Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr Talks Early Attention, Working as a Duo + Influences
Up-and-coming duo Royal Blood are starting to garner the attention of tastemakers in the U.S. after enjoying positive early returns in Europe. The hard rocking pair, who formed just last year, are bringing their buzz-generating stage show stateside later this spring.
Singer / bassist Mike Kerr recently took some time to speak with ‘Loudwire Nights’ host Full Metal Jackie about the exhilaration of working as a duo, their obvious and not-so-obvious influences and the attention they’ve received. Check out Kerr’s chat with Full Metal Jackie below.
It’s Full Metal Jackie and on the show tonight we have Mike Kerr, singer and bass player for the band Royal Blood. How are you Mike?
I’m good Jackie, how are you doing?
I’m great. So happy to have you on the show tonight. Obviously, a ton of excitement around your band. Other than the White Stripes, a duo hasn’t been part of the rock landscape for a long time. Is there an exhilaration doing something outside the accepted norm?
Well, I guess most two-pieces will tell you that there’s a lot of pleasure that comes from playing music together. It comes with a lot of limitations, which I feel, and Liam will lead to a degree of difficulty sometimes. Especially, I find it’s a faster pace of work and a much more primitive way of playing music together.
Mike, creatively what’s the most satisfying thing about working in such a minimal musical format?
I guess it would be the limitations, really. The decisions can be made very quickly when writing music together, I find. When it’s two of you, it’s quicker and it’s simpler, particularly in our situation where it’s just one instrument and drums and a vocal. You find there’s a lot of freedom to go where you want without much talking. You can be free and just play music together.
Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age and the White Stripes are most commonly name-checked when people describe Royal Blood, but what are some of your other essential influences that maybe aren’t so obvious in your songs?
I think Jeff Buckley is a big influence for me, especially sort of vocally. I’d say bands like Foo Fighters and I’d also say a band perhaps like the Raconteurs as well and the Dead Weather. I definitely feel influences by those other Jack White projects more so than the White Stripes. I think we just get White Stripes quicker because there’s the two of us. I mean, obviously Dave Grohl is any rock musician’s kind of role model, I think. Especially with the bass, drums and vocal, I’m a huge fan of Dave Grohl on the drums. You can’t help love him if you love rock music.
‘Little Monster,’ is out now. A couple of dates starting to be announced now in terms of live performances in the U.S. And Mike, what surprised you the most about all the attention getting paid to Royal Blood right now? Specifically, who’s paying attention to you and who’s listening?
I mean, we’re kind of surprised by any attention we receive really. We just do this for fun. We do this to have fun, but I guess the one thing that actually surprises me is when it’s actually musicians that perhaps recognize your music or anything like that. Take the Arctic Monkeys, Foals and Muse — three bands that we admire who are fans and that’s great.
You can hear ‘Loudwire Nights’ with host Full Metal Jackie Monday through Friday at 7PM through Midnight on more than 20 stations across America. To find out where you can hear ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.