Interview: Joe Goddard of Hot Chip — "I am not obsessive about particular artists, but I do collect dance music that I love so I can DJ and use that when I DJ."
Tue, 13 Apr 2010 11:27:31
Hot Chip vocalist/synthesizer Joe Goddard isn't just in a hip, London-based electronic/dance band that's about to appear at this Spring's Coachella festival in the scorching California desert. He's got a rather prolific gig as a DJ, playing the best and greatest finds in the dance scene on the side. Goddard got on the phone with ARTISTdirect while the band was touring France, despite a day-long delay, in support of the new album, One Life Stand.
Is it easier to tour Europe than US, given the size differential?
We have toured the US quite a lot, and it’s easier to tour Europe in the sense that you can get on a bus and go all around Europe and the distances are a lot less, so that makes the whole thing logistically easier, but we enjoy the States. We’ve been having a great time over in Europe right now. We’ve been in Germany, France Holland and Belgium. It has been fun.
What are your favorite cities to tour in the US and why?
I like a lot of things about a lot of different places. I like being in San Francisco, LA, New York, Philadelphia, I like to buy a lot of second hand records. I do a lot of shopping for that while we are on tour. In addition to liking the regional differences, like food, I find people in bigger cities tend to like us.
So you go out of your way to hit record stores while on tour? In 2010, with mom and pop record shops folding left and right since no one buys CDs anymore, much less vinyl, that's a bit of an archaic thing, good old record shopping!
I buy old vinyl and that is no problem for me in doing that. Maybe it is even easier since people aren’t buying it at all, so it’s easier for me to find stuff. That is a problem for everyone in our industry, though, with no one buying CDs anymore. I buy some CDs. I bought the new Joanna Newsome on CD the other day. I don’t buy as many as I used to. I am more about the old vinyl.
Do you consider yourself a collector? Of vinyl?
I am not one of those people buying the entire back catalogue and meticulously searching for every release of an artist. I am not obsessive about particular artists, but I do collect dance music that I love so I can DJ and use that when I DJ. I am a collector of those kinds of things.
Tell me a little about your DJ gig?
I play house music, old techno, new German techno, some Chicago house, some disco, some old soul music, like Motown and Stacks and all different things. We try and mix things we’ve done and all different things.
Are you a shameless self-promoter, playing Hot Chip music when you DJ?
Occasionally, if people demand, I play Hot Chip. I feel ashamed if I play my own stuff. I like to play other stuff.
Where do you do DJ gigs?
All over, in Europe, Berlin, Holland, Belgium, all the big clubs. I've even gone up into Moscow and have been to Tel Aviv and Brazil, too. I’ve been all over. I get paid well and I get to travel. It’s not bad, at all.
Which do you prefer? To be a DJ or perform in Hot Chip?
I have more fun on stage and there are six of us playing and there is a lot of energy and excitement, but DJing is a different thing, I enjoy it, as well. If you have a great DJ gig, you know it’s all down to you and up to you, so that part can be fun and make you feel proud of yourself. A group and being in a band is a group effort, so it's down to all of you together, to put on a great show.
Do you like being called a dance band or dance music?
We all listen to different music and we’ve never asked to be pigeon-holed as dance music, so hopefully, the songs we write are good enough! We work at crafting songs, so someone into something else would appreciate our songs, if they ended up at one of our shows somehow or by accident.
What's your feeling about the resurgent dance/electronic scene right now?
I have not noticed a resurgence here, but maybe in the States, with groups like Justice, things have opened up for other dance groups. Personally, the scene is healthy and the dance [music] coming out of the UK and Europe is really great. It is very creative time for different kinds of dance music. The offshoots from rave are really kind of producing good stuff.
How does dance music go over at a festival like Coachella, which is held in the blazing California desert?
It goes over great. People like to jump up and have fun. That is the thing, I sometimes want to say, 'Drink water' to people. We played before, in that blazing hot sun and people go nuts.
"The Joanna Newsome record, which I liked. I was such a big fan of her last album, YS and I am just getting into that." "A lot of new dance music, stuff I’ve been DJIng, new UK artists like Scream, Floating Point, Hot City. There are a lot of new producers who are good."