"We Felt Like We'd Exhausted Our Formula" Royal Blood Interviewed

"We Felt Like We'd Exhausted Our Formula" Royal Blood Interviewed

New album ‘Typhoons’ came from "shooting for the moon..."

To make headway from one sonic world to the next, you’d expect a slew of hurdles along the journey. The trajectory can be slow, but Royal Blood have it figured out: the secret is having complete creative satisfaction in everything you’ve created thus far.

“The inspiration behind ‘Typhoons’ really came from the desire to move things forth for the band, and I guess to mature, progress and take a step forward,” says frontman and bassist Mike Kerr, speaking to Clash from his home in Brighton.

“We felt like we’d exhausted our formula, our usual style of making music. We just felt creatively satisfied from playing in that particular way and thought it was time for something new.”

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‘Typhoons’ - the duo’s third studio album - is an exact result of that. A record which fuels ever-changing tastes, refined over the years alongside the band’s consistently honed craft. ‘Typhoons’ is the product of two musicians finding their feet amidst the chaos.

“It’s been about two or three years of shooting for the moon,” Mike says, thinking back to the first moments of ‘Typhoons’. But with an evolving way of creating music, one that has seen the band become more hands-on due to the pandemic - of course, they still retain their quintessentially Royal Blood sound - the pair are now experimenting in untapped territory.

Since the release of their single ‘Trouble’s Coming’ last September, the duo have been particularly excited about Purple Disco Machine’s remix of the track which landed just four weeks later. “I just love aerobics classes and I wanted to hear my own voice in one. What a better way to make that happen!” Mike says. “We did a spin class once upon a time and I remember every song felt like an aerobics version of a Foals song and thinking, ‘thats unfair, why are Foals getting all the workout songs?!’”

“This album is a result of looking around and seeing what sticks,” Mike says, retrospective on the creation of a record which began a whole three years prior. “It’s this kind of this dancier, funkier, groovier thing that turned us on quite a lot. It’s something we’ve always been able to do but never explored properly.”

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Between their self-titled debut and now, the duo have found themselves amongst a myriad of acclamations: NME, Brits and Kerrang! Awards, topped off with a Mercury Prize nomination on their first record, ‘Royal Blood’. Only now, the band are testing out some lesser-known virtual realms.

Roblox - one of the largest online game platforms to currently exist - hosts annual ‘Bloxy Awards’ allowing artists and creators to be nominated and perform within the game while users vote for their winners. When Royal Blood were asked to join 2021’s awards ceremony and perform virtually, they decided to go ahead and take part in the surreal event.

“It was exciting because it’s such a huge world which, to be honest, we didn’t know much about at all. They have such a young audience…” Mike starts. “We discovered some of our favourite bands from computer games when we were that age. That feeling of discovering Rage Against The Machine on Tony Hawk is unforgettable. That just sets you on a path for so much great music in the future.”

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“For me, I learnt the word ‘pog’ which means…exciting? I had to look it up, but I’m going to use it a lot more now. So the Roblox event was definitely ‘poggers’,” drummer Ben Thatcher pitches in, laughing. With their new music also featuring on the FIFA 21 soundtrack, Royal Blood have unintentionally integrated themselves into a whole new world of virtuality.

Though ‘Typhoons’ might be proof of a well-executed and dramatic sonic change, the band maintain every sense of themselves. Royal Blood remain bathing in positivity; only having their sights set on the next thing.

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Royal Blood will release 'Typhoons' on April 30th.

Words: Gemma Ross

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