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Royal Blood sick of lazy comparisons

Royal Blood duo Ben Thatcher and Mike Kerr say they’re fed-up with people trying to pigeonhole their music and are quite happy doing their own thing.

The pair, drummer Thatcher and singer/bassist Kerr, say they’ve spent too much time being compared to other artists and it quickly became a chore.

“Being a new band, you spend half your time just defending yourself against comparisons,” Kerr tells Drowned In Sound. “I feel sorry for the next band that’s going to get the question about Royal Blood and go, ‘Obviously, we sound a bit like them, you know…’ and it’s just going to go on and on.

“When Led Zeppelin started, all they got was ‘You sound like Black Sabbath’. You look back at that now and it’s a fucking joke. How did that even happen?”

The pair release their self-titled debut album on August 25 and go on the road with Pixies across North America next month, and they hit back at some who say their sound is unoriginal.

“The bass and drum thing isn’t new and neither is using more than one amp,” says Kerr. “But even with people I look up to, Jack White or Josh Homme, their sounds and a big portion of what they do is borrowed. But they put their own stamp on it and that’s what makes it a good idea. That’s something I still aspire to be able to do. Every day I’m figuring out new ways of expanding it and it’s still developing. There’s only two of us and we’re trying to sound like there are four.”

Thatcher adds: “With regards to music and people saying ‘It’s already been done before’, I truly believe it hasn’t. Each song from every single band is completely different. It’s like saying ‘I’ve already seen the sunset!’ Well, every sunset is different and music is the same.”

The band released their debut single Out Of The Black last year, but Kerr reveals it was playing piano, not bass, which sparked his interest in music, saying: “I got to Grade Three but I can’t read music so I stopped going to lessons when I was 11. I started learning on my own and decided I wanted to learn all of Bohemian Rhapsody. I didn’t like the grades – they held me back.”

Royal Blood’s 10-date North American tour with Pixies start on September 27 in San Diego.

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.