Trouble's Coming

Album: Typhoons (2020)
Charted: 46
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This blast of bombastic dance rock is Royal Blood's first single from their third album. It originated with a voice memo sent to frontman Mike Kerr's phone by a friend that arrived when he and drummer Ben Thatcher were in the studio. Kerr had made the recording on his friend's phone a while ago and his pal, knowing they were laying down some music, thought they might want it. "I quickly showed Ben, and it changed the atmosphere of that day," the singer recalled. "We were up on our feet and playing, getting straight into it. It was the compass that we used to make the record."
  • The duo wanted to develop their riff-driven blues-rock music without destroying it, and "Trouble's Coming" was when it all started to click. "We realized that this much dancier sound really leant itself to the kind of music we were already making," frontman Mike Kerr recalled to NME. "We found this through-line between classic rock, dance music and disco music where, to me, some of the best fretting ever is AC/DC. They always play over this straight beat. It's just like a heartbeat through the songs that never stops. Then these riffs just cut over the top. All we had to do was speed it up and it gave us this new approach to what we did. It felt like we were seeing in color for the first time."
  • According to the press release, Kerr and his bandmate Ben Thatcher felt with "Trouble's Coming" they were incorporating the sort of groove-orientated music they'd always loved by such bands as Daft Punk, and Justice. "It was all about the beat. It felt like familiar territory, but something we'd censored in ourselves," said Kerr.
  • This is not the first time Daft Punk has been an influence on Royal Blood's music. Kerr told NME their 2017 single "Lights Out" was the duo's attempt at what Daft Punk would do if they wrote a rock tune.
  • The dancey musical backdrop juxtaposes Kerr's lyrics about the dark clouds that sometimes overwhelm him.

    I let my demons take hold and choke on me
    Can't fill these holes that I'm digging
    Can't stop my heart when it's sinking


    Kerr explained to NME: "'Trouble's Coming' is a feeling, and it's a feeling that I know well. It's more about these recurring mental nightmares that I've had. I felt more comfortable being that honest, that open and that vulnerable, because the backdrop was so upbeat."
  • Royal Blood released their first-ever remix when they asked the German DJ and producer Purple Disco Machine to put a new spin on this song. Asked why they decided to put out a remix, Mike Kerr told ABC Audio, "I think it was about doing things we've never done before, and not feeling confined to the rules of our genre."

    "It's a liberating experience to hand your song over to someone else, and be, like, 'Do what the f--k you want with it," he added. "Because it's not yours anymore, it's theirs."
  • The song not only signaled a fresh instrumental sound for Royal Blood, but also a new lyrical direction. Mike Kerr explained to ABC Audio that he started writing from a much more personal place about his psychological struggles on Typhoons. "The whole record is really being lost inside your own head, which can be an incredibly scary place," he shared.

    "I think what I felt like gave me permission to sing about that kind of stuff was the tone of the music, 'cause the tone of the music was the opposite of that," Kerr added. "It was uplifting and feel-good and dance-able. It allowed me to kind of say all this stuff. 'Cause if you're half-listening, it goes unnoticed."
  • This was Royal Blood's fourth #1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs chart, following "Lights Out," "Little Monster" and "I Only Lie When I Love You."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Dean Pitchford

Dean PitchfordSongwriter Interviews

Dean wrote the screenplay and lyrics to all the songs in Footloose. His other hits include "Fame" and "All The Man That I Need."

Colin Hay

Colin HaySongwriter Interviews

Established as a redoubtable singer-songwriter, the Men At Work frontman explains how religion, sobriety and Jack Nicholson play into his songwriting.

Gavin Rossdale of Bush

Gavin Rossdale of BushSongwriter Interviews

On the "schizoid element" of his lyrics, and a famous line from "Everything Zen."

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie Combination

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie CombinationSong Writing

In 1986, a Stephen King novella was made into a movie, with a classic song serving as title, soundtrack and tone.

Maria Muldaur

Maria MuldaurSongwriter Interviews

The "Midnight At The Oasis" singer is an Old Time gal. She talks about her jug band beginnings and shares a Dylan story.

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in Songs

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in SongsSong Writing

Elvis, Little Richard and Cheryl Cole have all sung about Teddy Bears, but there is also a terrifying Teddy song from 1932 and a touching trucker Teddy tune from 1976.