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 Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.