Royal Blood's Mike Kerr: I Hate Cymbals, They're So Overused

"They have a time and a place but they are so overused."

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Royal Blood's Mike Kerr: I Hate Cymbals, They're So Overused
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Royal Blood bassist and vocalist Mike Kerr expressed his disdain of drum cymbals, telling Rhythm Magazine:

"I have a hatred for cymbals. I hate them so much.

"They have a time and a place but they are so overused. In the studio the whole game is controlling the cymbals.

"With a lot of these new songs [off Royal Blood's latest album 'How Did We Get So Dark?'] there's really tasteful cymbal use from Ben [Thatcher] and that makes recording the drums so much easier.

"Everyone wants to hear the overheads, basically because that is reality, that is what drums actually sound like, you don't put your head in a kick drum or right next to a snare drum. So you need to get the overheads right to have a great drum sound."

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Sharing a few words of advice for all the drummers out there, Mike added:
"Ben is tight, almost like a hip-hop drummer. But, he manages to do that without sounding like a robot. It has feel and flair amongst that tight playing. He knows how to push and pull over the top of that.

"I think you have drummers that are very tight and impressive and then drummers that are very loose. Ben knows how to do both so well and he knows how important and appropriate it is to be tight and loose and when to do which."
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28 comments sorted by best / new / date

    flandcrestenterprise
    Cymbals are overused. Get real bud, that's half the instrument. Only a minimalist in a two piece band would say that.
    d.floresumana
    Second albums are tough, I still have hope on this band for further releases.
    patocrisis
    I think it will be a challenge for them to sound different when their main sound is based on just 2 instruments, and one is a distorted bass. I liked the album, it didn´t blow my mind but I can hear a different direction especially in the second half, I feel the first one sounded more like the early Muse albums and this one is a little more QOTSA.
    Himynameisben95
    He's 100% right, it's annoying to hear whooshwhooshwhooshwhooshwhooshwhooshwhoosh for the length of an entire song, give it a rest. And don't complain about not being able to afford band practice when you bought a $400 cymbal you only use once during the whole set
    metalchozen
    *Cough* overrated band *cough*
    ~Maxi King~
    After listening to their second release I have to agree. It's good, but more of the same and quite uninspired. They already lost their mojo after the first album.
    iRockOnline
    The first album was killer though! front to back.. There's a few gems on the second but not near the first.
    metalchozen
    Yes, and even on the first album, the only song that was really appealing to me and that I can remember after months without listening was "Out of the Black".
    dewitt
    I personally think that was the most generic radio rock song on the album. For the first 6 months to a year, that was all I knew about them and it didn't make me want to hear any more.
    HenZx
    Oh okay, nothing to do here everybody, this guy said it. No point to listen to this band then. 
    metalchozen
    The line between sarcasm and stupidity is sometimes really thin. Really, really, thin.
    HenZx
    My bad mate, just so used to this bs really Sorry!
    Funnyname99
    You are allowed to have an opinion which is different to other people, when it comes to taste. You can also express that opinion.... Understood??
    AfroFox
    This website is full of people who just disregard bands at a whim. I like this band & what I've heard of the 2nd album so far, looking forward to seeing them soon too.  But yknow, it's wrong to like things. 
    Funnyname99
    You are allowed to have an opinion which is different to other people, when it comes to taste. You can also express that opinion.... Understood?
    AfroFox
    Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, only some stink. Understood?
    thejester
    Saw them live 5 nights ago and really changed my perception of them.  Obviously hey have a ton of hype but they also put on one hell of a show.  The recent album they also have keys so I could see that integrating more into their sound as well.
    dewitt
    Maybe he dislikes cymbals so much because of the way he sees drum mics. Focus on the overhead mics is going to make the cymbals stand out and be more annoying. I like the old way they used to record where the drums are in the forefront and the cymbals are off in the distance, probably from not having the overheads turned up so high. Like the way Levon Helm sounded. Wouldn't fit very well for Royal Blood, though...
    Eifler121
    I just don't see it with this band. I love the set up; I love other rock two pieces AND I'm a bassist. I should love this band on paper. I keep hearing about how great they are and that they're some return to classic rock or something, but they sound about as generic as they come. I see them on active rock stations alongside Shinedown, AWOLnation, and the rest of the post-"post-grunge" scene. You can do a lot with fewer cymbals; Tool and the Black Keys have a lot of great beats that are tom and snare heavy, on opposite ends of rock. Royal Blood is just not the band to be making any statements.
    Funnyname99
    I think they're fun... But I don't think they've earned their fame. certainly, they need to show they're more than just a white stripes rip off, with a UK flair..... Good luck to them, but I wish else expected more from our rock stars
    Funnyname99
    I think they're fun... But I don't think they've earned their fame. certainly, they need to show they're more than just a white stripes rip off, with a UK flair..... Good luck to them, but I wish we expected more from our rock stars
    Eifler121
    See, to me, saying they're a White Stripes rip off is an insult to the White Stripes and White Stripes rip offs. They're two pieces, but that's about the only similarity.
    Redfinton22
    I really never thought of it that way. With them being as stripped down as they are it kinda makes sense...the whole "less is more" bit, huh
    soapalot
    I agree with the drummer sounding like a hip-hop drummer. He's a got a nice groove and definitely gives a hip-hop kind of groove to the songs. But I am sick of their music. It gets absolutely flogged on commercial radio here. Can only stomach Little Monster and Loose Change. What I'd really like to see is to drop the 'guitar' bit and be the backing band for a rapper. That shit would be tight.