Bill: Also, in making this record, you made a significant change in producers. You worked with Jon Brion and Stuart Price. Was choosing them a deliberate effort to go in a different direction?
Tim: Absolutely. We actually basically produced the record ourselves, but Jon came in quite early, and he was someone we wanted to work with because of the fact that he's worked with such a variety of people. We didn't want someone who would come in and just say let's use my classic drum sound or whatever. You know something sort of geeky like that. It was much more of a broader sense..Jon had produced Kanye West, but he's also produced Fiona Apple and great film soundtracks. We wanted someone who was going to pull us out of the world of just kind of earnest white rock and roll and into something that was different and more exciting. We didn't know what that was gonna be, but he definitely filled us with confidence to try new things. It helped us to not be so fearful of being judged or judging ourselves. He actually gave our ideas a chance if that makes sense.
The same with Stuart. A very different kind of a guy but equally inspiring. We actually specifically brought him in because we had all of these new sort of quirky songs like "Spiralling" and "Better Than This" and "You Haven't Told Me Anything" and so on, but we also had a couple of older songs that we were really kind of struggling with. We loved the songs, but we felt like we were sort of stuck in an old key mindset with them. Stuart came in and surely shook them up. Again, he inspired us to try new things. We kind of made this pact with him that we were gonna deliberately try to do the opposite of whatever was considered sensible.
Bill: Your band has quite a lofty status with fans in the UK. Does that put any pressure on you when you begin to work on a new album?
Tim: I think it did the first time around when we were recording the second album. I think we were aware that we had sort of created a sound inadvertently. We had created a sound that was in danger of becoming a typecast or pigeonholing situation, and we really wanted to break out of that. I think that can be good, but it can also be bad. You start trying to second guess what other people are gonna think. On this record I don't no why, but we, from the outset, we were just sort of consumed with having fun and making music that the 3 of us absolutely loved. That just became our only criteria for judging ideas and judging songs and sounds and so on. It probably sounds sort of too good to believe, but really we had such a joyous time making the record we sort of forgot that anyone was gonna hear it. I actually think that really made for a great way of working, and I think you can feel that excitement and joy in the songs. That's something you can't contrive or fabricate. It's gotta be there in the room, and I'm really proud we had that.
Bill: What can we look forward to on this side of the Atlantic for promoting the album?
Tim: We haven't confirmed anything yet. We are still waiting on the dreaded visa application and so on at the moment. Once that's in place we can't wait to come over. People have been so good to us in the states it's ridiculous. It's very hard for a British band coming over to America. When we started we always loved the idea of touring in America. When we first started we just came over so many times. I think we did like 7 or 8 tours on our first album. Each one was starting in tiny clubs playing to like 20 people and ending up playing to thousands of people. People have just been so welcoming to us. That's one of the better things about being Keane.