Q 29 August 2012

Hello Jesse, how are you?
Pretty good, thanks.

Where are you right now and what were you doing before you started answering these questions?
I’m in my hotel room in Monterey recording guitar for a couple of songs I’m working on and faffing around with a bass part for a new Keane demo.

How has the Latin American trip been going so far?
Good! It’s always nice to feel loved, isn’t it? The diet of burgers and beer isn’t good though.

You landed in Argentina, did you get a chance to see anything, or did you just stay in the airport?
Sadly we were only there for about an hour so just hung out at an airport cafe – which is a shame as Buenos Aires is one of my favourite places.

Next stop was Paraguay for your first show in Asuncion. Did you get a chance to see the city?
I saw the Sheraton hotel and the bar next door to it! Had a nice view of the city from my window though. Love all the purple trees. What are they called?!

Are there any particular things you try to do when you go to an unfamiliar country?
Well, I’m not very touristy so I never really go sight-seeing or anything like that. If we’re in a cool neighbourhood I like to just go for a walk and soak up the atmosphere. When you don’t have much time there a lot of cities can feel very alien and impenetrable which can sometimes make you feel a long way from home and it’s quite easy to just end up stuck in your hotel.

And how was the Paraguay show?
Asuncion was incredible because no-one buys tickets until the last minute so when we’d only sold a couple of thousand tickets a couple of weeks before the show we were worried that we were going to a place where no-one liked us. It ended up going in the opposite direction. I think we played especially well which helped.

Then it was on to Brazil to play the shows with Maroon 5. You must know Rio and Sao Paulo quite well by now?
I don’t know either city well at all but both times we’ve been to Rio we’ve stayed by the beach  which has been glorious. When I was a kid I dreamed of touring the UK, the US and Europe – I never imagined I’d end up playing places like Rio or Sao Paulo!

What are your favourite things about Brazil?
I love the hills and nature in Rio. The hills, the beach, the trees and birds and things. The first settlers must have been pretty pleased with themselves!

How were the two Brazil shows?
Both Maroon 5 shows in Brazil were great as it’s a really exciting challenge trying to win over people that don’t know your music or don’t really like it. Although, I think there were plenty of Keane fans there too cheering us on. I think we played really well in Sao Paulo but not so well in Rio. Rio was harder as we had less space on stage but an enormous crowd so it felt harder to know if we were connecting with them.

And now you’ve got the two Mexico shows. Are you looking forward to those?
Definitely! The only thing I care about is the shows. Nothing else matters.

It must be quite an incredible feeling to fly to the other side of the world and see people who are so connected with your music?
It’s surreal. It’s funny when you’re recording and you think about how people will be hearing it in places that you haven’t even heard OF! I guess people will always like a good song, wherever it’s from.

Finally, have you bought any souvenirs to take home yet?
We’ve been given a lot of gifts which is very kind. Someone gave me some finger puppets which I’m going to give to my daughter. Someone else gave me a little pot with some birds on it and glittery bits on the side which I really like. Thanks!

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