A greatest hits set marks a time of change in the band’s career 

“I’ve been itching to do a solo album for a long time,” Keane frontman Tom Chaplin says, prior to a show that could be one of the band’s last—at least for a while. The English rockers have announced they’re “taking a break” after releasing The Best of Keane in November. “It came down to my desire to do something different,” Chaplin says. “To do that you have to give yourself the time and space. I doubt that Keane will be going away forever, but I can’t make any predictions.”

Despite the coinciding hiatus announcement, The Best of Keane—which includes two previously unreleased tracks—wasn’t compiled to mark the band’s end. “We signed our record deal 10 years ago for four records and a greatest hits,” Chaplin says. “It seemed like a logical step to create a retrospective. But it’s not just a collection of singles; it’s what we feel is our best.”

Formed in 1997, Keane—which includes keyboardist Tim Rice-Oxley, bassist Jesse Quin and drummer Richard Hughes—found mainstream success with its 2004 debut album Hopes and Fears. Since then, the band has amassed numerous chart-topping albums and hits including “Somewhere Only We Know” and “Is It Any Wonder?”

Reflecting on the former tune Chaplin says, “We all shared a flat in London but weren’t getting anywhere as a band. We didn’t want to admit defeat, but we had to move back in with our folks. That song came out of wanting a simple existence, finding somewhere idyllic, and getting back to what makes you happy.”

Chaplin admits that it took him a while to find that sort of happiness when it came to touring the U.S. “We used to do such long tours of America that I found it difficult—we were so busy and everything was so full-on. But the whole process has become something I love—there are so many places to visit, and you’re all on a tour bus the whole time. It creates this camaraderie that you don’t get anywhere else. In the beginning I couldn’t understand why everyone was so excited about it, but now I look back fondly on those days.”

Although it remains to be seen whether Keane will tour again, new music and personal milestones are on the horizon for Chaplin. “I’m going to be a father for the first time in March, which is equally exciting and terrifying, and I imagine that’s going to take up the beginning of the year for me. But my solo album should be out sometime in the second half of next year. As for Keane, we’ve known each other since we were kids, and our lives are enmeshed, so I’m sure you’ll see us again.”

–Katy Kroll


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