Soon-to-be the hottest duo in British Rock music, Mike & Ben from Royal Blood chat to Marc Mayo about 2014, the band’s setup, and their upcoming tour.
A year since deciding to form a band together, it seems all parts of the music industry are taking an interest in Royal Blood. Being nominated for both the MTV ‘Brand New For 2014’ and BBC ‘Sound of 2014’ awards, this is sudden recognition for a band that has only put out two songs, debut single ‘Out of the Black’ and ‘Come on Over’. Both take advantage of exciting guitar riffs, crashing drums and an ability to change pace at just the right moment. ‘Out of the Black’ in particular starts with a stomping introduction, before a quieter, lyrically-strong verse that sets the tone for the guitar to dominate the chorus and rampantly end the song.
The duo modestly admits the year has started well, but maintains this is only the beginning. “We still feel like we’re just warming up.” And what a summer they have to warm up for, opening for Arctic Monkeys’ massive Finsbury Park gigs before slots at festivals including Reading & Leeds. Before that, of course, is the small matter of a 10-date headline tour in February, with a set at The Globe in Cardiff on the 14th. “We have so many gigs before we get to Finsbury Park that we’re not thinking about those huge shows. We can’t wait for this tour; we’re just excited to be on the road again.”
To their credit they always seem to prioritise the next show, where ever it is. “[We] don’t think we can really compare the range of shows this year, every one will be crazy.”
The tour will be supported by fellow Brighton-based rockers Tigercub, with the city having developed a real talent conveyor-belt recently. “Brighton is quite a creative hub.”
But can Cardiff push its music scene to greater levels of quality? The guys see little reason why not, offering sound advice. “Use what you have where ever you are and enjoy it.”
The huge sound that Royal Blood may catch some new listeners out, there really are just two of them playing, but that isn’t the biggest revelation people get. “A lot of people think we use electric guitars in the recordings or other members”. This band is just one guy on a drum kit, and one guy singing while playing a bass guitar. It’s a formula that is hard to perfect, and Royal Blood have done exceptionally well to create such great tunes in a short space of time. No doubt 2014 will be the year that it currently promises to be for them.