On Royal Blood‘s new album, Back to the Water Below, frontman Mike Kerr went back to his early instrument: the piano.
As Kerr tells ABC Audio, he was particularly inspired by the sound of the famed “Mrs. Mills” piano from Abbey Road Studios, which was played by The Beatles.
“There was something that The Beatles did that was very, like, regal on it,” Kerr says. “That’s how I learned to play piano, is learning The Beatles.”
Along with the Fab Four, Kerr found inspiration from another Rock & Roll Hall of Famer.
“I went to see Aerosmith by chance in Vegas when I was there, and [Steven Tyler] uses a similar piano sound on ‘Dream On,'” Kerr says.
That particular experience led Kerr to start writing more songs on the piano, resulting in what would become the single “Pull Me Through.”
“I guess it really didn’t resemble a Royal Blood song until [drummer] Ben [Thatcher] and I sat behind it and thought, ‘OK, what would we do now?'” Kerr laughs. “From this point onwards, how would we prop this up? It was almost like putting muscles on it. How do we put muscles on these bones?”
Kerr and Thatcher would end up creating much of Back to the Water Below that way: writing songs first on the piano before Royal Blood-ifying them with their signature heavy bass and drums.
“It resulted in me having a lot of songs that were complete at a piano and kind of doing the hard bit first,” Kerr explains. “I had all the lyrics and the full concept of the song, and then embellishing our sound around that, rather than the other way around, which I guess usually, typically starts with beats and riffs.”
Back to the Water Below is out now.
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.