“When I flick the pickup selector, it turns my bass into a Stratocaster!” Mike Kerr on how he broke all the bass rules for his signature Fender Jaguar – and why his “lack of ability” is key to Royal Blood’s astronomical success

Royal Blood frontman Mike Kerr poses with his Fender Jaguar Bass
(Image credit: Fender)

Royal Blood are known for many things: from being one of the most successful British rock acts to follow in the footsteps of Muse, Biffy Clyro and Arctic Monkeys – the latter of whom they share management with – to sounding impossibly gargantuan for a group with only two members.

No matter how many videos you watch on signal splitting and using different amps to fill up sonic space, seeing them live is always a mind-boggling experience, with singer/bassist Mike Kerr cleverly routing his Fender four-strings to effectively serve as a standalone bass, an Electro-Harmonix POG2-effected octave up ‘guitar’ or both combined.

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).