Last year Royal Blood gave the world their riff heavy super catchy second album “How Did We Get So Dark?”. To celebrate the success of the album Royal Blood are currently in Australia kicking off some of their biggest headline show ever down under and appearing at Groovin The Moo festival. We caught up the bands vocalist Mike Kerr to talk about the album and Aussie tour.
How’s 2018 treating you so far?
It’s been brilliant actually. We’ve done a couple of shows with Queens of the Stone Age and we did our first big tour of South America. Now we are here in Australia for a month which is great. This is our fifth time to Australia but we’ve never had the opportunity to properly do a full length tour so this is long overdue.
Huge congrats on your newest album “How Did We Get So Dark?” it was one of our favourites of 2017. Looking back you must be proud of how it turned out?
Yeah, you never know what a record is going to do. For us there was definitely some pressure and anticipation on what we would release next. It’s nice to know it was enjoyed.
Our favourite track from the album is “Lights Out”. How did that one come about in the writing process?
I actually wrote that song with a friend of mine called John Barrett who I met in Australia about five years ago. Since then his band has been on the road with us through America. I was living in LA for about five months after the first album and ran into John at a bar and we ended up going back to where I was staying. I showed him the songs that I had been writing for the new album. I had the beginning for what is now “lights out”. He basically chipped in and helped me finish it that night. I don’t usually write songs with other people but it all happened very naturally.
What was the experience like making the video for “Lights Out”?
Very fun actually. Videos can be very boring and monotonous with lots of sitting around. But this one was fun, for people who haven’t seen it we are in a tank full of milk with the national ballet, with strobes going off. It was crazy and fun. The guys that made it are very talented. We felt like we’d never really made a good music video that we were in so that was the aim. I think it’s one of our best ones.
With both of your albums literally any song could be a single. Does that mean you are a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to culling down the songs that make it onto the album?
I think I just like records that aren’t too long and that you can play two or three times in a row. The way that me and Ben construct songs is we like things to be very lean and minimal. Which is probably why all of our songs are so short as well. We like things to be really snappy just naturally that’s probably why it sounds the way it does.
I was over in Germany last year and watched your set at Hurricane Festival. You guys absolutely blew me away. Do you have any memories of that show?
I do actually yeah. We had just played Glastonbury so it was kind of unfair perhaps not to dis Hurricane festival. But we had quite a big moment on the Glastonbury main stage in England so we were a bit hung over when we did Hurricane because it was the next day. But I do remember it being really fun and John who I mentioned earlier was there watching us from the watch tower at the back which was very funny. I do enjoy doing those festivals actually both Southside and Hurricane.
You must be pretty excited to be back in Australia playing your biggest shows here and playing Groovin The Moo festival?
Yeah it’s amazing to see how we’ve grown here especially since I lived in Australia for a little bit as well. It’s important to me and feels special compared to other parts of the world.
What was it like the first time you played Splendour in the Grass?
The first Splendour in the Grass was kind of crazy I name dropped the town I was living in while in Australia. Dedicated a couple of songs to that. It was one of the first moments where we really felt like Australia had adopted us. We had a sense of belonging in Australia it was a huge crowd and everyone was really supportive of what we were doing.
Is there anything that you look forward to when you are in Australia?
Well I love food and I love seafood. So I’m a big fan of getting my hands on Moreton Bay Bugs.
With all of the world tours and success of the band is it difficult to stop some times and live in the moment?
It is you know but I feel like this time around on this album I think that’s something that I’ve got much better at. The first time we started playing big shows and festivals it was such a rollercoaster and mad experience. It felt like we were doing something for the first time everyday. You just try and survive it and not fail at it whereas this time around I feel more comfortable in my shoes and with the band in general. I’m having a lot more fun on the road in general playing for loads of people has been really, really fun.
(interview by Christian Ross)
ROYAL BLOOD AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES – APRIL 2018
TUESDAY 24TH APRIL 2018
HORDERN PAVILION, SYDNEY
FRIDAY 27TH APRIL 2018
GROOVIN THE MOO, ADELAIDE SA
SATURDAY 28TH APRIL 2018
GROOVIN THE MOO, MAITLAND NSW
SUNDAY 29TH APRIL 2018
GROOVIN THE MOO, CANBERRA ACT
SATURDAY 5TH MAY 2018
GROOVIN THE MOO, BENDIGO VIC
SUNDAY 6TH MAY 2018
GROOVIN THE MOO, TOWNSVILLE QLD
MONDAY 7TH MAY 2018
WEDNESDAY 9TH MAY 2018
MARGARET COURT ARENA, MELBOURNE
FRIDAY 11TH MAY 2018
GROOVIN THE MOO, BUNBURY WA
SUNDAY 13TH MAY 2018
HBF STADIUM, PERTH