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12th December 2017

Interview with Tom Chaplin

Editor, Hannah Brierley talks to frontman and lead singer from Keane, Tom Chaplin

Tom Chaplin is following the success of his acclaimed solo album The Wave, which reached number three on the UK Album Chart with a beautifully festive new disc Twelve Tales of Christmas which came out November 17th. This stunning collection features eight original songs co-written by Tom and four inventive covers.

We were lucky enough to talk to the singer about his new work. Chaplin explains that he was really nervous about his new album Wave. He felt like a “new artist”, and was so energised and enthused by his album’s performance in the charts that he just wanted to keep on going.

The timing, however, worked out perfectly for Tom Chapin, as he finished touring with Wave in the summer, and it felt achievable to have everything ready in time to tour again in Winter with his Christmas album Twelve Days of Christmas. But this is not your everyday cheery Christmas album, Chaplin goes on to add. “It’s more of a realistic version of Christmas, not all jingle bells and reindeer.” Tom illustrates how he wanted to paint a more authentic reality of the season, with both the good, the bad, and all that falls in-between.

As previously mentioned, Mr Chaplin includes in this album some cleverly thought out and integrated covers in the track listing. Chaplin talks about how initially there were lots of songs that jumped out at him, but just wouldn’t have fit with what he wanted it to sound like. However, much thought went into his choices as he wanted them to be “a surprise” especially because he wanted them to sound a completely different way.

I go on to talk about Tom’s traditions and his idea of a perfect Christmas. He says that for him that he is “really traditional, more or less.” He has a daughter who is aged is in her “prime Christmas days.” Every year, they do the whole stockings, leaving the carrot, milk at night, and having chocolate for breakfast routine.

Tom takes rather more of a solemn tone. “But on a deeper level, these occasions are so rare for us as a family. We’re all so busy all the time, so it’s just one opportunity to be all together, and relaxed.” And it’s these memories and traditions that’s he’s determined to keep alive for as long as possible.

I go on to ask about the new John Lewis advert #MoztheMonster. As it was only four years ago, back in 2013 when Lily Allen did a cover of Keane’s song ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ for the JL advert. Tom expresses his appreciation for the singer, “Lily has always been a big companion. As Keane, we weren’t really the band everyone wanted to love, so we always really appreciated her support.”  He goes on to say “[the Advert] did bring a lot of people back to us, a new wave of a younger generation of fans who were now introduced to their music…but I’ll take what I can get.” He laughs.

I push Tom Chaplin as to what he means by this, to which he replied, “when we [Keane] first started, we were very precious about our music, but now we take all we can get. It’s now a totally tougher place to get success than what it first was.”

Tom Chaplin is playing at the Palace Theatre in Manchester on the 10th December.

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