Updated: Richard faces the “Ask Keane” queries…
Update from Richard: Someone has pointed out that I spelt “Tegan and Sara” wrong in one of the answers below. Sorry about that. I blame autocorrect. Anyway, here’s a link to their website, www.teganandsara.com – they’re well worth checking out.
It’s been a little while since we got the band to answer some of the questions that you folks have been emailing in via the “Ask Keane” section of the Ezine, so we thought it was about time we asked the chaps to answer some. Happily, they did. Here are Richard’s responses…
“Richard, are you really colorblind? Does it affect your photography?”
Richard replies: Yes, I’m red/green colour blind, so if you look at this website I’m pretty much the same as the guy who made the web page – I can only see the number 25 in the first circle. I guess it does affect my pics, but only in the way I see them compared to people with normal colour vision. It’s one of the many reasons i still use film – I trust it to more accurately reproduce the colours I see in front of me than digital cameras. I shoot a lot of black and white too!
“If you could pass a new law, what would it be?”
Richard replies: Skip this one if you don’t like people in bands going on about politics…
It would involve separating politics from corporate control. If you read a book like “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: The Shocking Story of How America Really Took Over the World” by John Perkins, it pretty quickly becomes clear that a lot of the world’s problems are caused not by goverment, but by the people who influence the government agenda, namely the corporations who fund their political careers. In the USA, this is largely through the donations that politicians need in order to buy adverts during their campaigns to get elected – this coming presidential election may well be the first billion dollar campaign. To hear a bit more about it then try listening to “democracy now” from June 5th here, where John Perkins talks about his role in this process. It’s enormously depressing.
I would also try to reduce media consolidation, so that more local and independent news sources get heard, rather than the corporate-controlled mainstream media. It’s very hard for real news to get heard above all the rubbish – take the decision to interview Paris Hilton on Larry King Live, replacing Michael Moore, who was there to talk about his film, “sicko”, about the state of healthcare in the USA. There’s a great documentary called Outfoxed which talks about Fox News, and gives some perspective on the way that particular station is run. I basically cannot watch the mainstream news any more because I end up shouting at the TV. There is so much that is significant, yet goes unreported on the BBC / ITV / FOX / CNN / MSNBC – see this for example – this story has gone entirely unreported on mainstream news, yet the original pictures of prisoner abuse were headline news, but blamed on a few “bad apples” acting alone – this report shows the practice was known about much higher up, much earlier. Instead of ranting at the TV I try to listen to the podcast of “Democracy Now” (www.democracynow.org) every day, and look at news websites like www.truthdig.com; www.alternet.org; www.truthout.org; and otherwise keep up to date by reading the Independent and the New Yorker. If people think I should be quiet about this stuff because I’m just some idiot in a band, then I disagree – I was asked a question and I answered it. The beauty of the internet is that I can do so unedited, exactly like the websites I have just mentioned. So thanks for asking Torika, and sorry if that was a bit heavy.
“As a pom living in Australia, when oh when are keane going to tour Australia?”
Richard replies: I have no idea! Last time we were there I tried to take a picture of myself in front of the Opera House in Sydney, but I managed to completely block out the building, so it’s just me and the water. I need to go back to do that again… I hope it will be in summer next time, and that we can stop off in New Zealand on the way back.
“Hello Rich from argentina,… what kit you use?”
Richard replies: It’s a Yamaha “Maple Custom Absolute Nouveau”, in a custom metallic white colour. My drum tech, Scott, secretly arranged for Yamaha to put my name on the badges too. I occasionally sit in front of thousands of people, catch sight of the badge on the kick drum, and wonder quite how I got there…
Click here to see the kit.
Here’s a pic of a badge in all its glory…
“Hey Richard, I was wondering what you like being called Richard,Rich,Richy,etc.?”
Richard replies: I don’t mind, but Tom has always called me Rick, and that seems to be getting more and more common.
“Richard. Just a quick question 4 the coolest veggie on earth do u eat dairy?”
Richard replies: Um, thanks! The answer is yes. I think I’d waste away otherwise.
“When you were just starting out as a band, how often did you guys rehearse?”
Richard replies: We started off only in the school holidays. Later, when we all moved to London we went to a rehearsal room called Backstreet on Holloway Road about twice a week (if we could afford it). iIdrove past the other day and it’s been knocked down – I think we still owed them twenty quid too. I bet the piece of land still smells…
“Do any of you do any good luck rituals before your gigs or are any of you superstitious?”
Richard replies: We tend to tempt fate deliberately, in an ironic way, which may not be too wise, but it’s amusing. The phrase “What’s the worst that could happen?” seems to have become a catch phrase ever since Tim first uttered it.
“What criteria goes into choosing locations to perform? I had the opportunity of catching you in my hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah during your ‘Hopes and Fears’ tour, but this time around with ‘Under the Iron Sea’ I had to travel to Los Angeles! I hope we didn’t do anything to offend you and scare you away!”
Richard replies: I think our agent gets a map out, closes his eyes, spins round a few times, then throws darts at it, and that’s where we go.
When we were in Salt Lake City the show was delayed until Tony had escorted an armed man to his car, so we had (armed) police outside our dressing room for a while, but the show was really enjoyable after that, partly because we were happy to be alive. I’m sure we’ll be back – it was a beautiful place and we had great pizza.
“How do you choose which songs to play at any given concert? (I’ve been to two concerts and yet haven’t ever heard my favorite song, The Frog Prince, live). Thanks!”
Richard replies: Sorry! We played it a few times early on and were worried people didn’t really enjoy it, but we still drop it in once in a while. Coming up with a setlist is pretty hard – it needs to flow, and you always seem to need one more rocker! We’ve got a couple of rocking new tracks on the way for album 3…
“For Rich, May I ask wich is your favourite band of music? (Apart from Keane =P)”
Richard replies: I guess we’ve talked a lot about the influences of Keane, so I’ll tell you what i’ve been listening to recently…
Amy winehouse; Mutemath; Bright Eyes; The Kinks; Findlay Brown (make sure you come down early in Dublin to check him out); TV On The Radio; Dr Dre; The Bens; Tegan and Sara.
“Richard, can we just ask, can you actually see anyone in the crowds at your concerts or are the lights too bright?”
Debbie & Emma
Richard replies: I can see the first couple of rows, but when Rob turns up all the lights I can see the lot – I have a couple of pics that have a good drummer’s eye view. I shall post them on here soon!