Mike Kerr fronts UK-rockers Royal Blood.
Most recently he’s been honoured with a signature bass from Fender, Mike Kerr creates a unique blend of fuzzy, gritty bass that occupies a huge frequency spectrum, leading to Royal Blood having a bigger sound than other bands with triple the members.
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To get to the bottom of how they achieve this, we dove into Mike Kerr’s gear!
Fender Mike Kerr Jaguar Bass
The Mike Kerr Jaguar Bass is a sight to behold. Its offset body, finished in Tiger’s Blood Orange, is a combination of cool, ergonomic and practical, loaded with Wide-Range and Mini-Humbucking Pickups. The Mike Kerr Jaguar Bass is sure to be seen on stages around the world soon!
Fender Semi-Hollow Starcaster Bass
Seen quite frequently in his live shows, the Fender Starcaster bass breathes new life with its ‘pepped up’ vintage look and all around ease of use. Originally made as a prototype in the 1970’s, Kerr’s black Fender Starcaster has now become his main weapon of choice when playing both live and in the studio.
Having a semi-hollow body with coated wide-range humbuckers, Kerr’s sound brings a big and aggressive bite to his bass tone. This has become a signature for Royal Blood and is synonymous with their ‘punch first asks questions later’ music style.
Gretsch Electromatic G2220 Junior Jet 2 Bass
Chinese made and recently introduced to the Gretsch family, The Gretch Electromatic Junior Double Jet has become part of Kerrs arsenal due to it’s smaller scales and unconventional body size. Kerr states to No Treble “It gives me the freedom to play them like I would a guitar,” which by the tone and gritty sound he’s pulling, is quite evident.
The preferred tobacco sunburst colour Gretsch is seen as quite an affordable bass guitar (Roughly $420 AUD) and is ideal for creating massive sounds. Though Kerr says he still uses the traditional factory pickups, which are quite basic, his approach to using his bass is quite different.
Mike Kerr’s signature sound can also be referenced to his use of both guitar and bass amplifiers. For this, he employs Fender amplifiers for both ends of the spectrum, their massive bass cabinets filling out the bottom end while the guitar amps handle the grit and articulation.
Combining tube and solid state amps, and Fender’s rich spring reverbs and American tone style attributes Royal Blood’s ‘Californian Riff-Rock’ sound.
Electro-Harmonix POG2 Polyphonic Octave Generator Guitar Effects Pedal
This mouthful of a pedal, is steadily becoming one of the most in-demand pedals on the market today. Brought to fame by figures like: Jack White, John Frusciante and Omar Rodriquez-Lopez, the newest offering from Electro-Harmonix is responsible for Royal Blood’s grit and balls. This has helped create a sharp quirk in some of Kerr’s quick bass licks. More prominently heard on songs like ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ and ‘Better Strangers’, the Pog 2 is the center tool that is responsible for Royal Blood’s signature sound.
Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi
Along with Kerr’s sharp soaring riffs, comes his big open thunder tones, The newly improved Big Muff ‘Pi’ now brings the old classic sound with a re-developed, durable piece of equipment. Used more in his live shows, Kerr’s tone and unforgiving sound comes from this particular pedal. This adds traction to his punch-through sound and resonates the bass with Mike Kerr’s voice (especially in high note territory).
Palmer Triage Amp selector
As mentioned above, Kerr’s use of guitar and bass amps draws an obvious idea for a particular pedal choice. Kerr’s use of the Triage pedal helps distinguish his sounds in particular areas of Royal Blood’s music. This pedal had been seen on stage with Kerr in 2014 when the band were gaining rapid popularity. Due to carrying their signature sound, it may still be within his set up.
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