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At the start of 2013, Mike Kerr returned to the UK after 9 months of travelling. He was met at the airport by his friend, Ben Thatcher. On the drive back to Worthing the pair decided that they should form a rock band. As ideas go, it was a pretty good one, and Royal Blood was born. In that car neither of them could have imagined that by the summer they would find themselves with Arctic Monkeys management, signed by a major label, with a plethora of famous fans included Matt Helders (who famously wore the band’s T-Shirt during the Arctic Monkeys’ headline slot at 2013’s Glastonbury), Dave Grohl and Jimmy Page, and being hailed as the saviours of guitar rock.
Over the next year the band’s ascent into the stratosphere was unstoppable. They redefined what was sonically possible for a two man band, played their debut slot at Glastonbury to an overflowing John Peel tent, performed at SXSW and Radio 1’s Big Weekend, and supported the Arctic Monkeys at Finsbury Park. In January 2014 they gained the distinction of being the only rock band on the BBC Sound Of 2014 list. But it wasn’t just their live performances were getting all the attention as they received critical acclaim and commercial success for their singles ‘Out Of The Black’, ‘Little Monster’, ‘Come On Over’ and ‘Figure It Out’. By the time their debut album, Royal Blood, was released on August 25th 2014 the band had sold out multiple UK tours and begun to conquer the rest of the world – touring the US both for their own headline shows and in support of The Pixies.
Royal Blood was the fastest selling British rock debut in three years, hitting Number One in the UK and going Top Twenty in twelve countries, including the US. They were lauded with awards including NME Awards for Best New Band and Best Live Band, the Kerrang! Best British Newcomer Award, and the Q Award for Best Live Act. Their astonishing couple of years was topped off when they were presented with the BRIT Award for Best British Band in 2015 – handed to them by Jimmy Page.
By the time Royal Blood took a break at end of 2015 they had become one of the biggest new British rock bands in the world; touring stadiums with Foo Fighters, and playing iconic sets at world famous festivals across the globe such as Rock Werchter (Belgium), Best Kept Secret (Netherlands), Reading & Leeds (UK), Hurricane & Southside (Germany), Laneway (Australia), Fuji Rock (Japan), Rock In Rio (Brazil), Oshega (Canada) and Coachella (USA).
After taking a much needed break Royal Blood began to work on new material in their down time. After travelling to America in 2016 to refresh their creative impulses (“it felt exciting to keep it moving… subconsciously, we weren’t very comfortable staying still,” explains Ben) the band decamped to Brussels to record what would become their sophomore album, How Did We Get So Dark?. Ben, Mike, and producer Joyon Thomas spent six weeks, starting in November 2016, chronicling the dissolution of Mike’s love life on the ten track album that would, again, see them at the top of the UK Album charts.
How Did We Get So Dark? was released by Warner Records on 16th June 2017 and the band found themselves once again sound-tracking people’s summer with their distinctive bluesy dirty rock.
“Every song for us is like a live weapon,” explains Mike; weapons that were deployed to ferocious effect when the band headlined their first arena tour of Europe in 2017. The tour was a success and the band headed to the other side of the globe for 2018; supporting The Killers in Peru, Queens Of The Stone Age in the US, and Pearl Jam in Brazil, as well as headlining the Cattleyard Stage at Groovin The Moo (Australia).
Royal Blood return to the world’s stages at a time when uncertainty reigns and audiences crave the cathartic release the chance to let loose. The band are heading into the last year of the decade with more energy than ever, and with a sonic force that brings the primal essence of ferocious rock’n’roll, soaring hooks and deft melodies. Their pulverising sound creating the perfect opportunity for audiences to forget their worries, live in the moment, and give into the power of rock.