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Keane Frontman Disses ‘The Voice’ and ‘X Factor’

Tom Chaplin
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Are you getting a little tired of all these singing competition programs on TV? Perhaps it will comfort you to know that Tom Chaplin, frontman for Keane, agrees with you — and he vented his frustration during a recent interview with MTV in which he accused the shows of “damaging music.”

“I think these shows are pretty meaningless and really just an advertising vehicle for record label moguls like Simon Cowell to make a quick buck,” said Chaplin when asked for his thoughts on the next season of the U.K. version of ‘The X Factor.’

But Chaplin wasn’t just dismissing the singing competition trend out of hand. He presented a reasoned argument against it, saying, “Just because someone can sing that doesn’t make them a great artist. Can you imagine if Morrissey had auditioned for ‘The Voice‘? They’d have panned him for having this strange, nasally voice and said he can’t sing, but it compliments what his music is trying to say.”

He continued, “Pop music is the greatest of all art forms, but so much of it is superficial and throwaway at the moment. The singles chart is a bit of a novelty fest, and the fact that physical singles have pretty much completely disappeared makes them almost pointless these days.”

Chaplin is feeling decidedly sunnier about Keane’s latest album, ‘Strangeland,’ which has topped the U.K. charts and spawned a string of hits that has put the band in position to break a long-standing British record. “It’s the album we feel happiest about, and our fans’ response has been really fantastic,” he enthused. “Now to be chasing the Beatles‘ record of seven successive number one albums feels pretty strange, but it’s lovely and proof that people still love what we do.”

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