Bring Your Earplugs, Royal Blood Promises ‘Loud’ Performance

Royal Blood performs in Grand Rapids Sunday.
Royal Blood performs in Grand Rapids Sunday.

Royal Blood is not a quiet band.

Opening for Queens of the Stone Age on Sunday night at 20 Monroe Live, Royal Blood plans to start the party.

“It’s going to be loud. It’s going to be exciting. It’s going to be energetic,” said Ben Thatcher, one half of the English rock duo, who added, “It’s our job to start the party.”

Royal Blood joined Queens of the Stone Age last week and Sunday night’s performance is one of the first shows they’ll play with the band.

Royal Blood is out on the road in support of its sophomore album, “How Did We Get So Dark,” released in August. The album debuted at No. 1 in the United Kingdom and follows the band’s successful first album, “Royal Blood,” which was released in 2014 and was the “fastest-selling” British rock debut album in three years in the United Kingdom.

The band has also been well received by some big names in rock and roll, including Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, who called them “fantastic” and “absolutely riveting.” They were also invited to open for the Foo Fighters following the release of their first album.

Thatcher and Kerr joined together in 2013 to form Royal Blood. Kerr handles vocals, bass, guitar, keys and piano, while Thatcher plays drums, percussion and piano.

The pair had met previously and played in a few bands together before starting their own band. “We were playing in different bands and Mike came to see a talent show I was playing with another band.”

Thatcher said it wasn’t his drumming Kerr was interested in though. “He also saw my girlfriend at the time and he fancied her.” Thatcher said. “Then he found out she was dating me.”

Thatcher didn’t hold Kerr’s interest in his girlfriend against him, and the two ended up becoming friends and performing together.

Thatcher said what makes Royal Blood’s sound unique is the emphasis on the rhythm section.

“It’s not often that you have the bass guitar as the main instrument,” he said. “Basically, it’s a rhythm section, him on bass and me on drums. It gave us this freedom to hit these huge riffs with a bit of weight behind it with the bass to it.”

Thatcher said “How Did We Get So Dark” is a progression from the first album.

“We’ve sort of progressed and done some more interesting things, probably more so with the vocal side of things,” he said. “But it feels like a record from the same band, definitely.”

He said making the second album was somewhat intimidating given the success of the first album. “It took a bit longer and we wanted to get it right. We wrote a lot of songs and I think we felt a little pressure, but it was a good pressure. It was a good way for us to make sure we were doing things that we knew were good and strong enough.”

Royal Blood opens for Queens of the Stone Age on Sunday, Sept. 10. The show is sold out.

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