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Interview:
Royal Blood at Saint Andrews, 5 Things To Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Back in 2014 Royal Blood stormed out of Brighton, England, and surprised the rock world as a bass-and-drums duo that sounded like a fully fleshed-out rock band.

Singer-bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher were an immediate sensation, scoring hits such as “Out Of The Black” and “Little Monster” from their self-titled 2014 debut album, playing all the major festivals and touring with Foo Fighters. Now the duo is back with a second album, “How Did We Get So Dark?,” which has already spawned more success via the tracks “Lights Out and “Hook, Like & Sinker.”

Kerr and Thatcher, meanwhile, plan to shine some light on “...Dark?,” with a heavy regimen of touring to support it around the world.

• Kerr says he and Thatcher are well aware that three years has passed between Royal Blood’s two albums. “We’ve been away, I guess, on paper for 18 months,” he notes by phone from New York. “So, yeah, it definitely feels like the Royal Blood roller coaster was put on pause briefly. But it’s great to be back; I think as soon as the first gig was under our belt it felt like the boys were back, so, yeah, we’re loving it.”

• Making “How Did We Get So Dark?” was a markedly different experience from the “Royal Blood” album. “It was starting from scratch, essentially,” Kerr explains. “It’s so cliche but everyone talks about how you have your whole life to write your first album and your second one you don’t. This one was a blank page, and I guess you look at that in two ways -- you get kind of intimidated by the pressure of the work load, or you see it as a platform for inspiration that you can build a real body of work rather than this kind of greatest hits thing.”

• Kerr says a couple of the new album’s tracks, including “Hook, Line & Sinker” and “Where Are You” have been around since about late 2015, but the rest “seemed to emerge one by one. We spent a good part of the year writing and doing nothing but writing. It wasn’t until we hit the studio that the record came together. We had lots of ideas and lots of songs written, and in the studio we started to cull what wasn’t going to make the cut. It was just a different experience.”

• Plenty of time on the road has seasoned Kerr and Thatcher as a band, the bassist says. “We just have more experience under our belts,” he notes. “I think the world of touring is taking us to a whole new kind of realm, I guess. That’s nothing you can by. It’s experience, and the chemistry between Ben and myself is enhanced and strengthened both musically and emotionally.”

• So for a group that has so much going for it, how did the new album wind up being called “How Did We Get So Dark?” “Initially it made us laugh, I think,” Kerr says. “The one thing we liked about the title is that it has many interpretations, which makes it more interesting. Also, in the context of the songs on the record, ‘How did we get so dark?’ felt like it was summarizing a lot of the themes on the record, so it was a good title



If You Go:

• Royal Blood

• Friday, June 9. Doors open at 8 p.m.

• Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.

• Tickets are $30.

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

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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