On this week's episode of Elton John’s Rocket Hour on Apple Music 1, Elton chats with Royal Blood about their anticipated new album 'Typhoons', due out on 30th April. Elton chats with Mike and Ben about the new sound of the record, working with Josh Homme and more.
Elton and Mike discuss Royal Blood's new record 'Typhoons'...
Mike Kerr: 'It's our first step forwards, it feels like... our first shape shift. It was so liberating for us to make. It felt like we were breaking all of our rules that we'd set ourselves. And I think the dance, disco, feel-good nature of it, it was just so fun to make and it felt fun. And I think both of us just can't wait to get out and play it on a stage. It belongs there.'
Elton John: 'Yeah, you're right. All the three tracks we played are so up-tempo, and I honestly think that after what we've been through in the last year or so, I think this is what people want. They want happy, they don't want miserable. And this record makes me so bloody happy. It's so brilliantly produced. You did most of it, right?'
Mike Kerr: 'We made these songs in lockdown and we ended up just making these brilliant demos and we were sending them to our record label going, "This is some new ideas, what do you think?" And everyone was of the opinion of just leave it, don't touch it. So we almost accidentally produced the record.'
On collaborating with Josh Homme...
Elton John: 'Yeah. And did you collaborate with Josh Homme at all on it?'
Mike Kerr: 'We did. So there's a track called “Boilermaker”. And before this whole idea began for the record, we'd been on tour with Josh for a long time and he became a really good friend of ours and he's always been such an inspiration to us and a real hero. So it was an amazing moment to finally be together and he allowed us into his world. And I think it really set us up, because watching him in the studio just blew our minds. He's so hands-on with everything. And I don't think we'd ever seen someone be so creative with studio equipment before. And it woke something up in us, we realized that the studio, it doesn't have to be this serious place, it can be-'
Elton John: 'It can be fun.'
Mike Kerr: 'Yeah, exactly. Yeah.'
Elton John: 'Yeah, fun. Well, I mean, I played on a Queens of the Stone Age track with him and he has become a dear friend of mine and I love him so much. He's one of the funniest people I've ever met as well. So I was so glad to see that there was a collaboration and it kick-started you, which is fantastic. I've always loved your records. For a start, a bass player and a drummer is one of the weirdest bloody things I've ever heard of, but it works, and it's just incredible. There's not been anyone like that before. I mean, you've had the White Stripes, but you're different, because that was guitar and drums. You're a bass player, right?
Mike Kerr: 'Yeah. I mean, I actually started as a piano player and the bass thing is a bit of a joke. Ben got a gig in a function band and I needed a bit of work and he was like, "Just come and blag the bass for a bit." And I ended up falling in love with it, just playing around with pedals and amps and it became really creative. So yeah, it's still funny to us that I'm the bass player and the singer. I feel like I'm winging it still.'
On the influences behind the record...
Elton John: 'Well, who are your heroes as the bass player? Whos your favourite bass player?'
Mike Kerr: 'Honestly, all my heroes are guitar players, when I'm playing.'
Elton John: 'You play the bass like a guitar, anyway. It doesn't sound like a bass. So yeah, I get that. And what about drummers? Whos your favourite drummer?'
Ben Thatcher: 'I love Chad Smith. I love Dave Grohl. Yeah, I was brought up on all that rock and roll stuff.'
Elton John: 'Well, listen, we will be playing the hell out of this record, because it says here that you were influenced by Daft Punk, Justice and that area of music. And I think it goes beyond that, because there's the rock element in it as well. So I think what you've done is pretty unique and I'm so glad to have had you on the show. Good luck with the record. We will be supporting it on the Rocket Hour a lot, because we love you. So thank you for joining me and power to your elbow for making such a great record.'
Mike Kerr: 'Amazing. Thank you so much.'
Elton John: 'Thank you.'