Interview: Royal Blood
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I join Ben Thatcher in the bath. Not literally, he’s on the phone. Thankfully. But 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?
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