Interview Tim - 26th March 2007
Keane.Fr : You're going to start your first South America tour where you're expected with excitement if we trust the numerous messages from fans there, how do you feel about that?
Tim : Yes, we seem to have an incredible number of fans over there. It's very flattering that people know and love our music in these countries that are so far away from our home, and that we've never been to. It's brilliant that the demand is there for us to go and play there – very few British bands can justify a South American tour – so it's a great honour and we're really excited. I think the fans will be pretty wild.
We read that you went back to studio between these 2 tours: was it to record new songs that were almost ready or was it to make a few tries, and could you tell us a bit more about these songs, their inspiration, style...
We've just started playing through some new songs that we have. When we made Under The Iron Sea, we didn't really get a chance to play the songs together as a band before recording them – it was very much a 'studio album' - whereas when we made Hopes And Fears, we had spent many months playing those songs together, and we had a lot of fun doing that. So this time around we want to make sure we take time to play the songs together, experiment with them, give them time to develop organically without the pressure of the 'red light' in the recording studio. Best of all, it means that we spend time together doing what we love most – making music and sharing the thrill of creating something out of nothing.
I don't want to say too much more about the style of the songs, although I can guarantee that we'll continue to do new and different things rather than treading water, as we say. As far as inspirations go, as ever we're always searching around for new ideas in unexpected places. Off the top of my head I'd say the things I've been listening to most recently are ABBA, Jay-Z, Panic! At The Disco, Stevie Wonder and Blur. Also quite a lot of Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. I went to see Dolly at Wembley last week and she was pretty amazing.
During several of your gigs, we were able to admire and appreciate several of your songs in an acoustic version: will there be an acoustic album some day? Why not a bonus cd on the next album? Is an acoustic tour like Noel Gallagher is doing something you guys could do one day?
We'll see! I think sometimes these things are best left as a magical moment in a live show rather than turned into albums. I loved standing by the stage watching tom doing Broken Toy acoustically. I thought that was a really beautiful moment. The Frog Prince was really fun to do that way too. I guess it gives us, and the audience, a chance to really focus on the song in its purest form.
Why did you chose the Yamaha CP-70 in the first place?
I read about it in a book called Making Music, which was all about every different aspect of making records. I borrowed it off Tom and never gave it back! I thought the idea of a piano that spilt in two and could be plugged into an amp just like a guitar was pretty amazing. So I tracked one down and bought it, and as soon as we tried it out with the band it just sounded brilliant. It's incredible to think that in the early days we used to put the CP70 in the back of a Ford Fiesta and drive up to London for gigs. We never saw another band who were carrying a real piano around to tiny shows with them, so we began to realise that we had something that looked and sounded unique.
Tim, in the last interview you were kind enough to do with us last November in Paris at the Zenith, you were wondering a bit how would people react the song you wrote for Gwen Stefani. What are you thinking about the critics, reviews, etc... now on your song, with the set-back?
That worked out very well. The song got a really great response from people, and from the media. I just loved working with Gwen, and I really learned a lot from it.
Tim it seems that you're singing more and more songs, do you think that in a near future you could sing a full song, or maybe have a duet with Tom?
Tom wants to try one of our news songs as a kind of a duet, a bit like 'Two Of Us' by The Beatles, so we'll see how that sounds! I love singing, and it's great to be belting out those songs in the live shows, but when it comes to recording what normally happens is that I'll sing a song in demo form or whatever, and then as soon as Tom starts singing it I think, "Ah...now that's what I wanted it to sound like!" It's pretty hard for me to sing a song better than Tom sings it. But I'll probably give it a go one of these days.