Keane to keep on running?

Singer Tom Chaplin of the British rock band Keane, and Tim Rice-Oxley, performing in Lebanon. Photo: AP Photo/Grace Kassab/PA Photos.
Singer Tom Chaplin of the British rock band Keane, and Tim Rice-Oxley, performing in Lebanon. Photo: AP Photo/Grace Kassab/PA Photos.

With a Best Of in the shops and talk of a split, Keane’s continuation is hanging in the balance. Andy Welch catches up with singer Tom Chaplin to find out if it’s really all over for the British four-piece.

When one of the country’s biggest Sunday papers ran a story with the headline ‘Keane splits to work on solo projects’ a few weeks ago, fans were understandably a bit shaken.

Keane are, after all, one of the past decade’s most successful bands with more than 11 million album sales around the world. As their Best Of Keane album out now proves, they’re also responsible for some undeniably brilliant songs.

While Keane are taking a break “for the foreseeable future”, frontman Tom Chaplin says news of the band’s demise has been somewhat exaggerated.

“That, unfortunately, is the story now - that we’re splitting up, and it has gathered its own momentum,” he says. “We are taking some time away, but it’s not the same as splitting up. I don’t think so, anyway.”

Of the 20 tracks on Best Of Keane, seven come from second album Under The Iron Sea. While it was their debut Hopes & Fears, the second-biggest selling album of 2004 and certified nine times platinum (it’s sold six million copies), that catapulted them to domestic fame, it was the follow-up that cemented their position around the world.

“It’s an album that probably surprised a lot of people,” says Chaplin. “People who loved Hopes & Fears might’ve found it harder to digest but, that said, it found a lot of new fans too. It was darker and heavier, and when I listen back, I think it’s, sonically at least, the album I’m most proud of.”

Now all that’s left for Chaplin to do is worry about what he’s going to do with his free time if there’s no band to occupy his mind.