On Wednesday I hooked up once more with the guys from Mt. Desolation. We wandered about in the icy cold doing some portraits. It was baltic and I was cruel enough to get Tim to walk around in a shirt and I stole Jesse’s coat on the pretext that he looked better without it but the truth is I was bloody freezing.
Got some nice shots. Here’s one.
Friday, 29 January 2010
Thursday, 28 January 2010
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Here are a couple of photo’s from yesterday with Mt. Desolation. Song’s are shaping up nicely. Tom Hobden was in laying down some more fiddle tracks in the morning though most of the day was concerned with Jesse recording various vocal, bass and banjo parts. What next I thought? Is he gonna play the kitchen sink too? The nose flute?? Tim was often to be found in another room composing harmonies. The day and night ended with a meal in a nearby pub. Last I saw of Jesse he was tinkering away with a mandolin…
Spent another day in the studio yesterday with the guy’s from Mt. Desolation. Got some good pic’s - a couple of which I’ll upload later.
Monday, 25 January 2010
Sunday, 24 January 2010
John's friend Ryann flew into London but her brother forgot to pick her up so she kindly came and sang some backing vocals for us. She normally sings with Blood Cells and Schoolyard Heroes back in Seattle.
(visit Mt. Desolation here)
Friday, 22 January 2010
Today was spent in deepest darkest Sussex with the band British Sea Power. The band are finishing up their latest record so I went down to document them in the studio. Lovely bunch of guys and the afternoon finished up with scampi and chips down the local boozer. Nice.
Pic’s to follow…
Approaching the end of a hectic week but still two shoots to do by Sunday.
Monday was spent in the studio with Mt. Desolation. Very many fine musicians appear on this record with the core of the band being Tim and Jesse. I won’t say any more about it than that at this stage as I’m sure the band themselves should be the first to give you the inside story of what’s been going down in the studio. The songs I’ve heard thus far are fantastic though, choruses still lodged in my brain. It was great to see Tim rocking out in the vocal booth - Jesse’s turn next week I believe.
Watch this space for new Mt. Desolation photos and written tidbits as I’ll be back down in the studio in the coming days…
Tomorrow I’ll be hanging in the studio with good friends Tim Rice-Oxley and Jesse Quin who are working on a new music collaboration/album together - Mt. Desolation. All sorts of other contributors to the record including John Roderick of the Long Winters who I love so I’m pretty excited to hear what they’ve come up with. I’ll be taking my camera so stay tuned for photos from the day.
Tonight shall be mostly spent in the cinema eating popcorn and watching ‘The Road’…
Thursday, 21 January 2010
Bit Of A Blur by Alex James
I read this book when we were recording Perfect Symmetry in Berlin and I found it to be very, very funny and inspiring. Alex James is the bass player from Blur and I really liked the juxtaposition of his very throwaway gung-ho approach to being in Blur and living it up, against his more serious insight into the working process of a band. I actually found it very inspiring. He has some quite interesting ideas - one philosophy that he keeps mentioning is that being creative is so much about confidence and that the things you do quickly without really thinking about them are normally the best things. That was a really interesting creative inspiration for me.
Reading the book made me go back to Blur. I've always been a huge fan of theirs, but I guess I hadn't actually listened to them that much recently. It was really nice to hear the albums again in the context of being reminded about all the excitement around that time, be it related to Blur themselves, or the wider context of politics and art and everything. And they really have made some brilliant records.
It's great being able to get inside a musician's head in the way that a book like this lets you. Getting people to open up like that and talk seriously about their life and their music can be almost impossible, unless you get to know them really, really well. But that seems to change when someone writes a book. I wouldn't be surprised if Alex James has gone through his whole life without ever expressing half of the stuff that he wrote in that book. There seems to be something about writing a book that makes you write as if nobody's ever going to read it. I guess that's why confessional things often come out in books, rather than in interviews or any form.
I'm not sure whether I'd like to write a book myself. I don't feel like I've got quite enough wisdom to share just yet. But I'll keep hoping...
Buy Bit Of A Blur from Amazon UK / USA / Canada / Germany / France / Japan
Tim's Book Club #1
Tim's Book Club #3
Monday, 18 January 2010
It's just been announced that Hopes And Fears is one of 10 albums nominated for the Best British Album of 30 Years at this year's Brit Awards. The 10 albums were decided by sales figures over the last 29 years, and they also must be a past Brit Award winner, in the Album category. They will now be put to a public, online vote - which we'll obviously let you know about as soon as it goes live.
For more info, head over to http://www.brits.co.uk/brits-2010. You can, of course, buy the Deluxe 2CD version of Hopes And Fears from the Keane Shop by clicking here.
Click here to watch Keane winning Best British Breakthrough 2005
Click here to watch Keane winning Best British Album 2005
Sunday, 17 January 2010
Thursday, 14 January 2010
We're very pleased to announce the tracklisting of Keane's new eight-song EP, Night Train, which will be released globally on 10th May 2010. The tracklisting is as follows:
1. House Lights
2. Back In Time
3. Stop For A Minute (feat K'Naan)
4. Clear Skies
5. Ishin Denshin (You've Got To Help Yourself) (feat Tigarah)
6. Your Love
7. Looking Back (feat K'Naan)
8. My Shadow
The EP was recorded in various studios during the Perfect Symmetry world tour that saw the band playing to packed arenas in 28 countries. Highlights include Keane's genre-busting collaborations with Somali/Canadian rapper K'Naan, the irrepressible Stop For A Minute and the Rocky-inspired Looking Back. "I think those tracks show us in a completely different light," says Keane frontman Tom Chaplin.
Other definite standouts include Ishin Denshin (You've Got To Help Yourself), an addictive electro-pop number which features Japanese baile funk MC Tigarah; the gorgeous, 80s-flavoured Your Love, which hangs around a rare lead vocal from the band's Ivor Novello-winning songwriter Tim Rice-Oxley; and fans' live favourite My Shadow.
Sunday, 10 January 2010
"Supper time. Introducing our dear producer Emery to the great British institution known as the Scotch Egg. Plus lots of Guinness. Glory!"
and a vid which you can spot Tim for a few seconds ;)
Friday, 8 January 2010
Just passing by to tell you Mt. Desolation, whose website you can visit here is involving Mr. Rice-Oxley in news lately.
What's Mt. Desolation? well, keane fans suppose it's Tim's new project... remember Tim's Xmas podcast for Beyond The Iron Sea? That one! He talked about his participation in a new project but nothing else for keeping it top secret.
These days, Mt. Desolation's website has been publishing some pics, and of course I had to upload the Tim ones for your pleasure.
Let's wait for the future...
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
I read this in the summer of 2009, while we were out on tour. I read quite a lot when we're touring, partly because I hate flying so much and I find reading on planes is quite a good distraction. I found the book really, really inspiring. I had a similar feeling when I read another Kerouac book, On The Road. There's something about his writing which really appeals to me. It's probably quite a male thing, actually, that yearning to jump on a flat-top train carriage and lie in the sun all the way from one coast of America to the other, or some sort of romantic dream.
The book is based very closely on Kerouac's life, with pretty much every character based on a real person. So there's a character called Ray Smith which is him and his friend in the book, Japhy Ryder, is based on a poet called Gary Snyder. Plus Allen Ginsberg makes an appearance and that sort of thing. They're all a bunch of poets and amateur Buddhists and they spend a lot of time reading poetry, getting drunk, talking about Buddhism, writing these crazy spiritual haiku and going on big walks up mountains. They're basically drifters, but poetic, philosophical drifters.
It's a very romantic story, I suppose, but it also has a lot of very interesting thoughts about the way we live our lives and what matters and what doesn't matter. All of the characters have different opinions on those things. So it's quite an intellectually stimulating book as well as being set against the backdrop of the great outdoors and Kerouac going on these directionless adventures. He goes on a couple of great train journeys and also hitchhikes back and forth across the States. And it ends with him going off to a fire lookout station on top of a mountain in Washington State. He has to stay in this little hut for several months, all on his own, thousands of feet up. He just sits there looking out for fires and thinking about the world.
I would say that my character and beliefs have been shaped by reading books like this. I'm not the kind of person who'll take anything that's been handed down to me and I don't really feel that I've adopted any sort of belief system directly. But I'm interested in people's philosophical approaches to life. I guess the only thing I really believe in is people and it's always interesting to experience the psychological studies of people that you get in a really good book. I find that definitely shapes the way I think about myself and the way I think about other people.
With the Dharma Bums, some of the Buddhist stuff is quite rambling and almost nonsensical, although some of it is very beautiful in its approach to worldly things. But I don't necessarily subscribe to it all. A lot of the book is about each of them thinking the other person's point of view is nonsense and that debate goes on throughout, which is interesting in its own right. But for me, personally, I was almost more interested in the characters of the drifters and what happened to them during their adventuring through the American badlands, the people they meet, and what it means to roam like that. It definitely awakened in me a sense of wanting to go somewhere. I don't know where. But just to go on an adventure, meet people and have no idea where you're heading.