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Interview Richard Hugues - 26th March 2007

Keane.Fr : Richard, your drum solo before "Leaving so soon?" in the last tour was very appreciated by fans. Do you feel like playing the "Magic Shop" version of "The iron sea" when you see that? Is it leading the way to lots of improvisations in future shows, changes in other songs, or was it just having fun on the moment?
Richard : it's funny you should ask as we were talking about the magic shop "iron sea" the other day. to be honest, i'd forgotten about that version until then. the main p art of the song is really out of time so it's hard to play drums along with it, but i played a load of different loops to it at the magic shop so there's probably a way we could make it work...
As for the solo (it's really just an extended intro) - that was really enjoyable to play, and a great way to end the acoustic part of the set with a bang. it's nice for the crowd to hear just how good scott, ant and iain get the drums to sound without all the other stuff in the way! we basically tried a load of things out in rehearsals before the tour and some of them stuck. we are definitely having a lot of fun just messing around with stuff at the moment, new and old. in fact, i'm writing this in our new secret lair, where we have moved all our equipment to so we can start working on songs for the next record... the sun is shining, and the other two are playing with something called a "vibrostomp" which tom's piano is going through (i think it's a tremolo pedal but i'm not gonna interrupt them).

A few years ago you were supporting Travis. They're releasing a new album soon and are back on the road, how do you feel about that? Were you at one of their first gigs? What do you think of the new album (if you heard it, I think Tim told us he did after LA show in January?)?
i haven't heard it, but i talked to fran about it and he seemed really pleased with it. i'm excited to hear it for sure. they are a great band, and much more brave than people give them credit for - their songs have always had a deeper meaning and message than perhaps some critics have realised. it's basically pretty easy to dismiss any band if you talk about certain things and ignore others, and i think a lot of critics have done that to them in the past - i hope the new record gets a fair chance because they wouldn't have released it if they didn't have something to say. neil is one of my favourite drummers too, so i can't wait to hear what he's done on the new record. i have heard the single, closer, and i like it a lot.

Richard, we were able to see some of your photos on keanemusic.com and we learnt that you also took some of Corin's band. Can you tell us a bit more about this passion?
umm, it's just something i really enjoy. i took a load of pics of apb at their show in aberdeen too (iain, our sound guy's band). in both cases i was going to the show to see the bands, but just took my camera along. robin, who plays drums in the conspirators is amazing, and they are a great live band - i just went to watch really. i think that's the joy of taking photos for fun as opposed to doing it as a job - i get to do it when i like, and it's something i love. i was worried it was really vain to put some of my photos on the website, but some people had asked, and in the end i just thought, fuck it - who cares? if people think they are rubbish they can always go and look at flickr!

It's following and thanks to your gig at the Elysée Montmartre in Paris in November 2004 that we started lemondedekeane.com that's now keane.fr and we have from that day the best memories. What are your memories of that first show as a "known" band in France, if you kept any? Anything struck you at the time?
i remember the interview - didn't you bring champagne for us?! thanks again... i can't remember if it was you guys who told me, but someone had said that the olympia was the last gig the beatles had played in paris, and i love finding out that stuff - i can remember playing at the zodiac in oxford and thinking that radiohead had played on the same stage. it's great finding out the history of these places. i also remember trying to get to the front of the theatre to take a photo, but not being able to get outside.