Hi Jesse, how are you?
I’m living in the dark shadow of the tour lurgie that the crew are all coming down with!
How has the US tour been going?
It’s been really good. We’ve had some really great gigs. I’ve been to a lot of record shops. Tim and I went to Electric Fetus in Minneapolis which is a great store. It’s only about a mile or so from the venue so we decided to walk. It was minus 26 celsius but we’re so rugged we didn’t even notice.
You’ve been playing across the length and breadth of a huge country. How has all the travelling been?
Well because we’re on a bus we’re asleep during most of the drives but everywhere has been very cold and apart from a couple of places everywhere has been covered in snow so I think it’s been tough for Jerry, our driver. Although, he’s a bad ass so he’s ok.
You must have watched quite a few films / boxsets on the bus – any standouts?
I watched both series of The Hour which I loved. It’s a brilliant show. Also the first series of Cardinal Burns which is funny. Tom and I went to a proper picture house in Kansas City to watch Zero Dark Thirty. Best cinema either of us have ever been to. They had a bar running in front of each row of seats and you could order a burger and milkshake while you watched. I’m afraid I can’t remember what the place was called though.
What are your favourite things about America?
Guitar stores and record stores. Best in the world.
It looks from Richard’s blog that you’ve had a bit of time off for sightseeing and exploring – what have been the highlights?
Richard has but I’ve stayed close to the bus/hotel/venue for a lot of this tour. It has been fricking cold and I didn’t bring the right clothes for it because I’m stupid. We did take a VIP (don’t go on about it) tour of NASA in Houston which was ridiculously awesome.
Have you bought any souvenirs (for yourself or other people) along the way?
A LOT of records. Also bought myself a mountain dulcimer which is pretty cool. It’s a second-hand one and comes in a homemade frilly, flowery pink bag. I’m going to feel so cool taking it on as hand luggage on the way home.
How has it been having Youngblood Hawke along for the ride?
It’s been great. They seem nice. I feel sorry for them because apparently their bus is only just about driving. The heating’s broken and various other things. Not fun.
What have been the culinary highlights of this tour?
I went for a really nice lunch with my wife’s uncle and aunt in Dallas. Venue catering has been pretty bad. There have been a couple of good ones but US venues on the whole don’t take much pride in the food side of things. Sorry US venue chefs. Ha ha.
You’ve got a bit of time off between the end of this tour and the start of the Latin American dates. Do you have any plans?
In March I’m going out solo supporting Mumford & Sons in Europe for three weeks which I’m equally excited and nervous about.
We also asked Keane fans on Twitter to give us some questions for you…
Which bands are on your tourbus playlist?
A.A. Bondy, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Sparklehorse.
If you could live in any home on television, what would it be?
What an excellent question! Downton Abbey seems fairly suitable for my needs I suppose.
Seeing on your twitter bio that you are up for hire.. which band would you like to be hired for? (other than Keane)
Anyone that doesn’t have more than three chords in each song.
Jesse, what’s your favourite sound? (ps mine is church bells).
Well I quite like music. Everyday sounds I like? Hmm, quite cheesy but my daughter’s laughter is probably my favourite sound. A weirder one I love is the sound of wood pigeons.
How would you describe what you feel while playing music?
It’s different in different situations. At a Keane gig I’m mainly just listening very carefully to the kick drum and the snare drum and trying to play the right notes and that occupies my brain more than any emotion. Although it is quite easy to take your mood on stage with you and that can affect your energy and performance. I guess the mark of a professional is not letting it show in a negative way. It’s only when every single thing is right that you can let yourself get lost in the music and the experience. The rest of the time it’s enjoyable playing the songs but I feel like the main thing is to play well for the people who have paid their hard earned money for a ticket. Playing as a group or individually in the studio is very different but I won’t bore you any longer!
Any goals (personal/work) that you’d like to achieve for 2013?
I think we’re all in the mood for ticking some stuff off of our bucket lists.