As the rest of the world sticks it's head in the sand and waits patiently for the next New York sensations, Keane have sneaked out of the woodwork with the perfect Anti-Rock band. Their first single "Everybody's Changing" mixes the synth pop balladry of the Pet Shop Boys with the mournful vocals of Thom Yorke and there's not a guitar in sight. We caught up with singer Tom to find out why the band are so keen to bring intelligence and originality back to pop music.
Q: "Everybody's Changing" has got an almost universal thumbs up from everybody who has heard it. You must be the first band ever though to be compared to the Pet Shop Boys and Radiohead in the same review?
A: I think that is a reasonable fair comparison in some ways and obviously the Thom Yorke is a mixture of compliment and...it's good to think that people thing my voice is in the same category. At least I hope it's that and they're not just thinking it's some cheap immitation. I think when you see us live people will realise that it's a lot more varied than people would expect.
Q: Did you want to bring an intelligence back to pop music?
A: I guess so. The real quality of the songs is that I think we like to feel there is an arty side to them in terms of them being lyrically a bit deeper. But we don't want to be pretentious about it because I think really when it comes down to it they're just good pop songs and that's what people are after. I think that's why people Coldplay and Radiohead and so forth have done so well, and all the bands that we love really such as The Smiths and U2 and all those classic bands, they really do that well - they deliver a classic pop song and can offer a little bit more if you want to dig deeper.
Q: In that respect do you think music is missing characters who actually have something new and original to say?
A: I guess there's a lot of frilly bollocks that's around music these days and what were trying to do is get back to the essence of it and good tunes that people will sing along to. I think what we write about is shared universal beliefs and ideas that people relate to on a daily basis. When you listen to some bands you can sometimes feel a little bit alienated by some of the lyrics and our ethos is to write about things that people feel about on an everyday level.
Q: Somehow you've managed to appeal to the real rock crowd despite the fact you don't have a guitarist in the band. Is this a deliberate Anti-Rock stance?
A: One thing about us is were not a guitar band and that sets us about from other bands immediately. And I think some people find that a little disorientating and they're like give me the guitar. Once you get your head round it there's so much range to piano and electronic stuff in the melodies that people think who needs a guitar anyway.
Q: Many people would assume you've taken the name from that famous Irish Rebel Footballer. What is the actual story behind the name?
A: The name is an old friend of ours who died some years ago. We came across this name Cherry Keane, but the idea was that you scour the music press and you have to think that once people have got over the novelty of that name will it actually have a lasting quality.
"Everybody's Changing" is out now on Fierce Panda
The band play selected dates during June
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