Royal Blood Drummer Says “Rock is Dead” Rhetoric is “A Silly Thing to Focus On”
Royal Blood’s Ben Thatcher was our guest on a recent episode of The MetalSucks Podcast to discuss the band’s new album, Typhoons, which came out last month, among other topics.
At one point in the chat, podcast host Petar Spajic asked Thatcher what he thinks of the “rock is dead” rhetoric that’s been bandied about lately, especially by high-profile musicians, as other genres gain more popularity relative to guitar-based music. He responded:
“I think it’s such a silly thing to focus on. I think no one’s worried about jazz dying or reggae dying because although it’s not in the mainstream, a lot of the music we listen to is obviously influenced by all that stuff. If you’re really into it, you find the place with the jazz clubs, and go to those places and evolve around the people that listen to it.
“And I think with rock music, I think whats happened there is rock music was popular music and it was played on the radio back in the day where now a lot of other genres are kind of taking over. Which is totally cool but rock music is always gonna still be there. Watching a live rock band on stage will beat any other thing that you see live because of the energy and the noise that comes out of those amps. The whole atmosphere and the fans behind it.
“What’s changed I guess is the way we listen to music. I know you’re a guy that buys CDs and the physical copies where people growing up nowadays pay £10 [per month on streaming services] and they have everything to listen to. So you don’t necessarily get [solely] rock fans anymore, ’cause those rock fans are also into Kendrick Lamar and they’re into Post Malone or whatever.
“Music is just so more accessible nowadays, and there’s so much of it. You can record it in your bedroom and yeah, it’s so much to process.
“I think it’s important not to be old fashioned too and roll with the times. I, for one, totally agree with you on that. I still have books and I still buy physical copies of records because I love going through them. And having them in my hand is a thing.”