On Friday, we called up Keane’s frontman fella Tom Chaplin for a quick catch up as the band waited at Milan airport for their flight back to London.
Q. Hi Tom. Have you been enjoying playing these smaller club shows around Europe?
A. Yeah, it’s been great. It’s like going back to those seven years we spent doing the club circuit in London. It’s probably good to keep our egos in check too! And these dirty rock clubs seem like an appropriate place to bring our slightly darker, dirtier new sound.
Q. Presumably there’ll be a full-scale European tour of bigger venues later in the year?
A. There will be, yeah. I think a whole bunch of dates are pencilled in, including a proper UK tour.
Q. Things seem to be shaping up well with the new single.
A. Yeah, someone was saying it’s already at Number 4 in the UK airplay chart, which is quite mind-blowing. I think we were a bit nervous about the response we’d get, cos it’s obviously very different. But at the shows, people have been going mental as soon as the big riff kicks in. There’s this immediate connection, which is great for a new song.
Q. Presumably you’re really pleased with Sanna Annukka’s artwork for the new campaign?
A. Oh God yeah, I think it’s amazing. We wanted whatever the artwork was to really emphasise the darker side of the record. What I love about it is that the images present themselves as these beautiful things, but as you look into them further, weirder things start appearing, like the balloons with skulls or the birds that are actually bombs. And I think all that stuff is a nice reflection of the music – on the surface you hear a Keane song as being this big, epic melodic tune, but when you actually go inside the song, especially lyrically, there’s quite a sinister side to it.
Q. So were the band directly involved in choosing Sanna?
A. Oh, absolutely. That sort of thing doesn’t come from the label at all, we wouldn’t trust them with that responsibility! Record companies often push one of these bog-standard design firms onto bands, whereas we actually commissioned an original piece of art from a young, hungry artist. And I think it really, really paid off.
Q. What are you chaps up to over the next week?
A. We’ve actually got a few days off this weekend. I’m planning to watch some cricket with my girlfriend, which should be fun. And then we’ll jumping on the Eurostar to go to Paris for the show there on Tuesday. I love Paris, so I’m really looking forward to that one.