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Interview:
Britain's Royal Blood focuses on the bass-ics
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

We've had plenty of guitar-drum and keyboard-drum duos in the pop music landscape. Now comes a bass-drum tandem -- and it's the hottest new rock band on the planet right now.

Royal Blood hails for England, where it's been championed by Arctic Monkeys and scored a pair of No. 1 rock chart singles with "Out of the Black" and "Little Monster." That's stoked anticipation for the group's self-titled Aug. 25 debut album, whose first single, "Figure It Out," is making noise on both sides of the Atlantic.

"We didn't anticipate any response, really, when we started the band," says singer-bassist Mike Kerr, who started the group during 2012 with drummer Ben Thatcher. "It's crazy to think the band actually started not even two years ago, and we had no real agenda at all from the beginning. We were just having a bit of fun and making some tunes.

"So when I look back and see how far it's come, it's pretty amazing, really."

Kerr, 23, was actually a keyboardist before Thatcher hooked him up to play bass on a session for a friend's album. Kerr continued to develop his style on the instrument, but he says it wasn't until "Figure It Out" came along that he and Thatcher felt like they could make a go of it as a duo.

"It was that song that convinced me we could get away with only having bass and drums," Kerr explains. "I was worried about writing songs that just had riffs and no context or substance. But ('Figure It Out') proved me wrong. I realized we had the dynamics we needed and enough variation, and it convinced me it could be done.

"So that was a really important song to us, and it opened up the door for so many more since, which we can't wait for people to hear."

Royal Blood

Thursday, July 24. Doors open at 8 p.m.

The Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.

Tickets are $16.

Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

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