Rock-out merchants Keane arrived on the grindcore scene very recently, but already they've had unprecedented success - in March 2004 they were playing in Hull to an audience of nine people - some of whom had physical deformities. Flash forward to November, and they have a fanbase of over 10 billion people - all of whom are completely able-bodied. "We just can't stand physical deformity" laughs big-faced singer Tom Chaplin.
There was a time when the boys weren't so sure of their footing, however - especially when it came to eggs. "Oh, when we started out we didn't have a clue about eggs" laughs big-faced singer Tom Chaplin. "When me and Tesral [Viddersnail, keyboards] got off the plane in Bournemouth last year, we went straight to the nearest pub and asked for eggs!" laughs big-faced singer Tom Chaplin. "Of course, in Bournemouth there are no eggs, because in 1385 one washed up on the beach, and the locals thought it was a spy, found it guilty at trial, and lynched it." laughs big-faced singer Tom Chaplin. "The locals beat us, literally, to within an inch of our lives. Pussler [Coilfast, percussion] had one of his eyes slowly slit open with a bit of broken stick. Tesral and I both had long, slow, painful scarrification worked into our thighs, asses, with bits of broken stick. Patlag [Trialpull, oboe] was worst off - they launched him high into the sky from a catapult, then set off 1000 other catapults that were loaded with bits of broken stick. Of course, the fall was going to kill him, but the cloud of bits of broken stick that flew through him at the speed of sound meant that the 20 or so seconds before impact were agonising." laughs big-faced singer Tom Chaplin.
Astonishingly, Trialpull survived. "We all laugh about it now." laughs big-faced singer Tom Chaplin.
The band are adamant that there is still a future, in eggs, for the young people of Britain today.
"Rumours of the egg scene's death have been greatly exaggerated. By that, I mean that they're not true. Eggs are still exciting, modern, and open to new avenues of imagination and fierce creativity." laughs big-faced singer Tom Chaplin.
"In Sainsbury's, for example, you can now buy blue eggs. They taste the same, but they're blue," interjects Hammond organ player Tristle Gristlewits. "I'm not sure what laid them though."
Tom looks deep in thought for a few moments, his cherubic face suddenly taut and serious. Eventually he seems to come to a conclusion. "I love egg" he states, plainly.
"There are some things in the world that are constants. By that I mean that they are constant. One is music. The other is eggs. With Keane, we believe we've created the first viable platform that combines both. It's a new world we're entering. Most days I wake up terrified. I know people who get so afraid that they shit the bed." laughs big-faced singer Tom Chaplin.
"People are foolish if they're going to ignore eggs, or, worst still, laugh at them. This is something we've touched on in our song Eggshaped - the feeling that people may find eggs comical. Many may not see the harm in this - but this is where hatred festers and breeds. And that, my friend, is how wars start." laughs big-faced singer Tom Chaplin.
I venture that, even in the short time they've been around as a band, Keane must have faced a large amount of derision from younger people that are into less traditional pursuits - sausage meat, or cheese, for example.
"Yeah, we've had our fair share of laughter, particularly in the early days. And sometimes it can get quite nasty. Suffice to say, we've drawn up a list, and using our new-found wealth, we WILL punish everyone on that list, even if that means breaking the law." Big-faced singer Tom Chaplin swings his tousled locks first one way, then the other, then back down again. He stares wistfully into the sunset. "There are some things in life which you just have to accept, that cannot be affected - wars, for example, or poverty. To these you can only shrug and say 'better them than me.' But some things are too important to ignore - the repercussions from them will always influence your life, from the tinest things upwards. You have no choice but to get involved. And one of these things is eggs."
There folllows a snippet of the lyrics from current hit 'Eggshaped' - according to big-faced singer Tom Chaplin: "It's basically a song about eggs."
'Eggshaped', from the album 'Eggs and Fears' (Eggwog Records, 2004)
Many's the time I argued you down
When you said most eggs are brown
Many the eggs we lived in each day
And buried altogether
Don't laugh at eggs
Or give eggs away
You'll follow me back
With some egg in your eyes
And on your clothes
And eggs of stone
You'll knock on my door
And up we'll go
In white yolk
I don't think so
'Cos yolk is yellow
Yolk is yello-we-oh