Royal Blood is amixture of anguished vocals, ferocious drumming and bass that providesintricate detail as well as a rumble of rhythm. Royal Blood are the result of alineage that stretches from present day heroes Queens of the Stone Age to theinfluential Led Zeppelin, and all the way back to early blues pioneers
Yet this wall ofsound emerges from just two men: Mike Kerr howls venomous lines such as “I’vegot a gun for a mouth and a bullet with your name on it” as his bass elicits aroar that a blind test would predict is the result of multiple musicians. Meanwhiledrummer Ben Thatcher complements his band-mate’s attack with the controlledaggression of a young Dave Grohl. Royal Blood wrap the primal essence offerocious rock ‘n’ roll power around a surprisingly innate ability to craftdeft melodies and soaring hooks.
Kerr is onlywilling to describe that eureka moment of sonic experimentation as the resultof “three amps and a secret code of pedals” played on a collection of £220small scale bass guitars. He invested in more expensive equipment but found itcouldn’t match the brute power of the cheaper alternatives
Royal Blood arguethat being a duo forces them to find ever more inventive methods to bring theirideas to life. “Weseem to resist every opportunity to do something the easy way and instead comeup with a more creative solution,” explains Kerr. “If it gets to a point where we think, howcan we progress or can we go even larger, I’d like to think that there’sanother creative solution rather than expanding the line-up with additionalmusicians.”
Kerr and Thatcherfirst met as teenagers and have been playing music together ever since. Kerrexperimented with other instruments before settling on the bass & a uniquecocktail of pedal & amps. Thatcher was given a drum kit for his sixthbirthday and has remained committed to his instrument ever since. Thatcher,they laugh, is the organised and borderline OCD counterpoint to the chaotic andimpulsive Kerr.
Things movedquickly after the duo formed Royal Blood at the start of 2012. Theirpulverising debut single ‘Out of the Black’ earned significant nationalairplay, a feat which was repeated when the b-side ‘Come On Over’ gainedfurther attention. Press acclaim followed likewise, which contributed to RoyalBlood being the only rock band to be named in the longlist for the BBC Sound of2014 poll.
After completingthe annual NME tour early in the year, last summer saw Royal Blood’s profileexplode on the back of a series of memorable performances at festivalsincluding Reading, Leeds and Download, as well as huge outdoor shows withArctic Monkeys and The Pixies.
Widely acclaimed asone of the finest rock albums in a long time, the duo’s self-titled debutentered the charts at #1 as the highest charting debut rock album in threeyears. Still maintaining a strong chart position and fast approaching Platinumstatus, the album’s domestic success is also translatinginternationally with another #1 in Ireland, Top 10 positions in Australia, NewZealand, Switzerland and on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums, plus Top 20 placingsin numerous countries across Europe. At Spotify, Royal Blood have passed 32million plays.
Highlights of theremainder of the year included their UK and Ireland tour which sold-outentirely within just two minutes and includes two debut London headline dates;a nomination for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize Album of the Year; and therelease of the single ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’.
RoyalBlood are already plotting big things for 2015. Having already confirmed threegargantuan summer stadium shows with Foo Fighters in June as well as theirbiggest headline tour to date which kicks off next month, their next single‘Out of the Black’ will impact on February 23rd.
The duo are also incontention for a plethora of major accolades having already collected theiTunes Breakthrough Artist of the Year. They’re confirmed to play at the BRITAwards at which they’re nominated in the categories of British Album, BritishGroup and British Breakthrough Act. They’ve also been nominated for seven NMEAwards, including the major titles of Best British Band, Best Album, Best LiveBand and Best New Band.