Royal Blood (band)
Royal Blood performing in July 2017
Royal Blood are an English rock duo formed in Brighton in 2011, consisting of Mike Kerr (vocals, bass guitar) and Ben Thatcher (drums). Their sound is anchored in Kerr's unique bass playing technique, in which he uses various effects pedals to make his bass guitar sound like a standard electric guitar. Their self-titled debut album was released in August 2014. Their second album How Did We Get So Dark? followed in June 2017.
2011–2015: Formation and debut album
Royal Blood consists of lead vocalist and bass guitarist Mike Kerr (born 19 June 1990) and drummer Ben Thatcher (born 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, Flavour Country, in which Kerr played keyboards and the keytar.
Royal Blood formed in March 2011, after Kerr met original drummer Matt Swan in Brighton. They relocated to Australia, where Swan was originally from, and recorded an EP in Brisbane. The first single, "Leaving" (later re-recorded and renamed "Come On Over"), was premiered on triple j in 2012. The band played around the Brisbane and Gold Coast area, before Kerr ultimately elected to return to the UK. When Kerr returned to England, Thatcher picked him up from the airport and the two decided to form a band. Initially, the new version of Royal Blood "couldn't get a gig in Worthing for months." 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.
On 11 November 2013, Royal Blood released their official debut single, "Out of the Black", which came with the B-side of the re-recorded "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, won the Best Art Vinyl award in 2014.
A video clip for "Out of the Black" entered rotation as part of cable network AXN Japan's "AXN Tunes" programme in October 2014; music videos aired on-the-hour as filler, in between their regularly scheduled timetabled 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 selected 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.
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.
2016–2018: How Did We Get So Dark?
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.
On 29 March 2016, the band released a new track, "Where Are You Now?" inspired by the American TV series Vinyl. The song was later re-recorded during the making of their second album How Did We Get So Dark?
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.
2019–present: Upcoming third studio album
In June 2019, Kerr and Thatcher presented Jimmy Page with the Icon Award at the Kerrang! Awards. The following month, Royal Blood debuted two new songs, "Boilermaker" and "King", in Wiesbaden, Germany. In March 2020, the band announced they were in the process of studio recording the new album.
Musical style and influences
Kerr has named his vocal influences as Josh Homme, Robert Plant, Jack White, and Jeff Buckley. Thatcher has referred to John Bonham, Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Jon Theodore, Roger Taylor, and Chad Smith as the biggest influences on his drumming style. The duo have cited At the Drive-In, The Dead Weather, Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, and The Raconteurs as influences on their overall sound.
- Current members
- Mike Kerr – vocals, bass, keyboards, piano (2011–present)
- Ben Thatcher – drums, percussion (2013–present)
- Former members
- Matt Swan – drums, percussion (2011–2013)
Awards and nominations
|2014||BBC||Sound of 2014||Nominated|||
|Mercury Prize||Album of the Year||Nominated|||
|2015||NME Awards||Best Live Band||Won|||
|Best New Band||Won|
|Brit Awards||Best British Group||Won|||
|Kerrang! Awards||Best British Newcomer||Won|||
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Rock||Nominated|||
|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|||
- Kerr, Scott. "Royal Blood – Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Zuel, Bernard (28 February 2015). "When two and the blues is more than enough for Royal Blood". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Houle, Zachary (23 September 2014). "Royal Blood: Royal Blood". PopMatters. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- Milton, Jamie (23 September 2013). "Royal Blood Share 'Out Of The Black' Track". This Is Fake DIY. Archived from the original on 26 September 2013.
- Quinton, Jon (21 December 2016). "How does Mike Kerr from Royal Blood sound so good?". onlineguitarlessons.co.uk. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
- Barker, Emily (16 September 2014). "Royal Blood: Everything You Need To Know About The Brighton Duo". NME.
- Parrish, Charlie (20 February 2015). "Royal Blood interview: 'There's such a poor community for new bands. It's a really bad thing for British music'". The Telegraph.
- "MATT SWAN [swanny] - The B Side Agency". The B-Side Agency.
- "Leaving by Royal Blood". J Play. Seventh Street Media. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
- "Royal Blood at Oh Hello!". Brisbanemusicandculture.wordpress.com. 12 April 2012. Archived from the original on 10 July 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- "Royal Blood start a band after living on the Gold Coast..." Triple J. 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014.
- "Royal Blood Interview". Triple J. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- "Brighton's Royal Blood shortlisted for BBC's Sound of 2014". The Argus. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- Bulley, Jenny (5 July 2013). "Royal Blood – Figure It Out". Mojo. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- Lester, Paul (2 December 2013). "Royal Blood (New band of the day No 1,652)". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- "XFM's Great X-Pectations #1: Royal Blood". XFM. 6 January 2014. Archived from the original on 26 January 2014.
- "BBC Sound of 2014 longlist revealed". BBC News. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- "iTunes Store". iTunes. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
- Rayner, Ben (15 March 2014). "UK duo Royal Blood heard above the noise at SXSW". Toronto Star. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
- "Liverpool Sound City 2015". Liverpool Sound City. Archived from the original on 7 May 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
- "BBC – Glastonbury 2014 – Line up". BBC. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
- "Arctic Monkeys to headline". Reading Festival 2015. Archived from the original on 27 October 2014.
- Stevens, Jenny (23 June 2014). "Royal Blood reveal debut album details with studio video – watch". NME. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- Moss, Liv (31 August 2014). "Royal Blood score fastest-selling rock debut in three years". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 10 January 2015.
- Burns, Michael (6 January 2015). "Best album cover art: See the winners of the Best Art Vinyl 2014 awards". DigitalArtsOnline.co.uk. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
- AXN Japan; Sony Pictures Entertainment |Royal Blood "Out of the Black" |Warner Music Japan |"AXN TUNES" video clip rotation, 9 October 2014~
- "Royal Blood announce a major 2015 European tour". Fit4Talent.com. 17 October 2014. Archived from the original on 26 October 2014.
- Hann, Michael (25 February 2015). "Royal Blood win best British group at Brit awards 2015". The Guardian.
- Testa, Jessica (1 April 2016). "Royal Blood's New Track Has The Makings Of A Modern Rock Hit". howlandechoes.com.
- Myers, Justin (23 June 2017). "Royal Blood rule the Official Albums Chart to score a second Number 1 with How Did We Get So Dark?". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
- Morgan Britton, Luke (23 June 2017). "Royal Blood beat Nickelback and Lorde to UK albums number one spot". NME. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
- "WayHome Music & Arts Festival 2017 line-up". 103.9 Proud FM. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- "Royal Blood – New 2017 UK Shows – Latest Music News + Gig Tickets From Get To The Front – Music News Magazine". 19 April 2017.
- "Glastonbury Festival Line-up 2017: Wed 21st – Sun 25th June 2017". Glastonbury Festival.
- Schatz, Lake (4 December 2017). "Royal Blood announce 2018 US headlining tour". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
- Kerrang!, issue 1779, 29 June 2019, p. 28.
- "Royal Blood on Instagram: "Self isolation has begun. For the next five weeks we will be in the studio recording an album. Stay tuned into our stories and I will keep…"". Instagram. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
- Robertson, Derek (17 October 2014). "Ace of Bass: DiS Meets Royal Blood". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
- Jodice, Noah (4 October 2015). "Royal Blood's Ben Thatcher talks influences, writing process". Student Life. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
- Trendell, Andrew (24 June 2017). "Royal Blood on being supported by At The Drive-In: 'We're still going to fanboy over them'". NME. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
- Full Metal Jackie (28 March 2014). "Royal Blood's Mike Kerr talks early attention, working as a duo + influences". Loudwire. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
- Pollard, Alexandra (8 August 2014). "Royal Blood: 'We're inspired by early Muse'". Gigwise. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
- "Mercury Prize 2014: The nominees". BBC News. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
- "The full winners list at NME Awards 2015 with Austin, Texas revealed". NME. 18 February 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
- "All Time Low win two prizes at this year's Kerrang! rock awards". BBC Newsbeat. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
- "Taylor Swift lands record number of MTV Europe Music Award nominations". BBC Newsbeat. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
- Sherwin, Adam (19 October 2015). "Q Awards 2015: Foals beat Ed Sheeran and Blur to win Best Act In the World Today". The Independent. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
- Ellis, David (9 September 2015). "Foo Fighters, AC/DC, Royal Blood and The Who all nominated for Classic Rock awards at Camden Roundhouse". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
- "GMA Awards 2015... as it happened". Global Metal Apocalypse. 30 December 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
- "Nominations for LOS40 Music Awards 2017". fans40madrid.blogspot.com (in Spanish). November 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
- "Brit Awards 2018: The winners and nominees". BBC News. 13 January 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2018.