Hot Chip: Having fun
Now coming up to ten years on from the release of their first album, Hot Chip aren’t slowing down. Since the release of the group’s debut Coming on Strong in 2004, the Brits have torn through the acclaimed The Warning, Made in the Dark and most recently, 2009’s One Life Stand. Now, they’re on the cusp of a new release: the group’s fifth studio album In Our Heads is due for release next month and two singles in, it’s sounding good. In the lead-up to album number five, inthemix spoke to frontman Alexis Taylor about the bands progression, side-projects and the (very decent) possibility of an Australian tour at the end of the year.
You’ve got In Our Heads coming out soon. Where does the new album fit in the band’s progression?
Well in terms of fit it fits after the other four, so it fits logically in that place. I don’t know where it fits otherwise, we don’t really think of them as how they fit together until after, I suppose. I think of it as the logical progression and development from the last album. It feels like the natural step up after One Life Stand – I think it’s more varied in terms of tone and mood, but I think it still gels well together as a whole. I think it’s the best record we’ve made and I’m the most excited about the sound of it and the songs on it.
I know there’s this conception sometimes of Hot Chip being a ‘kooky’ band in an often quite humourless UK dance music industry. Is the level of ‘fun’ and ‘funniness’ something you were conscious of recording the new album? More so than the others maybe?
Sometimes we’re conscious of the level of fun, I guess, when we’re having fun. But this record to me is more playful and more jovial than the other one. I’ve had fun making all the records, and I can hear the humour in all of them, but I would say One Life Stand is the least humorous in tone and probably the most – start to finish – kind of earnest in a way. This one is not a million miles away from that, but it does have a more playful quality in some of the words: like the track Night and Day which is kind of deliberately humorous – there’s some bad rapping in the middle of it.
I think that when we made our very first record we were more into bands like Ween that have quite a strong sense of humour coming through. Then maybe our influences were different after that, maybe there were just less moments when we were making each other laugh. I think that happens partly because with your first record you don’t really know what you’re doing; you can do what you want because there are no expectations. So it can be quite easy to just goof around, and that’s a good thing.