Following the release of Royal Blood’s second album How Did We Get So Dark? in 2017, the English rock duo made up of vocalist and bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, were afraid of screwing things up on their third album.
“We were terrified making that second record,” said Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr in a recent interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1. Kerr admits that during the production of that album, his mental state was “deteriorating” and he wasn’t in a good place. “I think we were terrified of losing the second time round. It had gone so well for us on that first one, I think I had a genuine concern of letting people down. Making art out of fear is never good.”
As the duo reconfigured and began working on third album Typhoons, out April 30, everything had already shifted. “Making this one, it was just so different,” said Kerr. “I just feel so fresh and I’m a lot happier. I think one thing I’ve found is just genuine confidence rather than any confidence that’s fabricated in any way. Ultimately, I really trust my own opinion now.”
Part of the confidence boost was working on Typhoons with Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme as producer.
“He guided our ship in the correct direction,” said Kerr, who originally witnessed Homme’s production skills when they worked together on The Desert Sessions in 1997. “I feel like we really got to know each other. It got to the point where I think when we’re actually in the studio, it was more so about the fact that we all have such a connection now and we’ve been through so much together and we couldn’t think of anything more fun.
Kerr added, “I think what inspired me was being in that studio and there’s no one from the industry around. It’s his world and it’s lawless and anything goes. He’s done his own thing in his own studio. It inspired me even more so to go and chase that for myself and find an environment where we could lock the doors and it could just be me and Ben and we could work out exactly who we are. It felt like graduation, like I was graduating.”
Speaking on Typhoons, Kerr said he and Thatcher wanted the album to have a “party” atmosphere after the past year living mostly in isolation.
“We did have the end in sight when making the record,” said Kerr. “We were halfway through making it when everything started shutting down, and we were thinking it would be great to have these really feel-good, euphoric songs for that moment where we’re all allowed to do what we love again. I hope it’s close. I hope it’s this year.”