Keane: ‘It’s our job to fight against mindless pop’

Tom Chaplin believes 'we're living in the Simon Cowell generation'

Keane frontman Tom Chaplin has given his views on the current state of mainstream pop and has said he and his bandmates see it as their jobs to “fight against mindless, temporary pop”.

The band celebrated their fifth album ‘Strangeland’ entering the UK album chart at Number One yesterday (May 13) and Chaplin said he viewed scoring a Number One album as a triumph in today’s “Simon Cowell generation”.

Asked whether it meant more to the band to have scored a Number One album now than ever before, Chaplin said: “It does mean more. It’s a relief that people are still willing to listen to music like ours, because it’s clearly becoming a rarer thing. It feels to me like when we first started out in 2004, there were loads of bands and over the years they’ve all fallen by the way side.”

He continued: “When we were teenagers, we had Britpop, so we had all this great music in the charts, even the singles chart had some authenticity then. It seems much harder to find great music in the charts these days, that’s not to say that it isn’t there, but it’s much harder to find. I can’t think of that many great records that have been a chart success in the last few years.”

Then asked what kind of state he believed mainstream music is in now, compared to when his band was starting out, Chaplin was less than complimentary.

He said of this: “It seems to have changed quite a lot. Getting exposure for new bands is becoming much harder. It’s more about the entertainment side of things and less about the music and authenticity. We’re living in the Simon Cowell generation. Everyone seems to be a product of a TV show and it’s made music quite generic, which I find very frustrating.”

He continued: “There’s so much great stuff being produced, so it’s down to bands like us to buck that trend and fight against the mindless, temporary pop that gets exposure now. I’m sick of putting on TV shows with a panel of crusty old judges watching people who can’t get a record deal otherwise.”

You can watch a video interview with Chaplin and pianist Tim Rice-Oxley, in which they discuss the creative process behind the album, by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and clicking.

Keane will tour the UK in support of ‘Strangeland’ in May, playing a total of nine shows. The run begins at Newcastle’s O2 Academy on May 23 and runs until June 8, when Keane will headline London’s O2 Academy Brixton.

Keane are playing at this year’s T In The Park, which is taking place July 6-8 in Balado Park, Kinross. To check the availability of T In The Park 2012 tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0871 230 1094.