Live Preview: Royal Blood

Drummer Ben Thatcher reports from LA (while on a beach, with a cocktail – bastard) and looks ahead to the duo’s 2015 plans.

Royal Blood start their set with a Jay-Z clip: are you frustrated rappers at heart?

I would like to think I am. Mike [Kerr, bass/vocals] is more the frustrated country star.

Where are you most looking forward to performing in 2015?

Japan – we’ve never been there. And New Zealand. I love the experience of touring and waking up in a new city. I’d like to go to South America but we’ve not got anything scheduled there at the moment.

What’s your biggest extravagance on tour?

We had our first experience on a private jet recently, which was exciting. Though it did get very bumpy – we went into a nosedive at one stage.

If you had a limitless budget, what would top your wish list?

Pyrotechnics. I’d go crazy with fireworks for the stage, and generally in my life. I’d like, as I walk into a building, to be greeted by people with sparklers.

You had the opportunity to upgrade venues on your last UK tour but chose not to.

We chose to play those smaller venues because at that time they were the biggest we’d played. We didn’t want to skip this stage, as a band. We could have upgraded but we wanted to keep it intimate.

Do you ever miss the intimacy of tiny places?

I don’t really miss it, because I feel that a party’s always better when there are more people there. We do the same thing every night anyway.

You’ve got some stadium gigs with Foo Fighters lined up. Do you ever get nervous?

I’ve never been a nervous type. I’ve done it all my life. I mean, I’m looking forward to meeting Foo Fighters, and Dave Grohl’s a hero of ours.

How have people from your former bands responded to your phenomenal success as Royal Blood?

They’re all very good friends of ours. There’s the obvious jealousy, but it’s a kind jealousy.

Have you had any stage injuries?

I like to use the drum kit as a climbing frame sometimes, so I’ve had a few accidents there. I’m nursing a broken toe at the moment. That was from kicking a cymbal… I was in the moment!

The tour ends in Nottingham on March 14.

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Blood Stains

  • Royal Blood were nominated for the BBC Sound of 2014. * Royal Blood was the fastest-selling British rock debut album in three years in the UK. * Jimmy Page called them “fantastic”.
Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.