Interview: Royal Blood’s Ben Thatcher chats ZZ Top, Jools Holland and more

Back in the country for some sick headline dates as well as this year’s Groovin’ The Moo tour, Royal Blood caught up with us in Sydney just to check in and see how everything has been since the last time we sat down in this part of the globe.

You may have seen Ben Thatcher chatting with us about the special beer that has been crafted for the GTM tour – Royal Brew – but here, he delves his Song of the Day inspo, meeting Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top and more.

No strangers to live performances on a variety of stages now, Ben takes us through Royal Blood’s appearances on TV, particularly Later…With Jools Holland.

“The first time it was with Neil Finn, [he] was on it, and Damon Albarn. Then we did it last year with HAIM, The xx, some really cool bands actually. It was fun. It’s quite nervewracking; the second time around we were way more relaxed because we knew the vibe.”

“There’s bound to be things that go wrong in all of them, really. That’s what makes it fun and live and exciting for everyone.”

Flipping to another bucket list moment for most British musicians, hitting the iconic Abbey Road studios proved to be quite the vibe for the duo.

“It’s an amazing experience to even be at Abbey Road and to see the history of the stuff that’s gone on down there; then to realise that you’re there recording and being part of the whole thing….it’s quite amazing.”

How does Thatcher react when he meets other music icons? He remembers a heady night post-show in Columbia, where he came face to face with one of the legends of the game.

“I was dressed as a Columbian art student, I don’t know what was going on at that stage, I was pretty drunk. …I looked mental. Someone was like, ‘This is Billy from ZZ Top,’ and I was like, ‘Great…’ – we talked about bass pedals for ages. I have no idea what I was talking about, really. I don’t even know anything about bass pedals…”

Royal Blood are touring Australia as part of the national Groovin’ the Moo tour. They also play Brisbane’s Riverstage (May 7th), Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena (May 9th) and Perth’s HBF Arena (May 13th). For more information about the festival and their headline shows, head here.


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.