Q&A with Brit Rockers – ROYAL BLOOD
Posted On 23 Sep 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Arctic Monkeys, Artist, Artist Interview, Bass Drum of Death, BBC, Beach Boys, Beatles, Ben Thatcher, Best British Group, blues rock, Brighton, BRIT, Brit Awards, Coachella, Come On Over, English, English rock music, Finsbury Park, Foo Fighters, garage rock, Glastonbury, Glastonbury Festival, Hard Rock, Howard Stern, Iggy Pop, Interview, Jeff Buckley, Jimmy Page, Jungle, Led Zeppelin, Leeds, LIttle Monster, Liverpool, London, Matt Helders, Matt Swan, Mike Kerr, Mini Mansions, MTV, Mtv Awards, Music, music interview, Osheaga, Out of the Black, QOTSA, Reading, Reading Festival, Rock music, Royal Blood, Sweden, SXSW, Tame Impala, The Beatles, The Xcerts, Warner Bros, Warner Brothers, Warner Brothers Records
Royal Blood is a mixture of anguished vocals, ferocious drumming and bass that provides intricate detail as well as a rumble of rhythm. Royal Blood are the result of a lineage that stretches from present day heroes Queens of the Stone Age to the influential Led Zeppelin, and all the way back to early blues pioneers.
Yet this wall of sound emerges from just two men: Mike Kerr howls venomous lines such as “I’ve got a gun for a mouth and a bullet with your name on it” as his bass elicits a roar that a blind test would predict is the result of multiple musicians. Meanwhile drummer Ben Thatcher complements his band-mate’s attack with the controlled aggression of a young Dave Grohl. Royal Blood wrap the primal essence of ferocious rock ‘n’ roll power around a surprisingly innate ability to craft deft melodies and soaring hooks. Royal Blood argue that being a duo forces them to find ever more inventive methods to bring their ideas to life.
“We seem to resist every opportunity to do something the easy way and instead come up with a more creative solution,” explains Kerr. “If it gets to a point where we think, how can we progress or can we go even larger, I’d like to think that there’s another creative solution rather than expanding the line-up with additional musicians.”
Kerr and Thatcher first met as teenagers and have been playing music together ever since. Kerr experimented with other instruments before settling on the bass & a unique cocktail of pedal & amps. Thatcher was given a drum kit for his sixth birthday and has remained committed to his instrument ever since. Thatcher, they laugh, is the organised and borderline OCD counterpoint to the chaotic and impulsive Kerr.
Things have moved fast since the duo formed Royal Blood at the start of 2012. Their pulverising debut single ‘Out of the Black’ earned significant national airplay, a feat which was repeated when the b-side ‘Come On Over’ gained further attention. Press acclaim followed likewise – NME, Clash, DIY and others – which resulted in Royal Blood being the only rock band to be named in the long list for the BBC Sound of 2014 poll. Further endorsement arrived courtesy of Arctic Monkeys and Foals – two bands whom Royal Blood truly admire.
The coming months will see Royal Blood release the long awaited second single ‘Little Monster’, embark upon a headline tour in February and then hit the NME Awards Tour on a bill headed by Interpol. Longer term, there’s the prospect of their upcoming debut album and the opening slot at Arctic Monkeys’ two sold-out shows at Finsbury Park.
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa had a chance to catch up with Royal Blood while on the road. Read more in their interview below.
How was Coachella for you guys?
Awesome. Our first time and we loved it, little bit hot though…
How did you come up with the name Royal Blood?
No interesting story behind this one, as simple as putting the words together and thinking it sounded good!
Royal Blood has many big fans & supporters like: Arctic Monkeys, Howard Stern, and Led Zepplin’s Jimmy Page. For those that are not as familiar with you and your music, how did you get your start in music and meet one another?
We met at a talent show, Ben was performing. We’ve been friends for over 10 years now and been a few different bands together. Then we tried this version, with just me & Ben and it worked really well, and that was that really.
Who are your musical influences?
Quite wide-ranging but the usual, Led Zeppelin, QOTSA, Jeff Buckley, Beach Boys, The Beatles. Ben’s got a tendency for pop, as do I, there are probably too many influences to list.
Who is in your current playlist?
Tame Impala, Bass Drum Of Death, The Xcerts, Mini Mansions, and Jungle.
What’s on tap next for you guys?
Got a little bit of a break before the North American tour starts at the end of May – and then it’s a bit full on from there till October. Trying to find pockets of time to write and record – keen to get started on the next record!
To learn more about ROYAL BLOOD , visit them HERE .