Yes, following Tom's answers last week, we're back with more answers to the questions which you folks have sent in via the Ask Keane section of the Ezine. This time, it's the turn of Mr Richard Hughes to face your queries...
"Hi Richard! You toured around in 2007 very much! Aren't you tired?"
Richard replies: I'm very well thanks Markus. We had quite a long break at the end of the year (because we are so lucky) and had a chance to catch up on some sleep. In fact, we are feeling very good - we've just started on new tracks and it's been the most fun we've had in a very long time. The new songs are great fun to play, and we're all just enjoying hanging out in our studio, making a lot of very bad jokes. Tom's wearing our Argentina flag as a cape at the moment.
"Do you like video games or anime?"
Richard replies: Hi Gerardo. there are games consoles on most tourbuses, so I sometimes end up playing them, but I'm not very good, except the driving games which I really like! I've watched a few films such as Princess Mononoke, and loved them, but I'm not an expert on anime. I just asked Tim and it turns out I can't even say it right. He's very clever you know...
"Richard. Will we be hearing your voice on the 3rd Keane album? I think your voice is rather good. And you show such enthusiasm when you sing live."
Richard replies: Thanks Kaili. I've always trusted that enthusiasm is a good substitute for ability! I guess I might sing on the record - I did my first ever recorded vocals on 'Under Pressure' and it was really satisfying. I'll show the others your question and ask them when they stop laughing at me!
"Hi Richard. I want to know, when did you learn play the drums?"
Richard replies: Hi to you too Couty. The drums were often my favourite part of a song when I was growing up, so I guess I started listening to them a long time before I started to play - I think I was 17 when I began playing, but I loved it, and immediately started to play whenever I could. As soon as I had a kit at home I'd play for hours, putting on album after album on headphones and trying to play along. All the Britpop records from Blur, Oasis, Elastica, The Bluetones, plus Radiohead, as well as pretty much the entire Beatles back catalogue, Bowie...
"Dear Richard, thank you for your music. I have listened to your (high-hat) work on 'The Frog Prince' and I cannot figure out how you are doing it? It sounds awesome but you cannot be as fast as Kieth Moon 'bro. It would take a third arm to smack that snare. Is that particular sound dubbed? Thank you for your music and inspiration. You are awesome."
Richard replies: Wow, thanks Frank, that's unbelievably kind of you. I'd recommend the Keith Moon biog 'Dear Boy' in case you haven't read it. I thought the hats on 'The Frog Prince' were played live, two handed - you can hear that the first half of the song is just played because the hats aren't there whenever the snare is played. The tambourine was overdubbed and kind of disguises that, but it was played as a take. But... I've just dug out the CD and had a listen, and I'm not sure but I think there might be an overdubbed double hat on there towards the end of the song, but I imagine that would be from the demo that Tim will have programmed. To be sure we'd have to open up the Protools file and have a look. Sorry i can't remember for sure! Thanks for asking, though - I really enjoyed listening back to it.
"What is your favorite Beatles song?"
Richard replies: I really love 'Revolver', and in particular the drums on 'She Said, She Said'. I think it's amazing, and may well be my favourite song. Ringo is such an amazing drummer.
"Richard, do you ever develop your own film and photos, or do you get them done for you? I was wondering if you enjoy time in the darkroom as much as you do snapping pictures?"
Richard replies: Hi Eva, I have developed some black and white pics in the last year, but I don't do it enough! I haven't got a darkroom at home but I hope to soon. I have a polariod pinhole camera which love - you get the pics pretty much instantly, but that's as close as I've come to it recently.
"This question is for Richard. I always laugh much when I read what you write, because you seem to be really funny!! How do you keep your good mood even with the pressure and the long time away from family??"
Maria Isabel Nobre
Richard replies: Thanks Maria! I'm glad you enjoy the blogs. Hanging out with my pals is a pretty good lifestyle and tends to keep the mood up. We have a great touring party of band and crew, and often the other bands on a tour are great to hang out with too. It's really the most amazing lifestyle we have, even though we are sometimes away from home more than we would like. It doesn't really compare to doing a real job, so I can't complain! I think the bottom line is that we are idiots at heart and enjoy laughing at pretty much anything.
"Hello, I would like to know what's the name of the font you use in 'Under The Iron Sea', 'cause I really like It..."
Richard replies: Hi Tom. I don't know but I have it somewhere on my computer - I wonder if we can make it available as a download if people want it - erm, can we, clever Keane internet people?! Hello? Anyone out there?
[Great idea Rich, we'll ask... - km.com]
"Richard- somewhere i read that you were a fan of Tegan and Sara, what's your favourite song of theirs?"
Richard replies: Hi Charlotte. I am a fan, and was lucky enough to go into the studio where Chris Walla and Jason McGerr were recording drums for their most recent album, 'The Con', and I love the recent single 'Back In Your Head' - it's definitely worth checking out. I think they are fabulous, and yet they are so rarely on the radio. I think it was our excellent production manager, Ant, who pointed me in their direction and I am very grateful. He has good taste!
"How was your New Year 's Eve? How did you celebrate it?"
Richard replies: Hi Wendy, it was great, thanks. I stayed at home. I hope you had a nice time wherever in the world you were. I have to admit that I don't really get the whole celebration thing, I just feel that with every year that passes we are getting further and further into what I once saw as "the future", where things were supposed to be better, but (and here comes the rant, so stop reading if you don't want to hear it)... we are still at war, America is getting ever more like an empire, and less like the way Americans I've met want it to be, yet the checks and balances that are built into the constitution are not being used, and the rest of the world is just looking on in horror, powerless or too scared, or too poor and oppressed to say anything. It's now 6 years since the first prisoners (some of them children as young as 13) were taken to Guantanamo, for example, and they still languish there. The USA and UK continue to spend untold billions and trillions on an illegal war, having already killed an estimated 150,000 to 1 million Iraqis - I wonder if George Bush, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown think all those people are better off dead than they were under Saddam Hussein. Equally tragic is the ongoing loss of life and limb for the "allied" troops - the thousands of soldiers killed, injured and affected, many of whom are injured because of inadequate resources to do the job, and then come home to find inadequate healthcare. How can our governments be so uncaring? Meanwhile, our new prime minister has actually done little to suggest anything more than a continuing obedience to American decisions, (despite what he may claim to the contrary) and our media basically chooses not to report it. All I can do is try to become more informed, and that's where Amnesty International; Truthdig; Democracy Now; the Bill Moyers journal; Alternet; Human Rights Watch; the Center for Constitutional Rights and a million other organisations come in, and is the reason we put on the War Child shows last year. My over-riding thought as we entered 2008 was that we could do so much better than this.