An Interview with bassist Mike Kerr
by John Noyd
Brighton, England’s two-piece blues-rock monster ROYAL BLOOD have been making waves ever since their self-titled debut came out last August. As perpetrators of rafter-rattling grooves whose ferocious approach to tight-knitted riffs trip in head-banging bliss, bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher have spread their particularly heavy brand of cosmic gospel around the world, including a jaw-dropping stop in Madison last fall. Circling back around with a headline gig at Madison’s High Noon Saloon May 31st, MAXIMUM INK was fortunate enough to ask hard-wired squire Mike Kerr a few questions before their arrival.
MAXIMUM INK: A lot of accolades came your way since you were last here opening up for the Pixies. Has it been great, a distraction, weird or no big deal?
ROYAL BLOOD: It’s been great, it’s always nice to have people saying complimentary things, especially peers and people that have influenced you and inspired you. At the same time, you don’t dwell on it, you just carry on doing what you’re doing.
MI: You’ve covered The Police’s, “Roxanne,” and Pharrell’s, “Happy.” Is there any song that Royal Blood cannot take on?
RB: Haha – I’ll let you in on a secret, it was a kind of backs against the wall scenario with those covers. But they came off well(just about!), not necessarily our number one choice of covers. It’s difficult to choose songs to cover, you’re programmed to create new music so it’s testing to deviate and then to cover someone else’s music!
MI: Have you ever refused a musical challenge?
RB: Never. As I said above, doing the covers were a musical challenge, but they allowed us to bring our own musical style to it, so it all worked out in the end.
MI: If you could only use one guitar pedal for a show which one would you choose?
RB: That’s a way too difficult question to answer. I love them all! I’m always on the lookout for more pedals too, if I can expand the sound and experiment then I will!
MI: Is there such a thing as Royal Blood unplugged?
RB: In a word, no. I did an acoustic version of Better Strangers for an Australian radio station – but that wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. It’s not how the music we create is supposed to be heard.
MI: Your schedule seems relentless. Do you ever stop playing music?
RB: It’s been hectic that’s for sure, crazy, but great. We’re just happy going out and playing shows every night, we’ve got to travel to some amazing places and we’ve got touring planned up until September, so it’s going to be another busy year for us.
MI: Are you working new material into the set list for this tour?
RB: Not at the moment, we’ve got a few ideas and we’re using our soundchecks to sort of test out some new ideas. Whilst we have all this touring going on we’ve had to adjust to writing on the road, but we’ve definitely got an eye on our second record.
MI: What’s the most American thing you love to do?
For more information check out www.royalbloodband.com or better yet come down to the High Noon Saloon and see what all the fuss is about when Mike and Ben along with opener Mini Mansions do their thing May 31st(2385) Page Views Royal Blood Online:
• Facebook • Wiki
CD: Royal Blood Record Label: Warner Brothers
• Purchase Royal Blood on Amazon