Boilermaker

Album: Typhoons (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • A "Boilermaker" is a cocktail comprising a shot of whisky dropped into a glass of beer. Here, Mike Kerr is looking to drink as his "savior" from his depression. He describes the incessant dark thoughts mingling inside his head as like a cocktail shaker as he stares at the bottom of his glass.
  • Royal Blood first performed the song as part of their live set during their European tour in the summer of 2019. It quickly became a fan favorite and was among the tracks they played during their sets at that year's Reading & Leeds Festivals.
  • Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme produced the track, which Royal Blood recorded at his Pink Duck studio in Los Angeles. Mike Kerr said: "I had 'Boilermaker' up my sleeve and it felt like a very natural decision to go and cut that track at his studio. Josh is such a strong-willed character. He gave us such confidence in ourselves."
  • Royal Blood became good friends with Josh Homme after touring extensively with Queens of the Stone Age. They were keen to have Homme's input early in the recording process of Typhoons, and this was the first song they tracked for the record.

    Kerr told NME their time with the Queens frontman turned out to "a really pivotal moment" - not least because it was in his first week of sobriety. He explained they "walked out of that session with the bar raised really high and realising that we didn't actually have nine other songs that were as good as this. I said, 'I've only just got sober so need to go sort my s--t out, but when we come back we've got to match this.'"
  • The remainder of Typhoons was produced by Royal Blood themselves aside from "Who Needs Friends," which was helmed by Paul Epworth (he also contributed additional production to "Trouble's Coming").
  • Following the success of Royal Blood's 2014 self-titled debut album, frontman Mike Kerr embarked on a rock 'n' roll lifestyle. During this period, his heavy drinking took its toll, leading him to quit alcohol in 2019. This song gives an insight into why he made the decision to go sober.

    "A Boilermaker is a horrible, horrible drink," he told Radio X's John Kennedy. "It's a shot of whiskey in a beer. There was a point in my life where I found myself drinking them. When you're drinking them, you know things are going wrong. It was the ugly side of me."

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