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Interview: Royal Blood


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I join Ben Thatcher in the bath. Not literally, he’s on the phone. Thankfully.

Royal BloodBut aside from keeping clean, Ben and Mike Kerr make up Royal Blood, a band that after just over a year in existence are the hottest rock tip around.

Their ascension all began between Christmas and New Year in 2012. “Mike and I had been mates before so we decided to do some recordings. Mike put one of the songs online on a popular blog (Killing Moon) and they put it as their track of the day. Things pretty much blew up from there”.

From the off they had something distinct about them.  ‘Out of the Black’ was their first single. “It was by far the heaviest song that we’d done so we thought, “why not just put it out? No one’s heard of us”. We wanted to see what the reaction was”.

The reaction was more than they had hoped for.

“Zane [Lowe] picked it up and was a keen advocate and the Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders was really into us so he wore one of our t-shirts at Glastonbury”.

Then came ‘Little Monster’, a track that reached No. 1 in the UK Rock Charts. Hearing the song their instant success makes sense. It delivers a face first plunge into nicely overdriven riffs and powerful yet unstrained vocals from Mike.

But it is live where Royal Blood are really a revelation. The video for ‘Little Monster’ filmed at Sheffield’s The Harley, explicitly depicts one of their rustic performances and the energy that spills over into the crowd with crowd-surfing and an abundance of head-banging.

Ben claims The Harley is one his favourite venues: “It was the first gig to sell out on the tour, so we were really pumped for that gig. You can see how great it was from the video!”

The video’s passionate crowd is consistent for their other appearances: “We’re definitely growing! You have the odd super fan who comes to loads of shows…crazy kids. We’ve simply just loved playing to crowds that know our songs and it’s just been an exciting kind of time overall”.

The positivity they’ve received so far puts them in good stead for the summer. So where are they looking forward to playing?

“Everywhere! I look forward to playing every gig so it’s hard to pick. We’ve just come off our first UK headline tour and we enjoyed every single date on that. We didn’t really play any festivals last year so we can’t wait to play some soon. We went to Glastonbury and we can’t wait to play that at some stage. To us it’s THE festival, the biggest and best…definitely”.

With nearly twenty dates currently confirmed for the coming months, Royal Blood clearly spend a lot of time in each other’s pockets.

Surprisingly, even being only a two-piece they don’t tend to get under each other’s skin: “I thought we would have by now. But we’ve kind of got this mutual respect, and because we’re together so much we know each other well. It’s kind of like a musical relationship, a marriage, you’ve gotta give each other space. It just works for us”.

Their biggest exposure will be their supporting slots for both Pixies and Arctic Monkeys.

All this momentum must be culminating in more recorded material, maybe an album?

 “Definitely! We plan to release this year. We’ve got a few more singles to come out before then but then we should be releasing around late summer”.

For the next year they hope to be doing the same as they already have been. “Hopefully our fan base will grow and in the mean time we’ll be still writing music and continue being really raw and just simply having a good time”.

The duo want to keep their rock ‘raw’ with tunes that are predominantly about energy with less brain and more heart.

Speaking of hearts…Royal Blood? Do they hate the royal family? Do they want to kill them?

“Not at all, we’re big fans. If anything we wish we had some royal blood in us”.

Enjoy the rest of your bath Ben.

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