact with black magic or anything. We're safe on that front ... Part of it is down to us as well, we've done a lot more work out there in America than we have done before.
Q. Did you record AM any differently?
A. We were putting some restrictions on ourselves maybe, in a good way. Simplifying a lot of the rhythm section so we could complicate things a bit more like with the vocals and the guitar lines.
Q. One of the biggest angles in the U.S. press is that it went "American" after relocating to L.A. to write and record AM?
A. If that's the most interesting part of this album, then we're in trouble.
Q. You've recorded in L.A. before. But what prompted the relocation for AM?
A. We went into Joshua Tree just for like two weeks pretty much as soon as we got back off when we did The Black Keys tour (in 2012). We were still buzzing from that and the response to (the new song) R U Mine was still exciting for us. So we wanted to go straight in and record more songs like that.
Q. But then you got the offer to be part of the opening ceremonies at London in July 2012?
A. That put of a halt on some things. A welcome halt. Obviously we wanted to do it. It was an honour to be asked. It just meant that we had time to put everything in perspective a bit instead of rushing into the record. And then decided what kind of record we wanted to make eventually. And then we went to Los Angeles and got our own studio space and lived out there while we did it. It was good, like the first time we've all lived in one town for awhile.
Q: What was the Olympics gig like?
A. It was terrifying. Not only the crowd there and the TV audience and then playing a Beatles song (Come Together) in front of Paul McCartney and the Queen ... But it was like an unbelievable opportunity for us. We made a conscious decision just before we went on to do good job and not be too scared. It took a while to come down from it.