Mike Kerr: Royal Blood wouldn't exist if I didn't get clean

16 April 2021, 13:40

Royal Blood
Royal Blood's Mike Kerr doesn't think the band would exist if he wasn't clean. Picture: Press

The Royal Blood frontman has opened up about his decision to be clean from drugs and alcohol.

Mike Kerr believes Royal Blood and their upcoming Typhoons album wouldn't exist without his decision to be sober.

The Brighton duo - who completed by drummer Ben Thatcher - are set to release their third studio album this month, but frontman Kerr thinks it could have been very different.

Speaking in an interview with NME he revealed: "Sobriety was something I knew I had to do in order to make this record. This album or this band wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t have done this. It was all quite scary."

The Lights Out singer explained that the band's incredible success and touring schedule led him down a road of excess that he soon found he couldn't switch off.

“I wasn’t really functioning very well after the end of that second tour," the frontman recalled.

"Instead of destroying the bass, I was basically destroying myself. I got to a point in my life where I had to change my life and reorganise everything. Part of getting f***** up and exhibiting that is also a way of asking for help; you almost want someone to catch you being in a state. The darkest thing is that you can get away with insane s*** and it can go unnoticed."

"The problem wasn’t what was happening; the problem was me,” he revealed. "The journey we went on was incredible, but for me and the way I handle things, I didn’t know that I didn’t have an ‘off’ switch. By the time we were touring the second album I was like, ‘Oh, I’m this guy now – I can’t stop now. I have to go further than anyone else’. Being someone who didn’t want the party to stop meant that I didn’t stop the party when I got home. It’s like coming back to work but still thinking you’re on holiday in Ibiza, wearing a Hawaiian shirt while you cook a barbecue up in the office."

READ MORE: Royal Blood share Boilermaker video

His bandmate Thatcher remembered: "There were times when he had gone too far and lost his vision for things. Obviously I’m a different person and I do have an off-switch, but sobriety has just been a great thing for Mike. I supported him in any way I could, but it was something that he needed to work out for himself. You’ve gotta want it and have a lot of self control. He had that when he got back from Vegas."

According to the frontman, his realisation came when he was in a bar in Vegas and when he ordered a drink and realised it had to be his last.

“I was able to see into the future and where my life was going to go,” he says. “I could see the end of the trajectory, and at the end of it I had lost everything. I didn’t have the band, I had nothing. I felt snookered. I had attempted to remove drugs and alcohol from my life in these tidy little periods from my life where I’d refrained, but ultimately it was like I was tumbling down the hill."

Kerr used technology to help kickstart his journey, downloading an app to assist him on his mission.

However, the Figure It Out singer revealed it was a slow road to recovery.

"It’s not like the next day your life is back in order, it’s like day one of cleaning," he says. "It felt like turning up to an earthquake disaster with a dustpan and brush. I was like, ‘God, where do I begin?’"

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This February saw Kerr celebrate two years of sobriety.

Taking to Instagram to share his sobriety coin, the Trouble's Coming singer wrote: "Two years sober. One day at a time."

Taking to Instagram to share his sobriety coin, the Trouble's Coming singer wrote: "Two years sober. One day at a time."

Kerr, who has been sober since February 2019, has previously opened up about his decision, revealing that it's transformed his "entire life" for the better.

“It’s had a huge effect," he told DIY last year. "My entire headspace has shifted; it’s changed my outlook, my relationships, the way I think about music, everything".

The Figure It Out rocker added: "I really feel like it’s helped me to access all of my brain, all of my potential. There were a lot of reasons for wanting to sort my shit out, but my songwriting has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of it.

"It’s why that festival run we did last year was huge; I had to prove to myself that I could do it sober. And I did it, and I was singing and playing better than ever, so I came away from that with genuine confidence. I didn’t feel like I needed to answer to anybody. So, that’s what had to change. My entire life!"

Royal Blood's third studio album Typhoons is released on 30 April 2021.

Watch them talk to Radio X about the record here:

Royal Blood talk to George Godfrey about their Typhoons album

READ MORE: Royal Blood and The Streets to headline Victorious Festival 2021

If you are affected by any of the topics in this story, please seek help and advice from the resources below:




0300 123 1110 (Weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm)

Alcoholics Anonymous


0800 9177650

Al-Anon Family Groups




We Are With You


SMART Recovery


Action on Addiction:

0300 330 0659



0121 622 8181


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