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Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 10:29 UK
Keane answer their music critics
By Frances Cronin
Newsbeat entertainment reporter


Keane say they have high hopes for their third album Perfect Symmetry.

In the past, the band have been the group that other bands love to hate with Oasis singer Liam Gallagher once calling them "posh lightweights".

But the new album looks set to change all that with Johnny Borrell saying he's danced to new single Spiralling.

Singer Tom Chaplin said: "Bands are daring to admit they like us - it's been great. We've had so many nice, fond words from all sorts of camps."

Spiralling, the first single off Perfect Symmetry, has surprised many with its 80s dance feel and has won over new fans.

Early reviews of the album have also been good.

Tom Chaplin said: "The reports we've had from people in the press has been surprisingly brilliant and what we really want now is to get it out to the fans."

Happier times

Like the first single, Perfect Symmetry is upbeat, a contrast to the last one Under The Iron Sea.

It was recorded before Tom went into rehab in 2006 to deal with alcohol and drink problems.

He said: "The state of mind on this album was much more positive.

"We were all in a terrible place the last time round and I wasn't there a lot of the time.

Tim Rice-Oxley went to see Prince last year and suddenly came back with all these songs that had these big guitar grooves and were really funky
Keane singer Tom Chaplin on the band's new direction
"We were very proud of Under The Iron Sea but it's a quite scary, claustrophobic and sad record.

"This album deals with difficult subjects but sees them in a positive fashion.

"We feel having gone through some difficult times we kind of want to be sympathetic and understanding as opposed to pointing the finger and condemning, I think it's softened us up a bit."

As for those themes Tom Chaplin says they include fame and war.

He said: "Perfect Symmetry questions why people fight wars.

"Better Than This is about celebrity culture and the way there are so many people chasing this insane dream of being famous for pretty much no reason when there are so many things you can constructively do with your life.

"A lot of the mad things we cling on to as human beings we explore in this record. I guess the touch of the hippie is coming out in Keane."

But with a number of tracks you can dance to, is this Keane the dance album?

"It's not far away, it's a lot more upbeat and uptempo," said Tom.

"We already have a lot of ideas for remixes and we've already had a few done. Yeah, bring it on.

"I really like that, when rock music can translate into clubs and it's great we're finding new avenues."

'Dancy feel'

Tom Chaplin admits that previous attempts to get Keane played in clubs didn't really work.

He said: "I remember hearing a remix of Is It Any Wonder when I was in a club. It was good but I don't think it was as conducive to it than songs on this record are.

Keane's debut album Hopes And Fears came out in 2004
"Thankfully it was very dark and I could hide. I felt extremely embarrassed."

Tom says songwriter Tim Rice-Oxley's inspiration came in the form of Prince: "We've found a bit of dance and soul and funkiness in what we're doing," he said.

"Tim went to see Prince last year and suddenly came back with all these songs that had these big guitar grooves and were really funky. We're embracing those sides of things more.

"In the past people thought Keane is more music to cry to but these days we feel we can do anything we like and I suppose that's why we've taken this adventure into more dancy and funky songs. It's come off quite well."

The record is largely produced by themselves with some help from Madonna's producer Stuart Price.

Tom said: "He's like a mad professor sitting behind his computer and can transform a record in minutes."

More guitar

A key difference is that there is more guitar used on a number of tracks rather then their trademark piano: "I expect there'll be a few dissenters who won't like it but especially with this record we felt there were no rules."

So has he been practicing his guitar moves for the tour?

Tom said: "Just practicing playing the notes right is a start, it could be a disaster.

"All of us are extending ourselves as much as we can musically, which includes me playing lead guitar looking terrified."

They have played their first live gig at London's Forum and the new tracks went down well with the audience but Tom admits he's a bit more jittery about their UK and European tour starting at the end of October.

He said: "I guess I do feel a bit nervous but equally excited because it's the beginning of an exciting time for us.

"I think we felt we've had this album lurking in us since we started making music as a band and we wanted to make what we think is a really great album and I think we've got that here.

"The chance to take that out on the road will be a life affirming experience."

Perfect Symmetry is out on 13 October. Keane also play the BBC Electric Proms on 23 October.

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