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Music / Royal Blood

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Ben Thatcher and Mike Kerr

Nothing here to see,
Just a kid like me,
Trying to cut some teeth,
Trying to figure it out.
— "Figure It Out"

Royal Blood are a British Hard Rock duo from Brighton. The band consists of Mike Kerr (vocals, bass) and Ben Thatcher (drums). You may notice that neither of them play guitar, that's because it's all done on a bass. They also don't use any session or touring musicians, so what you see is what you get. Formed in 2013, they got off to a quick start releasing their debut single "Out of the Black" in November. That same year, Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders wore a Royal Blood shirt during their Glastonbury performance, which contributed to interest in the band.note  Later, they relased first EP Out of the Black in March 2014 to positive reviews, containing the Title Track and three other songs.

In August 2014, they released their debut album Royal Blood, which topped the UK albums charts. Their singles "Out of the Black", "Little Monster", and "Figure It Out" also crossed The Pond, placing high on the U.S. rock charts. They went on tour with the Foo Fighters and Iggy Pop across Europe following their debut album release. In 2018, they went on tour with Queens of the Stone Age following the release of their sophomore album. Josh Homme went on to collaborate with Kerr on the Desert Sessions in the same year, as well as produce “Boilermaker” in 2021 off of Typhoons. The duo were invited to cover Metallica for the tribute album The Metallica Blacklist in 2021, of which they covered “Sad But True”. In 2023, they toured with Muse in anticipation for their upcoming fourth album, and with Bad Nerves during their the east coast leg of their North America tour.


  • Out of the Black (EP) (2014)
  • Royal Blood (2014)
  • How Did We Get So Dark? (2017)
  • Typhoons (2021)
  • Back To The Water Below (2023)

In media, "Out of the Black" was featured in the soundtracks of video games EA Sports UFC and Forza Horizon 2 , and a trailer for Elite Dangerous. "Blood Hands", an album-exclusive, was featured on the soundtrack album of The Divergent Series: Insurgent.

This band provides examples of

  • Addiction Song: Given that Mike has been open about his issues with addiction, Royal Blood has quite a few, such as:
    • "She’s Creeping"
    • "Don’t Tell"
    • "Sleep"
    • "Honeybrains"
    • As well as practically all of Back To The Water Below, which centers around Mike's recovery from his drug and alcohol addiction.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: "Little Monster" is about this.
  • Animated Music Video: The music video for "Out of the Black", which also mixes in some live-action sequences.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Mike is noticeably taller than Ben.
  • B-Side: "King" and "Space" off of their third album, Typhoons.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The album art for both Royal Blood and How Did We Get So Dark?. Purposefully averted with Typhoons, which the band described as "[themselves] now in color."
  • Deranged Animation: The animated parts in the "Out of the Black" music video are sometimes extremely gory.
  • Garage Rock: Their first album can be considered this, though they began to veer away after their second album.
  • Genre Throwback: To '70s Hard Rock.
  • Genre Shift: The band's first two albums were unapologetically heavy, with wailing chords and crashing drums contributing to a sound reminiscent of grunge and punk rock. Typhoons is more melodic, with disco and prog rock influences giving it a softer sound a la No Doubt and Primal Scream.
    • Back To The Water Below mixes it up again, having much more melodic and orchestral compositions, though tracks "Mountains at Midnight" and "Supermodel Avalanches" are much more reminiscent of their earlier sound.
  • Lead Bassist: An unusual example of a Type A and B with Mike Kerr. He's the lead singer, but since the band has no guitarist, all of the epic riffs are done on a bass.
    • Lead Drummer: Ben Thatcher is well known too, since they're a duo he doesn't get overshadowed.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: In “I Only Lie When I Love You.”
  • Ms. Fanservice: The music video for "Come On Over" features a woman going topless.
  • New Sound Album: Typhoons diverges from their usual hard rock, garage sound into something more alternative and dance rock and added piano into their discography.
  • Nipple and Dimed: The album cover art for How Did We Get So Dark? shows two topless women covered in shadow.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: Averted, Mike is the bassist and frontman and gets a lot of love for his unique playing style.
  • Performance Video: For “Honeybrains”
  • Precision F-Strike: "Out of the Black" provides a rare instance of profanity in their music.
    And I promised you
    Like you promised me
    But those vows we made
    Fucked it up for free
    • It happens again in "King," a B-side off of Typhoons
    I could be a motherfuckin' king
    • Most recently, in "There Goes My Cool"
    Way out of my depth, I am fucked
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Kerr has done all of the backing vocals on their records, however during performances they've had multiple touring members (formerly Zarif Davidson, Jodie Scantlebury; currently Darren James) who have subbed in.
  • Self-Titled Album: Their 2014 debut record is Royal Blood.
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: The first two albums largely revolve around toxic relationships and multiple songs from Typhoons draw on Kerr's negative experiences with the lifestyle, with Kerr claiming in an interview that the band might not have survived if he hadn't gotten sober.
    • Further expanded on and one of the main subjects of Back to the Water Below, such as the b-side "Supermodel Avalanches" which is a critique of egotistical, stereotypical rockstars
    Blissful amphetamines
    Nosebleeds in the fast lane
    They lust at a dreamer
    Jet skis ride in seas of champagne
    • Additonally, they had a merch design back in 2015 that said “Sex, Drugs, & Royal Blood,” so they seem to be pretty aware that their music falls into this trope.
  • Surreal Music Video: “Out Of The Black,” which consists of animated and live action segments.
  • Title Drop: “Pull Me Through” has one for Back To The Water Below
    Tone deaf with a headache for one
    Back to the water below
    Alone, as I float like a stone
  • Title Track: How Did We Get So Dark? and Typhoons each have a respective title track.