Blood Brothers: Tidal wave of sound led to Royal Blood’s ‘Typhoons’

click to enlarge Royal Blood vocalist/bassist Mike Kerr, left, and drummer Ben Thatcher are on a worldwide tour in support of their latest album, “Typhoons.” - PHOTO BY DEAN MARTINDALE
Photo by Dean Martindale
Royal Blood vocalist/bassist Mike Kerr, left, and drummer Ben Thatcher are on a worldwide tour in support of their latest album, “Typhoons.”

There’s nothing simple about the English duo of vocalist/bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, who create a whirlwind of sound as Royal Blood.

But Kerr shared the basics of Royal Blood’s show that comes to the Rialto Theatre on Monday, May 9.

“If you’ve been to a rock ‘n’ roll show, you know half of it,” Kerr said with a laugh. “Seriously, our new record, ‘Typhoons,’ is nearly a year old but we haven’t really toured it. It’s been a long time since we played in the States. There’s a lot of new music and it’s an exciting setlist. There’s no time to go and use the restroom at our shows.”

The shows are as commanding as the record. The 38-minute “Typhoons” kicks off with the wave of synthetic fuzz tone in “Trouble’s Coming.”

“I think that track was the first song we had written that had that sound to it,” Kerr said. “It was a good segue because it’s bold as well. We’re not pussy footing around. We’re fully committed to the sound of the record.”

That said, “Typhoons” fits perfectly in Royal Blood’s catalog, according to Kerr. He contends fans and musicians are sometimes concerned about how old and new material will mesh.

“I think those concerns might have some validity,” he added. “But once we started playing, we realized these songs were really heavy and have a raw energy that we bring to them when we play them live. It all works together. In fact, it gives our set real variety as well, which, perhaps was missing before.

“When we started piecing the set together, having the luxury of three albums, you get to have a stronger setlist by default. You end up playing the best songs.”

Thatcher and Kerr formed Royal Blood in Brighton, England, and released their self-titled debut album in 2014. Playing the bass like a lead guitar, Kerr couples his visceral sound with Thatcher’s thunderous drums.

The success followed with 2017’s “How Did We Get So Dark?”

Each of Royal Blood’s three studio albums has topped the U.K. charts, selling more than 3 million copies worldwide. Their accolades include a BRIT award for Best British Group, and awards from NME and Kerrang, and a Mercury Prize nomination.

Sharing stages with the Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age, Royal Blood performed “Trouble’s Coming” on “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”

“Typhoons” was created primarily during the U.K.’s pandemic lockdown, which proved to be creative for Kerr and Thatcher.

“It was a process to get to that sound,” Kerr said. “I think we’ve always been very clear that we wanted to evolve and make something that felt like a progression and try something new. It took a lot of attempts to get to that point.

“By the time we go to ‘Trouble’s Coming,’ it felt like we had something we knew that was out that we were really excited about. It anything bores us while we’re playing it, it’s an indication that we shouldn’t pursue it.”

With “Typhoons,” Royal Blood stretched its sound as it was a route to pursue.

“Records are ultimately something to play live,” he said. “We used production and extra layers that people have never heard us use before. At its core, it’s all about live energy.”

Royal Blood w/Cleopatrick

8 p.m. Monday, May 9

Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.

Tickets start at $30

rialtotheatre.com

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