Royal Blood (band)
|Years active||2011 - present|
Royal Blood are an English rock duo formed by Mike Kerr (vocals, bass guitar) and Ben Thatcher (drums) in Worthing in 2011. Their sound is anchored by Kerr's unique bass playing style, which sees him using various effects pedals and amps to make his bass guitar sound like a standard electric guitar and bass guitar at the same time. Their self-titled debut album was released in August 2014, with their second album How Did We Get So Dark? following in June 2017, and their third album Typhoons in April 2021.
2011–2015: Formation and debut album
Royal Blood consists of lead vocalist and bassist Mike Kerr (born 19 June 1990) from Worthing and drummer Ben Thatcher (born 12 February 1988) from Rustington. They first met around 2005 when they were teenagers; 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 in Worthing in March 2011, after Kerr met original drummer Matt Swan. They relocated to Swan's home country of Australia, where they recorded an EP in Brisbane. The first single, "Leaving", premiered on Australian radio station Triple J in 2012; it would later be re-recorded and renamed "Come On Over". The band played around the Brisbane and Gold Coast area, before Kerr eventually decided to return to Worthing. He was picked up at the airport by Thatcher and the two decided to form a band together while retaining the Royal Blood name.
Initially, the new duo "couldn't get a gig in Worthing for months" and "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 this time that they were signed by Warner/Chappell Music. They joined the same management company as the band Arctic Monkeys. During the summer of 2013, Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders wore a Royal Blood shirt during the Arctic Monkeys' Glastonbury Festival concert.
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 Rock Werchter and 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 twice at Rock Werchter and at 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. The song "Careless" is used as the opening theme of the French version of the TV show Tattoo Fixers.
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. Royal Blood were part of the WayHome Music & Arts Festival 2017 Line-up in Oro-Medonte, Ontario. 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. In May 2018, Royal Blood went on a headlining US tour in continued support of their second album, which included more acts alongside Queens of the Stone Age.
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 had begun recording their third studio album, though production was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 24 September 2020, the band released "Trouble's Coming", the first single from their third studio album Typhoons. In October 2020, the single was featured as a part of both the NHL 21 and FIFA 21 soundtracks.
On 21 January 2021, the second single "Typhoons" was released, along with the announcement of the album itself, which was released on 30 April 2021 and features the previously previewed track "Boilermaker". Royal Blood contributed a cover of the Metallica song "Sad But True" to the charity tribute album The Metallica Blacklist, released in September 2021.
- Mike Kerr – vocals, bass, keyboards, piano, guitar (2011–present)
- Ben Thatcher – drums, percussion, piano (2013–present)
- Matt Swan – drums, percussion (2011–2013)
- Joe Dennis – guitar (2011–2012)
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|||
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- AXN Japan; Sony Pictures Entertainment |Royal Blood "Out of the Black" |Warner Music Japan |"AXN TUNES" video clip rotation, 9 October 2014~
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- Hann, Michael (25 February 2015). "Royal Blood win best British group at Brit awards 2015". The Guardian.
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- 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…"". Retrieved 21 March 2020 – via Instagram.
- "Royal Blood tell us about 'Trouble's Coming' and their new album: "We're seeing in colour for the first time"". 24 September 2020.
- He, Richard S. (10 September 2021). "Every Metallica Blacklist cover ranked from worst to best". loudersound. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
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- "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.
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- "Nominations for LOS40 Music Awards 2017". fans40madrid.blogspot.com (in Spanish). November 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
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