Royal Blood frontman Mike Kerr has told NME that he and drummer Ben Thatcher are working on the follow up to their self-titled 2014 debut, and plan to “deliver something for next year”. Said debut went platinum, got to Number One and propelled the band to the upper regions of every festival bill, so y’know… no pressure guys. Here’s what we can hope to expect from the Brighton pair’s second offering…
AN ‘ON THE ROAD’ FEEL
How to make sure your second album takes stylistic swerves, avoids the middle of the road and is ingrained with authentic highway grit? Easy – write it on your tour bus. “I built a studio in the back of our bus,” Mike tells NME. But the Mad Max approach to music-making has its drawbacks. “It’s very hard to write when everything keeps falling over because the driver’s taken a massive corner. It was our writing den – we’d have Clint Eastwood movies playing with the volume down.”
Early signs suggest a harder, beefier approach. At Reading Festival in August they debuted a new track called ‘Hook Line And Sinker’, which opens with a barrage of riffs that could bring down a Zeppelin and charges into a blues rock chorus that’d turn the White Stripes green. Now that the band are a resident fixture on some of the country’s biggest stages, they’ll be adept at knowing exactly what they need to do to fill them.
BUT NOT TOO MANY CURVEBALLS
“We don’t feel like we have to reinvent the wheel,” says Mike of their approach to album two. Refinement rather than a total rethink, then, seems to be the band’s current mindset.
NO BIG MONEY GLOSS
Despite the success of ‘Royal Blood’, the band won’t be pumping tons of cash into the sessions. “I don’t think we want to spend any more than we did on the first one. I think that can ruin creativity a lot of the time,” explains Mike. “I still use basses that cost £200 because I like the way they sound.” Their back to basics approach might even see them back in their old haunts: “A lot of the places we find we’re most creative is where we wrote the first record, in a tiny studio in Brighton,” Mike adds.
A BIT OF A WAIT (POSSIBLY)
Though the band have put aside the rest of 2015 to focus solely on album two, don’t count on them rushing a release any time soon. “We’re both in agreement that we’ll release our next record when it sounds amazing,” says Mike, shooing away any time pressures. “I think songwriting and being creative doesn’t have a method; it’s all about context. It’s like saying, when do you think you’ll cry next? You know you will do it, but it’s difficult to predict when and why.”
A LITTLE SONIC SWASHBUCKLING
All they have to do now is choose a studio. “I want to record on a boat,” muses Mike. “We could pretend we’re pirates. Get our own ship, maybe sail off into the sunset and never come back. Leave all this Royal Blood nonsense behind us…”