Royal Blood on life on the road, and their big goal

“We can’t wait to come back and play those bigger venues. We’ll be bringing back a bigger show so we can all really party.”

At the time of our interview, Royal Blood’s Ben Thatcher has just finished travelling over 40 hours to Australia. Despite this, he sounds genuinely overjoyed to be talking on the other end of the phone line. It’s clear the gruelling travel has only made Thatcher and his band mate Mike Kerr more eager to play to their Australian fans.
It's been an exceptional year for the band, particularly on Australian soil – garnering widespread acclaim for their triumphant set at Splendour in the Grass as well as locking in some of their biggest shows to date across the country throughout 2018. It’s no secret Royal Blood love Australia, having toured here five times in just as many years. Starting out in 300 capacity venues to arenas that hold close to 10,000 is an astonishing feat, and one that is not lost on Thatcher.
“It’s great to have that much support from Australia,” says Thatcher. “It’s so incredible, which is why we’ve decided to do some more dates next year. We can’t wait to come back and play those bigger venues. We’ll be bringing back a bigger show so we can all really party.”
It’s been a wild ride for the Brighton duo off the back of two brilliant albums; their victorious self-titled debut and this year’s follow up How Did We Get So Dark? which reached Number 4 on the ARIA charts. It’s meant that Thatcher and Kerr are always on the road and racking up frequent flyers points – not that they’re complaining, mind you. “We’ll fly in on a Saturday afternoon, play the show and then we’re off again the same day. It’s go-go-go for us.”
Despite not having much of a break between tours, Royal Blood are still rearing to go. “I haven’t slept in my own bed since April and it doesn’t look like I’ll be going to sleep in my own bed until late December now,” says Thatcher. “While you miss your friends and your family, you get to play music to people all around the world and release the work you’ve created. The reward from doing that is more than I could have ever expected.”
It’s the kind of reception bands decades into their career dream of. But Thatcher remains humble, even maintaining some disbelief over the band’s growing success. “It’s honestly all a dream come true. We never thought we’d get to where we are now,” he says.
With just two members in the band it would be easy to assume that the duo get bored of each other quickly. But as Thatcher reveals it’s quite the opposite, especially on stage. “We like to do something different at every show and we like to surprise each other and take the songs somewhere new. Because there’s only two of us you only have to follow one other person. If one of us goes on a tangent it becomes like a game of cat and mouse. The other one just has to follow and try and catch up. You know when you’re kids and you make up your own language with someone? It’s probably gone further than that at this stage. We actually don’t need to talk to each other anymore."
Thatcher is quick to admit that life outside of Royal Blood doesn’t really exist. “We have our times off when we tour but it’s always in some strange country when you don’t know where the cool places are to go. It’s a strange adventure but it’s something we wouldn’t change for the world.”
“You do miss your home comforts, but when you get them they’re so much more of a treat,” says Thatcher. “I had beans on toast this morning and when I saw that on the room service menu and I was like, ‘I have to have that right now.’ Both Mike and I crave things like that. Dairylea Dunkers is another thing from home that I find myself missing while on the road."
And where does Thatcher see Royal Blood going from here? “The one thing we’d love to do is a Bond theme. I think once we’ve done that the band will finish. How can you top that? We’d like to play in space too.”

Royal Blood will take over Margaret Court Arena on Wednesday May 9. How Did We Get So Dark? is out now via Warner Music.