Interview: Royal Blood Talks Writing their True “First Album”, Not Being Restricted by their Band Size & More

BY DAN GARCIA

Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

Royal Blood is your favorite rock band’s new favorite rock band. The English duo, which is comprised of Mike Kerr (bass/vocals) and drummer Ben Thatcher, only formed a couple years ago but already they have huge co-signs from the Arctic Monkeys, the Foo Fighters, The Script and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, just to name a few. Their biggest single to date, ‘Figure It Out’, from their debut and self-titled album, goes hard and rocks as much as any 5-man rock band. Mike and Ben carry the weight and pressure that the Royal Blood name already holds in its huge expectations, but you wouldn’t guess it from their persona. We sat down with the guys this past month at Bonnaroo to get to know the laid back and confident rockers with a sense of humor.

You guys have received a lot of big co-signs, which one has been the most humbling?

Mike: The Script. The Script are big fans of us.

You guys are going on tour soon with the Foo Fighters, and will be writing the new album while on tour. Have you done that before, writing an album while on tour?

M: No. We’ve never really written an album before. We’ve just made a few demos and put it together, so we kind of see this next one as our first record.

Do you see that as a challenge then?

M: Yeah, if it wasn’t a challenge we’d make it one. So yeah, it will be. This is all just speculation because we’ve only just really begun. So your guess is as good as mine, it’s all exciting stuff.

One thing that is unique about your band is it’s just the two of you, as opposed to a band of a bigger size, yet your music isn’t stripped down and you guys still rock. What do you think the benefits are of your size?

M: I think it’s gotten to the point now where we don’t really care about the pros and cons of the size of our band. It’s more about the quality of songs that we come up with. At no point do we feel restricted in any way. At the end of the day we’re just trying to write a good song with a good groove and a good melody. And you can do that with a fucking matchstick and a phone cord if you wanted to. That was the original thrill.

Ben: If you listened to the Backstreet Boys, I wouldn’t know that there were five guys in that band until you see them.

M: But that doesn’t make you like them less or more.

How was Coachella?

M: It was fuck, really enjoyable! It’s weird doing a festival twice, but it’s kind of cool. It’s like first serve and second serve. The first serve was an ace and the second serve was like a cocky second serve.

B: It’s like going back to your friend’s grandma’s house. The next time you know where to go.

M: You save room for biscuits.

What shows did you see while you were there?

B: Jack White, Jungle, Drake, I saw him and Madonna kissing. Tame Impala. Run The Jewels.

Was any one so good the first weekend that you also made it an effort to see them again the second weekend?

B: Jungle.

M: Father John Misty as well.

And before we wrap up, anyone you’re excited to see while here at Bonnaroo?

M: Tears for Fears.

B: I’m interested in going to see Kendrick.

M: Run The Jewels because I haven’t seen their full set yet.

 

A big thanks to Mike and Ben (Royal Blood) for making us laugh and sitting down with us. If you haven’t been able to catch their energetic live performance yet, catch them on tour all summer long!

 

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