Richard chats to 29 June 2006

We called up Richard in Canada for the latest of our regular chats with Keane (see the Journal in the Ezine for more).

Hello Richard. How are you?
Alright thank you.

Keane seem to be taking the world by storm!
Er, well, sometimes it’s hard to tell when you’re just rushing around doing everything. But everyone seems to be happy.

The new album has gone platinum in the UK already. It sold 300,000 copies in 13 days.
So I hear! To be honest, it’s hard to get your head around numbers, but we’re very grateful to all the people who like the new record.

So you’ve been in America just over a week now. How’s it been going?
It’s been incredibly full on. We’ve done lots of gigs, lots of flying, lots or radio shows. It’s been really good, but I kind of sucked in San Francisco.

In what sense did you suck?
I was a bit tired and I just didn’t play the drums very well. We’re really excited about everything and I never fail to have a burst of adrenaline before a gig, but in San Francisco I was tired, I hadn’t warmed up for long enough and it was all a bit of a rush that day. And we’re still learning y’know.

Did people notice it wasn’t quite on the button?
Well we knew and if we know then that’s bad. Some people said they didn’t notice, but I was like, ‘Well, you probably weren’t there then’. But no, it’s rare that we have an off night and it gave us a bit of a kick up the arse for the LA, New York and Boston shows, so in the end it was a good thing. And I’ll just have to make sure I have a really good night when we’re next back in San Francisco.

But the rest of the shows have gone well?
Yeah, apart from that it’s all been really good. LA was brilliant and we achieved a communal band ambition by playing at the Bowery Ballroom in New York the other day, which was as amazing as we hoped it would be. Then we got to Boston and thought, how are we going to match that? But I think we topped it! The crowd were amazing there too. So it’s all going well. And we had a great time in Toronto. I think of all the places we go on tour, Toronto is probably my favourite.

Yeah. I do have some friends who live here, which helps, but it’s just a really cool city. I was out for the – and don’t misunderstand the word ‘out’ here – but I was out for the afternoon at the gay pride on Sunday and that was really cool. And Tim and Tom went fishing on Sunday with our sound engineer Iain, who caught a 23-pound salmon!

That’s huge!
Well yeah. Apparently he was holding it at elbow height and it went down to his knees! So he was a happy man. And Tim and Tom caught some stuff as well.

So you’re getting some free time too?
Absolutely. In Florida we all went out on a fishing boat and we’ve got a day off in Chicago coming up where we’re hoping to get down to a baseball game and eat hot dogs – or veggie dogs in my case. American culture is such an amazing, multi-sensory experience – it’s great to do things like going to baseball. We went to see the Cubs play once before and it was just brilliant. I think wherever we go, we want to get out of the hotel and see what the city is about. And you do eventually get to know these places by doing that. With Chicago, for instance, I’ve discovered that it’s a great city to go rummaging around music stores and drum shops, looking for weird old things.

How have the US interviews been?
Well, over here people seem interested in the fact that we’re a band with something to say, whether that be politically or in whatever realm. I think that’s really cool. To be invited to give your opinion in what is the most powerful country in the world is an amazing thing. We were on ‘Good Morning America’ – one of the biggest TV shows on the planet – being asked what ‘Is It Any Wonder?’ is about and that sort of thing. Having the opportunity to state your views in an honest way on a massive American TV show is pretty great.

You’ve been on the road a couple of months now. Do you click back into the lifestyle pretty easily?
Yeah, I think so. It’s actually been really good fun. It’s always cool coming back to America.

Things do seem to be going very well there for Keane.
Yeah they do. I think our plan is to do things in the old-fashioned way and just tour and tour. Each time we go back to a place we seem to get a more rapturous welcome. America is a huge country and you have to be prepared to travel round it, but that is actually one of the most enjoyable aspects to doing it. We’ve always had dreams of coming over and waking up on the tourbus in another city knowing that people really wanna hear us play. And we do really feel like we’re getting somewhere here now. It’s a great feeling.  

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