hmv.com talks to Royal Blood @ The Great Escape
With Brighton duo Royal Blood ready to take Brighton’s Corn Exchange by storm at The Great Escape, we caught up with Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher from the band to talk about their new album, their plans for 2014 and why every day is a highlight…
So where are you up to with the album?
Mike: "We’re pretty much done, we’re at a point where were happy with it and we’re really proud of it. It’s a weird mixture of feelings right now because we really want to get it out there but we’ve still got a bit of time left to write stuff for it, so we’ll keep writing up until the last minute."
Have you got a release date yet?
Mike: "I think August is the plan."
Who’s producing it?
Mike: "Well, me and Ben are basically producing it together with a guy called Tom Dalgety, he’s working with us in the studio helping us engineer it. We did some early demos with him and they worked, so you know, if it isn’t broken…"
Ben: "We did our first ever recordings with him, so very early on he was a part of what we were doing and kind of grew with us as we went along."
Mike: "Totally. I think he understands our sound better than anyone else really. We’re lucky that we’ve developed an understanding like that, with me and Ben writing songs together and Tom writing with us, it’s been great."
Is there one of you that does the writing?
Mike: "No, it’s both of us together and, you know, I guess the strength we have as a two piece is each other’s opinions, trusting each other’s judgement."
Are there any artists you feel have been a big influence on the record, musically?
Mike: "Well, for me I guess Jeff Buckley, Queens of the Stone Age and Led Zeppelin are the main ones, but I think our band’s sound is kind of a mixture of the common ground me and Ben have musically, our common interests."
You’ve known each other for a long time, right?
Mike: "Yeah, since we were fifteen! So yeah, we know each other really well, we know how to write together and play together, there’s a level of understanding there."
Have you got any guests on the album?
Ben: "No, it’s just us two."
Is it just going to be the two of you on stage for the show tonight?
Mike: "It is, yeah, contrary to popular belief it seems, but when we play live it’s just the two of us. Even on the recordings as well, it’s just bass, no guitars. It’s pretty much exactly the same approach in the studio as it is live."
You’ve had a pretty busy few months, what does the rest of 2014 have in store for you?
Ben: "We’re doing a lot of summer festivals, we’re doing Glastonbury, we’re doing Download, Leeds, T in the Park, loads of European festivals, one of them is Northsdie in Denmark. Lollapalooza which we’re also doing, we’re looking forward to that. So yeah, loads gigs, loads of travelling and then finally the album coming out at the end."
The band’s been together only for around a year now but you’ve had an incredible start, what have been the highlights for you so far?
Mike: "Brixton Academy was an amazing show."
Ben: "Yeah, Brixton was incredible. Each time we play somewhere new it’s great for us, I mean we just played our fist shows in Germany at the weekend, in Berlin and Hamburg, and we’ve totally filled the venues. We’re like ‘but we’ve never even been here before!’ So that was amazing to us, all these people singing along. Even tonight, playing at the Corn Exchange in our home town for the first time, it’s a great experience."
Mike: "Every day is a highlight at the moment! We’re really lucky."
So obviously this is a bit of a homecoming for you guys, was your first gig in Brighton?
Ben: "Our first show was actually in Worthing, in the Tangerine Bar, and it was the day after we formed the band."
Really?! How many songs did you have?
Ben: "We played four! First rehearsal on the day…"
Mike: "I made up some pretty stinky lyrics…"
Ben: "But it worked!"