ROYAL Blood are now one of the country’s biggest rock bands – and it seems the Force is with them too.

The duo ended up with lightsabres after a previous trip to Glasgow saw them party away afterwards.

“I remember a night in the Cathouse,” recalls hat-wearing drummer Ben Thatcher, ahead of the duo returning to Scotland tomorrow.

“We went out on May 4 and it was a Star Wars party going on there, so I woke up the next morning with a lightsabre I’d picked up along the way. I think we’d played the ABC and [Aberdeen band] the Xcerts were playing in Glasgow that night as well, so we ended up out with them. They’re friends, but we really like their music as well.”

There’s no Jedi tricks needed to explain Royal Blood’s rise to the top of the rock pile though. Ben and pal Mike Kerr met when they were teenagers, and played in other bands before deciding to form Royal Blood.

The stripped back onslaught of bass and drums has seen their profile grow rapidly, from early gigs around their native Brighton to a slot on the NME Tour and their self-titled debut album topping the charts.

Now they have a new record, How Did We Get So Dark?, and an arena tour that calls at the SSE Hydro tomorrow. Playing shows on that vast level is something that Ben admits he wasn’t ever expecting.

“I think I’d have been very foolish to ever think we’d be headlining the Hydro,” he says.

“When you start a band, you don’t aim for big venues, you aim to make music that connects with people and that they’ll enjoy, but you never think about what position you’ll end up in doing it. We now have the opportunity to put on a bigger and better show, which will be really fun to do.”

Less enjoyable is a common problem at big gigs now, where touts snap up tickets and then hike the prices, meaning real fans can’t afford them. It’s one of Ben’s biggest problems with the music business right now.

“We’ve experienced that before, so it’s something we’re passionate about stopping,” he says.

“It’s terrible – fans should not have to pay so much to come and see a band. We’re in close discussions with our management about what we can do and ways we can get around touts in the future.”

Their new album follows a similar pattern to the band’s debut, offering up intense blues and hard rock. However Ben feels the duo took some steps forward on the release, lifting it above its predecessor.

“I think our ability to write songs has gotten better,” he explains.

“We tried some things that we wouldn’t have tried on the first one, like having keyboards or backing vocals. All of those things opened our eyes and ears to new directions.

“They always say a second record is a difficult one to do, and I would agree, because there is a pressure and a responsibility to do something really cool with it, and you can’t force good songs out.”

How Did We Get So Dark gave the band their second straight number one album, and Ben feels that rock music is firmly crossing into the mainstream again.

“The biggest bands just now are playing guitars and drums again,” he says.

“There’s great new bands like Wolf Alice coming up and getting played on the radio, so they’re getting some recognition. The Slaves boys are out here in Milan [where Royal Blood were touring] at the moment, they’re great too.”

Having now tasted the arena lifestyle, the group have another target – headlining festivals.

“We’d love to be in that position,” adds Ben.

“There’s a bit more work for us to do before we play somewhere like TRNSMT but we’ll see how it goes in the future.”

Royal Blood, SSE Hydro, tomorrow, sold out, 6.30pm