Buzznet Exclusive: Keane’s Tom Chaplin Explains His “Strangeland”

Keane’s new album Strangland is available now and the band is about to head out on a major world tour! Before they did the road we had a chance to talk to the band’s lead singer Tom Chaplin and get an inside look at the new album and what it’s like to tour the world! Check it out below! 

Tell me about Strangeland and how it differs from your past albums.

I reckon Strangeland is the most assured album that we have made – we had an instinctive desire to be really well prepared, so that there wouldn’t be any loose ends, rushed decisions or regrets. It all began with allowing Tim enough time and space to write the songs – he came up with 80 in the end! Sonically, I’d say this record sits somewhere between our first and second albums, although it contains elements of everything that we have learnt as a band over the years. I guess this record is the sound of a band playing to their strengths!

What is your favorite song off the album?

It’s hard to pick a favorite – like picking a favorite child or something! That said, I have a very soft spot for the song “The Starting Line”, which is about trying to find hope and be spirited even in the darkest of times. It’s a theme that runs through the album but is probably best described in that song.

What inspired your new album? Does it have one central theme?

See above! To add to that though, I think we have reached a stage in our lives where we have realized that showing understanding and empathy is better than always pointing the finger and being angry. So there is a lot more positivity in this record, even though we’re still inspired by the same dark subject matter – rejection, depression, war etc – I won’t go on! But at some point I think our attitudes became softer and more realistic.

How does the song writing process work for you guys?

We lock Tim away in a dark room with a piano and he emerges a few months later with all these incredible, fully-formed songs. We then get our opinions in about our favorites and start rehearsing them! It’s a pretty smooth process and I think one of Tim’s great skills is to be able to encapsulate the feelings of the four of us as a band…so although the songwriting process is very much his, I think the songs are a true representation of us as a band.

Is there any song on the album that is the most special to you or holds the most meaning?

There’s a song called In Your Own Time. I was coming back from a gig in Scotland, sitting on the train on my own and feeling a little bit down. I put this song on full blast in my ears and it just seemed to make sense of my situation at the time.

You about to head out on a monster of a tour, what country are you look forward to playing most?

Road tripping in a tour bus across America is one of the great delights of being in a band…and then there’s our inexplicable popularity in Argentina, which is simply awesome!

What is different about playing to an American crowd compared to playing other countries?

It changes from city to city. I think the enormity of the place means that you can travel overnight and feel like you’re in a whole new country! It’s like visiting old friends when we come to America – we’ve built up a really loyal fan base over the years and we often go and say hello to the fans after the shows – so it has a warmth and familiarity that you can’t match!

Is there any country you have never played that you want to?

New Zealand.

How do you prepare for such a big tour?

Nothing can really prepare you for it – I just try to take it one day at a time or it becomes too daunting! Getting fit and healthy is always a goal…touring is a really good excuse!

You can check out Keane’s tour kicking off June 12th here — and pick up Strangelands on iTunes

What is your favorite Keane song?