U.K. rock act Keane is enjoying breakthrough success at home and abroad with its recent Polydor/Interscope debut, "Hopes and Fears." And while demand is already high for new material, pianist Tim Rice

U.K. rock act Keane is enjoying breakthrough success at home and abroad with its recent Polydor/Interscope debut, "Hopes and Fears." And while demand is already high for new material, pianist Tim Rice-Oxley tells Billboard.com it's becoming difficult to find free time to work on burgeoning musical ideas.

"We keep getting offered gigs all over the place, and they're hard to turn down," he says from a tour stop in Columbus, Ohio. "We have the odd day off in mid-October before playing all over Europe. We've got this big tour in the U.K. for a month in the biggest venues we'll have played on our own. That takes us through to the end of November, and then we've got a few dates in Japan. Then we come back to the States in December for radio shows, but we'll try to get in a few proper club gigs as well."

This crowded itinerary thus makes it unlikely Keane will hit the studio until the spring to record the follow-up to "Hopes and Fears," which reached a new peak of No. 78 on The Billboard 200 this week. The set has sold 123,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"We did have this great plan to block out March and April next year for recording, but things have just gone so well that we don't want to miss out on chances to play shows just because we're rigidly sticking to that schedule," Rice-Oxley says. "We will try and record around that time, but for the moment we're thinking about doing it a couple of weeks at a time.

"I actually really like doing things that way," he continues. "You're not just putting down one track after another and ticking things off. We want to make sure the second album is really amazing. For any band, that takes time and concentration and trial and error. If all goes as planned, we'll try to release something by the end of next year."

For now, Keane is planning on introducing some new material into its live sets, particularly "Nothing in Your Way," which Rice-Oxley says is "the only thing we've had a chance to rehearse."

The group will release its next U.K. single, "This is the Last Time," in November. The nearly platinum "Hopes and Fears" has already generated three top-10 hits there, in the form of "Somewhere Only We Know" (No. 3), "Everybody's Changing" (No. 4) and "Bedshaped" (No. 10).

"We're just in the process today of trying to decide the B-sides," Rice-Oxley says of the new single. "I have a few demos we've all listened to, and we've narrowed it down to three. We'll decide which two we're going to do. We're recording them in a couple weeks time, so we better decide pretty quickly."