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Mike Kerr – Royal Blood

An interview with Royal Blood’s Bass & Singer, Mike Kerr, by Markus Hamence

Frontier Touring are pumped to announce UK rock duo Royal Blood will make their way back to our shores, touring across Australia and New Zealand in December.

‘We’re incredibly excited to be announcing these shows in Australia and New Zealand in December this year. We haven’t toured over there since 2018 so we can’t wait to get back out there. It’s been far too long’ – Royal Blood

I chat with Mike Kerr ahead of the 2023 tour…

Markus: Hey Mike, first up, so fricken excited for you to be getting back to Australia and, of course, Adelaide, it’s been a long hot minute since your last visit in 2018.

Mike Kerr: Yeah 100%, we can wait to get back down-under and definitely, it’s been a too longer time.

Markus: So obviously a brand new album has been released, ‘Back To The Water Below’, which has been received extremely well with great critical and commercial success thus far, congratulations. What was the main inspiration behind the album?

Mike Kerr: Well, a nice big question, there is so much going on this one. I feel like every album that is a made is some form of a reaction to the previous one created and in this case having the record before this one ‘Typhoons’ was made in lock down and very much felt like a studio album. So this one our really only direction in making it was really was to make something that felt ‘Live friendly’ that could feel somewhat a little more natural, organic and lot more ready for the stage. But, I think that ultimately though something happened and we found ourselves finishing the songs at the piano more. So I think we were heavily led by old-school, classic songwriting, sitting at the song and really building songs in a much more traditional way.

Markus: A couple of banging tracks that have really been on repeat for me from the new album are ‘Mountains At Midnight’ and ‘Pull Me Through’, some top tracks. Are there any of the songs that really stand out for you as possible favourites?

Mike Kerr: Yeah, I think the last track, ‘Wave’, for me is one of my favourites. But, it is hard to pick, they’re like all our children, actually I probably say ‘parents’ haha.

Markus: So, as we mentioned, it’s been a good five years since your last visit to us here in Australia, what’s one of the things you’re most looking forward to experiencing or checking out again over here with us?

Mike Kerr: I think Australia is arguably one of our favourite places to play and just ‘be’ you know. Our memories of playing there have always been so good. Rock ‘n’ roll music just feels like a massive part of Australian culture and particularly quote, unquote ‘guitar music’. Australia actually just feels really quite homely in many ways. Another good reason is the food, I think you guys there may have the best food in the world.

Markus: Now, in the 10 years of Royal Blood, yourself and Ben Thatcher have racked up an impressive list of career defining moments and highlights, from the 2015 Brit Award to performing Coachella and many other festivals around the world, touring with Foo Fights, 4 albums and recently performign the main-stage at the iconic Glastonbury gig. Is there something that has happened that sticks out for you that you’re super proud of?

Mike Kerr: It’s funny, right now, I feel like my proudest moment is completing this record. Because, I think as amazing as all those moments are you’ve mentioned, I feel they’re hard to keep a hold of, I feel like they come and go. I think where we are as a band right now I have a massive sense of pride about it.

Markus: And on completion of the album, a you champing at the bit to get it out on tour?

Mike Kerr: I love this part of the job, oh man, I think if you didn’t enjoy the touring it would be brutal because it can take a lot out of you.

Markus: What is something our the music industry that you really get a kick out of?

Mike Kerr: I love seeing the world, I love travelling, I always have. Even before being in the band it was what I enjoyed. So for me it’s a perfect part of the job. Seeing the different cultures and experiencing the different cuisines and lifestyles, a big yes!

Markus: Where is one place you haven’t played as yet that is on your hit list?

Mike Kerr: I would like to go and play in places like Malaysia and Thailand, there are many Asian locations we haven’t been to that is definitely on my radar and I’d be very interested to go to and I feel like the door to these experiences are very much opening up these days.

Markus: You’ve have some visually stunning ones, do you enjoy the process of creating you music videos?

Mike Kerr: Yeah I do, it’s the one part that I probably struggle with the most as I feel like I can’t visualise what a song should look like. We wuld never make a video without collaborating with a team or someone. Ben is a lot more switched on with this than I, he tends to have a clearer vision of what it should be. But the end result I’m always stoked to see how it all come together and turns out as a finished product.

Markus: Thanks heaps for the chat and we cannot wait to have you here again in Australia and Adelaide, have an incredible tour and again congratulations on the success of the new album.

Mike Kerr: Thank you Markus. It’s been great, looking forward to the shows with you in December. And it looks like we’ll be having Christmas there with you too. See you there!

For show and ticket information, click through here.

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