Following the example of their previous long players, the record became Royal Blood’s fourth consecutive number 1 in the official UK charts.
The band has been touring tirelessly this year, including an action-packed festival season.
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The two-parter had a well-received appearance at Glastonbury in the summer. “I think watching a musician play on the Pyramid Stage is the most amazing experience you can have.
We were very lucky to take this stage twice,” said Royal Blood drummer Ben Thatcher.
“I still remember the first time very well; It was very exciting. And there are plenty of celebrities behind the scenes. And the atmosphere there is a bit crazy.”
With this experience under their belt, the group knew better what to expect when they visited Worthy Farm this summer.
“This time we felt like we knew where it was – like we were going to the same pub again,” he said.
“And so we probably felt a little bit more comfortable when we played this piece.
But it was just a similar experience, very overwhelming. But I think once you get on stage you realize you’re playing these gigs all the time.
And in that sense it’s no different than being on stage somewhere else. But yes, it is a special moment for every artist or band that plays on the Pyramid Stage.”
Royal Blood has just returned to the UK from a series of dates in the US.
“We have literally been gone since May. And we’re still going,” he said. “But yes, America is fantastic. We just spent a month there.
And this is always a great place for us to tour. We’ve been in Europe a lot and, as you say, all these festivals in the UK.”
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The band are about to tour across the UK promoting Back to the Water Below.
The group’s upcoming tour includes a North East date at the Globe in Stockton on Sunday October 22nd.
“We’re looking forward to this next run and getting back and playing some of these cool venues that we haven’t played in years.
Because I think the last time we toured the UK properly, maybe we did an arena tour? Therefore these rooms are slightly smaller.
Something more intimate. But big enough to get good energy from everyone.”
The band’s return to the North East follows their festival warm-up show at Newcastle’s O2 City Hall in the summer.
Performing in the north of England is a great joy for the band. “Oh, we love it. We love touring – there aren’t many places to visit in the South.”
Obviously we’re southern boys and we’d keep a low profile in Brighton, but the closest place I guess is Portsmouth and Bournemouth or somewhere like that.
But otherwise, everywhere is north for us. So it gets better the further north you go.”
Ben attributes this partly to Sam Fender from Newcastle.
“You see his fans and you see the Newcastle flags being raised and there’s black and white everywhere.
I know he’s obviously local.
But the people of Newcastle have a certain atmosphere. And that’s always been the case,” explains Ben.
“I remember, even before Sam Fender was up there, seeing people on the street and it was freezing cold, they were walking around with their tops off.”
The drummer recalls a gig in Newcastle where he got a little more than he bargained for.
“There was a show in Newcastle, I remember where I jumped into the crowd.
And someone took my shoe.
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And I came back on stage and I was like, “Who has my shoe?” I was like, come on, give it back. And no one admitted it,” Ben remembers.
“Anyway, I got a tweet. I have a picture of my shoe with a boy. And I tweeted him back and he basically said, “I’ll come and meet you.” It was pretty funny. But this chaotic side of Newcastle has always been there. But yeah, it’s just a great place.”
Ben Thatcher is a powerful drummer. But which artists inspired Royal Bloods Sticks Man itself? “Well, Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and Chad Smith are my trio,” he said.
“Of course, after hearing Dave Grohl play, I saw where he got his inspiration from John Bonham. And then with Taylor I saw how he was inspired by Stewart Copeland.
And Chad was obviously really crazy.” He adds, “Then Jon Theodore is definitely my guy. When I first heard Mars Volta and the proggy-crazy drum stuff he was doing there, it was insane. That totally inspired me. But yeah, I guess those four shaped me.”
Tours are on the band’s agenda for the rest of the year. “The map is very clear. So we’re doing this run in the UK. And then we’ll fly back and do a West Coast run.”
of America tour. So we just did the East Coast,” he said. “Then we’ll go to Australia and New Zealand. And we’ll be home just before Christmas.”
Royal Blood will perform at The Globe in Stockton on Sunday October 22nd.