Royal Blood have returned with heavy new single ‘Mountains At Midnight’ and particulars of fourth album ‘Again To The Water Beneath’. Test them out under, together with our interview with frontman Mike Kerr.
- READ MORE: Royal Blood on the quilt: “With out sobriety, this album or this band wouldn’t exist. It was all fairly scary”
Following on from their acclaimed third album ‘Typhoons’ from 2021, the Brighton rock duo of Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher will launch the self-produced ‘Again To The Water Beneath’ on September 8 – with the primary taster arriving within the type of the pummelling back-to-basics single ‘Mountains At Midnight’.
“It’s at all times about getting individuals’s consideration, and songs of this nature appear to be uncommon,” Kerr informed NME. “It sounds a lot like us and what we’re recognized for. As a reintroduction to us, it felt like a daring option to come again and say, ‘Hello!’”
Requested concerning the lyrics of the music, Kerr mentioned that he was reticent to disclose an excessive amount of having unloaded a lot about his private struggles and journey to sobriety on ‘Typhoons’.
“I promised myself that I wouldn’t delve an excessive amount of into lyric meanings on this one – solely as a result of I spent a lot of the final album dissecting the songs to the purpose the place there was nothing left value listening to anymore,” he mentioned. “What I’ll say is that there’s a lyrical theme between the songs. It might not convey all of them collectively, however it’s coming from a distressing place, mentally. I simply don’t wish to destroy it earlier than it’s begun.
“I’ve spent a lot effort and time on the lyrics and ensuring I imply each fucking line, then I waltz out to clarify them and I’m simply gonna piss off Ben, so he’ll be like, ‘Oh, you’ve made them sound garbage’.”
Whereas the final report was produced with slightly assist from Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence + The Machine, U2) and Queens Of The Stone Age‘s Josh Homme, this time the 2 life-long mates made the album themselves at their residence studio in Brighton.
“Ben and I do know one another so effectively, and this report was about being sincere with one another,” Kerr informed NME. “Self-producing it compelled us to do issues that got here naturally to us. Generally having a producer, though with good intentions, pushes you to go to territories you wouldn’t usually go to. Clearly that may actually serve for development, however for us it’s additionally about doing one thing that’s inherently what you’d do.
“At any time when we do one thing actually sincere, it’s musically very highly effective. That normally requires not enthusiastic about it an excessive amount of.”
The album was additionally made with two items of recommendation realized from Jack White and Rick Rubin about listening to their intestine.
“Jack White as soon as mentioned that it took him 30 years to determine that the very first thing he performs within the studio is the factor,” mentioned Kerr. “Deep down, I feel that’s one thing I knew, however I actually revered it this time round. We honoured our instincts and the very first thing we performed. Generally you play one thing from a very pure place and also you spend months overthinking and wrecking it, otherwise you ultimately circle straight again to the place you started. Not having a producer allowed us to be slightly extra forthright and daring.
Kerr continued: “I met him very briefly about 5 years in the past. He’s clearly an incredible character, and he mentioned to me, ‘Royal Blood is no matter you invent and do collectively musically – the context doesn’t matter’. It’s simply concerning the chemistry between us, not the devices we play. After I give it some thought like that, it turns into one thing far more profound. At this stage it will be simpler to suppose that we’ve been confined by what’s made us profitable and there’s a rulebook that we’ve got to stick to. If we step exterior of that, we’re disobeying what individuals like about us.”
“So long as there’s a connection between Ben and I, the style and the devices we play are virtually irrelevant. It’s about how we work together and the way we make songs collectively. If we lose that, we’ve misplaced all the pieces. It allowed us some artistic freedom – which is how we felt on this report. We may take left turns.”
Alongside ‘Mountains At Midnight’, the album additionally travels some extensive sonic terrain for Royal Blood – together with the dance-tinged ‘Shine In The Darkish’ and the sleazy however full-bodied glam-rock of ‘Pull Me By way of’.
“It feels just like the songwriting is doing the heavy lifting and the songs are in cost,” he mentioned. “Earlier than it felt like our riffs had been holding the songs up. With the songs on this report, they’ve been road-tested on each different report.
“It’s important to observe the place the songs wish to go and the place they should be. A variety of the songs on this report went off into very completely different locations. I wouldn’t have been capable of pull that off earlier than.”
Requested concerning the over-arching character of ‘Again To The Water Beneath’, Kerr replied: “That’s so laborious to reply as a result of it has so many personalities. I couldn’t put it as one factor. It seems like the primary album the place you actually go on a journey with us. There’s an actual narrative to it.”
Chatting with NME forward of the discharge of ‘Typhoons’, Kerr mentioned that “a report ought to make you a greater particular person on the finish of it, or a minimum of that it may”. Having since accomplished a full album cycle and tour whereas utterly sober, the frontman defined his present mindset.
“We acquired to go on tour and that means of going again out on the street was what actually introduced us again to life,” he mentioned. “The mantra for the band has at all times been that taking part in reside is the rationale we exist. It’s concerning the thrill of taking part in in entrance of individuals. We’re in rehearsal on the minute, and there are some songs that simply don’t make sense with out an viewers. We actually feed off that vitality. It was starting to remind and inform us of the place to go subsequent.”
And what’s it love to do all of it whereas completely sober?
“It’s like doing it in HD,” he replied. “I got here off the again of that tour not bodily and mentally destroyed. I left that tour feeling prefer it was a sustainable factor that I can do now. I knew I used to be in it for the lengthy sport now, which was a very good feeling. Earlier than, I actually questioned how for much longer I may do that. Touring is hard on the thoughts and physique as it’s.”
In the meantime, the band are additionally gearing up for a busy summer season of touring – together with help slots with their heroes Muse.
“It doesn’t appear actual to me,” mentioned Kerr of the reveals with the Devonshire area rock trio. “It’ll in all probability hit me once we arrive at that first stadium. I’ve to acknowledge how wonderful it’s, as a result of each us grew up with these early Muse information in the end instructing us tips on how to play our devices.
“They had been the musical normal. They’ve at all times been so proficient and constant. It’s wonderful to tune into that frequency and be a part of it.”
Among the many summer season dates, Kerr mentioned that he was additionally trying ahead to a “terrifying” slot at Glastonbury, the place they’ll be performing on the pageant for the third time.”
“As a lot as I wish to persuade myself that it’s simply one other gig, you realize it’s vital and there’s a wierd paradox the place when you brush off that it doesn’t matter you then do a greater job,” he mentioned. “The vitality that you simply get from the group at Glastonbury is actually unparalleled. There’s one thing actually profound about it that’s laborious to outline. There’s such a way of belonging.”
“Generally at festivals you may really feel like you need to stroll out and show your self, however at Glastonbury it’s like they’re already in your facet and rooting for you as a result of they wish to have time.”
Royal Blood launch ‘Again To The Water Beneath’ on September 8. Take a look at the tracklist under.
‘Mountains At Midnight’
‘Shiner In The Darkish’
‘Pull Me By way of’
‘The Firing Line’
‘Inform Me When It’s Too Late’
‘How Many Extra Instances’
‘There Goes My Cool’
Deluxe Version 7” single bonus tracks:
‘The whole lot’s Nice’
Royal Blood’s upcoming tour dates are under. Go to right here for tickets and extra info.
27 – Plymouth, Dwelling Park (with Muse)
28 – Dundee, BBC Radio 1’s Massive Weekend
20 – Huddersfield, John Smith’s Stadium (with Muse)
21-25 – Glastonbury
25 – Milton Keynes Bowl (with Muse)
9 – TRNSMT Pageant
23 – Truck Pageant
27-30 – Kendal Calling
28-30 – Y NOT? Pageant
29 – Brighton Seaside