In case you did not know. Royal Blood are an English Rock Duo that have been making waves in the music scene over the last decade. There’s probably a lot you don’t know about this duo (who are one of the acts on my bucket list to see live), but today my aim is to change that.
Here are 21 Interesting Facts You Might Not Know About Royal Blood
1. The rock duo was formed in Worthing, West Sussex, England in 2011.
2. Royal Blood consists of Mike Kerr (on vocals, bass and piano) and Ben Thatcher (on drums).
3. The distinctive sound that the duo is known for is crafted by Kerr’s bass playing technique. He employs a combination of effects pedals and amps to create a unique blend, allowing his bass guitar to emulate both electric and bass guitar tones simultaneously.
4. To date the duo have released 4 studio albums: Royal Blood (in 2014), How Did We Get So Dark? (in 2017), Typhoons (in 2021) and Back to the Water Below (in 2023).
5. Originally, the band formed as a trio with Mike Kerr handling vocals and bass, Joe Dennis on guitar, and Matt Swan on drums. Dennis departed in early 2012, prompting the band to uncover the distinctive sound that defines them today, thanks to Kerr’s individual bass playing style.
6. The duo moved to Australia, Swan’s home country, and recorded an EP in Brisbane. The debut single, “Leaving,” made its first appearance on the Australian radio station Triple J in 2012. Subsequently, Kerr and Thatcher reworked the song, giving it a new title, “Come On Over.”
7. Kerr and Swan performed in various venues around the Brisbane and Gold Coast area. Eventually, Kerr chose to return to Worthing, marking the conclusion of this phase of the band. Thatcher picked him up at the airport, and the two made the joint decision to carry on with the Royal Blood moniker, with Thatcher taking over on drums, replacing Swan.
8. Kerr and Thatcher reworked “Leaving”, giving it a new title, “Come On Over.” The lyrics of the song convey a sense of frustration, loneliness, and a desire for escape. The narrator is on a train, feeling like they are heading nowhere and expressing a need to make someone care. They reject the idea of a place as their home, emphasizing their solitude. The repeated invitation for someone to come over suggests a longing for companionship or connection.
9. Jimmy Page (from Led Zeppelin) has expressed admiration for Royal Blood. When asked by the Toronto Star which band he would like to join, the legend suggested, “I can recommend a band that I’ve just heard that sounded really amazing, but they don’t need anybody else. They’re called Royal Blood.”
Page first encountered them on Later with Jools Holland and later at the Mercury Lounge in New York. In turn, Royal Blood holds Led Zeppelin in high regard. Kerr has noted that “Robert Plant, vocally, is a big influence” and has added that he hears echoes of Plant in his other two favorite singers, Jack White and Jeff Buckley.
10. Notably, the band received a boost when Matt Helders, the drummer for Arctic Monkeys, sported a Royal Blood t-shirt during a Glastonbury performance. Furthermore, the duo is under the management of Wildlife Entertainment, the same team that oversees Arctic Monkeys, along with other notable acts such as Paolo Nutini, Travis, and Drenge—the latter being a band referenced by Labour MP Tom Watson in his letter of resignation from the shadow cabinet.
11. Ben Thatcher might hold the distinction of being the first musician ever to openly disclose his initial music purchases. He candidly acknowledges buying albums from groups like Aqua, the Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, and 5ive at Woolworths. However, his musical taste took a turn when his older brother introduced him to bands like Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age, shaping the musical path he would later follow.
12. Royal Blood took home the prize for Best British Group at the 2015 Brit Awards. The band also won Best New Band and Best Live Band at that years’ NME Awards.
13. Royal Blood‘s track “Figure It Out” is a song that addresses the theme of confusion and the struggles of understanding oneself and navigating relationships. The lyrics convey a sense of uncertainty and frustration, with the narrator expressing a desire to “figure it out.” The repeated refrain underscores the ongoing process of trying to make sense of life’s complexities.
14. “How Did We Get So Dark?” (the title track off their second album) explores themes of inner darkness, self-doubt, and the impact of personal struggles on relationships. The lyrics convey a sense of introspection and questioning, as the narrator reflects on the changes in themselves and their connection with someone else.
15. Their track “I Only Lie When I Love You” explores the idea that love can be both a source of joy and pain, and the complexities of navigating the emotional landscape of a romantic connection. The lyrics don’t provide a detailed narrative, but they convey a sense of tension and contradiction within the dynamics of the relationship described.
16. A “Boilermaker” is a beverage consisting of a shot of whisky immersed into a glass of beer. In the song with same name, Mike Kerr seeks solace from his depression through drinking. He likens the continuous dark thoughts swirling in his mind to the concoction of a cocktail shaker, observing them while gazing at the bottom of his glass.
17. A friend of Mike Kerr encouraged him to refine “Lights Out”. Kerr told Kerrang that Royal Blood were touring with Bass Drum Of Death and their lead singer John Barret (who is a close friend of the band) persuaded him to develop something with the concept he had going.
The song appears to explore themes of desire, passion, and the intensity of a romantic relationship. The lyrics convey a sense of longing and urgency, suggesting a powerful attraction between the narrator and their partner.
18. Christy Karacas, co-creator of Adult Swim’s Superjail and the voice behind the character Alice, teamed up with illustrator David Wilson to direct the animated music video for Royal Blood‘s “Out of the Black.” David Wilson, known for his work with Arctic Monkeys on “Do I Wanna Know?” and David Guetta on “Titanium,” brings his artistic expertise to the collaboration.
19. “Trouble’s Coming” is the lead single from Royal Blood’s third album, characterized by a bold and energetic dance rock sound. The inspiration for the track came from a voice memo sent to frontman Mike Kerr’s phone by a friend while he and drummer Ben Thatcher were in the studio.
The memo, recorded by Kerr on his friend’s phone earlier, significantly influenced the recording session, changing the atmosphere and serving as a guiding force for the creation of the album.
20. “Ten Tonne Skeleton” posed a significant challenge during the recording process for the Royal Blood album. Mike Kerr has revealed that they had to rewrite and re-record the track three times, making it the only song on the album that proved difficult to get right. Despite multiple versions, the final iteration finally clicked and met the band’s satisfaction.
21. Royal Blood‘s 2023 album Back to the Water Below was recorded in the band’s home studio in Brighton. Unlike their previous records, the band took on the role of producers themselves, with minimal input from outside producers. Frontman Mike Kerr explained in an interview with NME that this approach allowed them to “force themselves to do things that came naturally.” The album’s title is derived from a lyric in the song “Pull Me Through.”
Well, there you have it, 21 interesting facts you might not know about Royal Blood. If I’ve left out something important, feel free to comment below.
Watch this space for updates in the Music category on Interesting Facts.
Scroll down to view related articles to get more facts. If you want to stay in the loop, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter.
If you live in South Africa and you're looking for a live music gig or music festival to attend, feel free to check The SA Gig Guide on our sister site (SA Music Zone).