Royal Blood (band)
Royal Blood performing live in 2017
Royal Blood are an English rock duo formed in Brighton in 2013. The band's sound is reminiscent of and rooted in blues rock and hard rock. Royal Blood consists of only two members, bass player Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher. Kerr's playing style is notable in that his several effects pedals used while recording and performing live allow his bass to sound like a standard lead guitar. Their self-titled debut album was released in August 2014 and their second album, How Did We Get So Dark? followed in June 2017.
Royal Blood consists of lead vocalist and bass guitarist Mike Kerr, born on 19 June 1990, and drummer Ben Thatcher, born on 12 February 1988. The pair are from West Sussex: Kerr grew up in Worthing, while Thatcher is from Rustington. They first met around 2005 when they were teenagers, and for a brief period they were part of the same four-piece band called Flavour Country in which Kerr played keyboards and the keytar.
Royal Blood formed at the beginning of 2013 after Kerr's return to England from a sabbatical in Australia. Kerr had previously used the name Royal Blood whilst in Australia, working with a drummer called Matt Swan. When Kerr returned to England, Thatcher picked him up from the airport and the two decided to form a band. Initially Royal Blood "couldn't get a gig in Worthing for months", and according to Kerr "we ended up just playing a lot of open-mic nights with acoustic singer-songwriters." The band developed their music in the studios of Brighton Electric, and it was during these months that they were signed by Warner/Chappell Music. The band joined the same management company as the band Arctic Monkeys. During the summer of 2013, Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders was seen wearing a shirt supporting Royal Blood (before the release of their first single) during the Arctic Monkeys Glastonbury Festival concert in July 2013.
Self-titled album and touring (2013–2015)
On 11 November 2013, Royal Blood released their debut single, "Out of the Black", which came with a B-side called "Come On Over". In November 2013, it was announced that Royal Blood would be supporting Arctic Monkeys for two Finsbury Park shows in May 2014. In December 2013, Royal Blood were nominated for BBC Sound of 2014.
Royal Blood released their second single, "Little Monster", on 11 February 2014. The band also released a four-track EP Out of the Black, featuring "Out of the Black", "Little Monster", "Come On Over" and "Hole" on 11 March 2014 in North America.
Royal Blood performed at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas in March 2014; at Liverpool Sound City festival and at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend in Glasgow in May; and at Download Festival and Glastonbury Festival in June. They performed at T in the Park festival in July, and at Reading Festival, but got cut short at their Leeds Festival show, as well as Osheaga in August 2014.
Their debut album, Royal Blood, was released on 25 August 2014 on Warner Bros. Records. Well received by critics, it was verified by the Official Charts Company as the fastest-selling British rock debut album in three years in the UK. The cover artwork, by London-based contemporary artist Dan Hillier, went on to win the award for 'Best Art Vinyl' in 2014.
A video clip for "Out of the Black" entered rotation as part of cable network AXN Japan's "AXN Tunes" program in October 2014; music videos aired on-the-hour as filler in between regularly scheduled, syndicated programming.
In October 2014, Royal Blood announced details of their biggest European tour to date, starting in Germany on 10 January, and ending in Sweden on 23 March. The band, along with Iggy Pop, supported Foo Fighters on select dates during their 2015 UK, US and Canada tours.
In February 2015, at the Brit Awards in London, Jimmy Page presented them with the Best British Group Award. In April 2015, they played the Coachella Festival in California, in June 2015 they played the Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati and, in September 2015, they played at the Rock in Rio festival, in Rio de Janeiro.
How Did We Get So Dark? (2015–present)
On 29 and 30 August 2015, Royal Blood played the main stage at Reading and Leeds 2015. During both of these performances, the band revealed a new song, titled "Hook, Line & Sinker". In October 2015, the band had finished touring for their debut album.
On 16 October 2016, a video was uploaded to the band's official Instagram account showing the band in the studio. The video showed Mike Kerr playing the Robbie Williams track "Let Me Entertain You" on piano, with Ben Thatcher recording the video and singing. The video was captioned "Day 1. Robbie Williams #royalblooddocovers". They then continued these short covers on Instagram, covering songs from Vanessa Carlton, Gloria Gaynor, Spandau Ballet, Elton John, Coldplay and Michael Jackson.
Following its announcement on 11 April 2017, Royal Blood released their second album, How Did We Get So Dark? on 16 June 2017, preceded by the singles "Lights Out", "Hook, Line & Sinker" and "I Only Lie When I Love You." It debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart.
In April 2017, Royal Blood announced four UK shows, starting in Cambridge on 17 May and ending in Leicester on 20 May. In June 2017, Royal Blood played at Glastonbury on the Pyramid Stage. In addition, on 5 June, the band announced a tour in Europe on their social media, which took place throughout October and November 2017.
Musical style and influences
Mike Kerr has named his vocal influences as Josh Homme, Robert Plant, Jack White, Jeff Buckley. Ben Thatcher has referred to John Bonham (of Led Zeppelin), Dave Grohl (of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters), Taylor Hawkins (of the Foo Fighters), Jon Theodore (of The Mars Volta and Queens of the Stone Age), Roger Taylor (of Queen), Chad Smith (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) as among the biggest influences on his drumming style.
- Mike Kerr – vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, piano
- Ben Thatcher – drums, percussion, piano, backing vocals
Awards and nominations
|2014||BBC||Sound of 2014||Nominated|
|Mercury Prize||Album of the Year||Nominated|
|2015||NME Awards||Best Live Band||Won|
|NME Awards||Best New Band||Won|
|Brit Awards||Best British Group||Won|
|Kerrang! Awards||Best British Newcomer||Won|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Rock||Nominated|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Push Act||Nominated|
|Q Awards||Best Live Act||Won|
|Classic Rock Magazine Awards||Album of the Year||Nominated|
Global Metal Apocalypse
|Breakthrough Non-Metal band/artist||Won|
|2017||LOS40 Music Awards||LOS40 Blackjack Artist Award||Nominated|
|2018||Brit Awards||Best British Group||Nominated|
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