Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr on the power of friendship and touring Australia
Mike Kerr makes up one half of British rock duo Royal Blood. Embarking on their Australian tour from April 24, Kerr and other half Ben Thatcher have been enjoying all that Australia has to offer – after a day of rest to account for jetlag, that is.
“We’ve been out on the town, enjoying the sights,” Kerr says.
“It’s been great to be back in Australia honestly, it’s one of our favourite places to be.”
The shows will feature an extensive line-up; an exciting prospect for Kerr, who prides himself on making the performances authentic, with no trace of pre-recorded tracks.
“One of the features on the new album is there have been a lot more vocals and a lot more harmonies and background vocals, which we wanted to have in the show,” he says animatedly.
“A lot of people may not realise that we don’t play to backing tracks or a deck track or anything like that. Everything has to be live and everything has to be real.”
On their second album, How Did We Get So Dark?, the boys felt an immense amount of pressure after the surprise success of their self-titled debut. To alleviate this pressure, it was a matter of returning to their roots.
“It almost felt like trying to tell the same joke twice,” Kerr says bluntly.
“As the songs began revealing themselves and as things started to come together, we were reminded of how we began, and why we started the band, which was to have fun and make music for ourselves, and make music that was fun to play.”
The formation of Royal Blood is one that may sound familiar; the childhood friends got together to make their joy of playing music together a profession. The finer points of this plan, however, are intriguing.
Our only business plan was ‘how do we make back our 300 pounds we spent recording the album?
Singing high praises of his bandmate, Kerr speaks animatedly of Thatcher’s strength.
“Ben’s the greatest drummer I know, and I would say is one of the best drummers in the world, so it was fairly obvious that I wanted him in my band.”
A singer first and foremost, Kerr decided to teach himself the bass- to the amusement of Thatcher and his peers.
“It was quite funny at the time really, because he was like ‘what are you doing playing bass?’ and I was like ‘I’m singing as well.’” he says with a laugh.
“The in-joke with our friends is that it’s funny that I’m considered a singer and a bass player.”
You might think that creating a band and releasing an album requires some kind of roadmap. This was not the case for Kerr and Thatcher.
“A lot of people think we sat down and came up with a business plan, but our only business plan was ‘how do we make back our 300 pounds we spent recording the album?’”
At its core, Royal Blood has its foundation in the pair’s strong friendship; a “secret recipe” for success, as Kerr would put it.
“I’ve noticed that the better our friendship has gotten over the years, the better we’ve become at playing with each other onstage,” he says.
“It’s something I perhaps already knew, but I think I’m seeing the fruits of that, and it’s reminded me that great chemistry makes great music.”
ROYAL BLOOD AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES – APRIL 2018
|SATURDAY 28TH APRIL 2018||GROOVIN THE MOO, MAITLAND NSW|
|SUNDAY 29TH APRIL 2018||GROOVIN THE MOO, CANBERRA ACT|
|SATURDAY 5TH MAY 2018||GROOVIN THE MOO, BENDIGO VIC|
|SUNDAY 6TH MAY 2018||GROOVIN THE MOO, TOWNSVILLE QLD|
|MONDAY 7TH MAY 2018||RIVERSTAGE, BRISBANE|
|WEDNESDAY 9TH MAY 2018||MARGARET COURT ARENA, MELBOURNE|
|FRIDAY 11TH MAY 2018||GROOVIN THE MOO, BUNBURY WA|
|SUNDAY 13TH MAY 2018||HBF STADIUM, PERTH|