Royal Blood‘s Mike Kerr says the band wouldn’t “exist” if he hadn’t got clean.
The rock duo – also comprising drummer Ben Thatcher – will return with their third studio album, ‘Typhoons’, on April 30, their first since the 31-year-old vocalist-and-bassist dealt with his drug and alcohol addiction that took its toll during the band’s second tour.
And Mike has admitted the ‘Figure It Out’ hitmakers wouldn’t have been able to make another record or continue without the musician tackling his substance abuse head-on.
In an interview with NME, he recalled: “I wasn’t really functioning very well after the end of that second tour.
“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.”
He continued: “The problem wasn’t what was happening; the problem was me.
“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.”
His bandmate 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.”
It was at a bar in Vegas two years ago that Mike came to the realisation that he was sending his life and career “tumbling down the hill”, and stopped himself from buying another alcoholic beverage.
He said: “I was able to see into the future and where my life was going to go. 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.
“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.”
Mike has been sober for just over two years now.
He added: “It’s not like the next day your life is back in order, it’s like day one of cleaning.
“It felt like turning up to an earthquake disaster with a dustpan and brush. I was like, ‘God, where do I begin?’”