Who says being in style is only for the coverage of deeming good physical appearances? We beg to differ – it should be the acceptance of who oneself is, being comfortable in one’s skins & shoes and not afraid to stand out as sore thumbs in an ever-changing and yet still stereotypical-in-viewpoint kind of world.
At first glances and impressions, the five lads of Hot Chip – Alexis Taylor, Joe Goddard, Owen Clarke, Felix Martin and Al Doyle – may look like your average blokes next door, often caught stuck at home with long hours in front of their latest technology gadgets, or worse even, with a labelling of geeks – a classification they quite detest to hear of during interview sessions which can come up quite often. In an interview with The Guardian, they stated that they were “not awfully fussed about stylists” but merely “middle-class white kids from Putney” with a love for Motown, Prince, Destiny’s Child and the Beastie Boys, serving up open-hearted indie electro-pop of their own. They rather seek the imperfection in music and its production that makes the whole process more fun-filled, lovable and enjoyable, than attempt to correct everything and remove the flaws discovered.
(image source from MTV Hive)
Style Icons is a series examining how artistes of our times and beyond define and create music with a mix of their own individuality and style. In our third edition, Popspoken curator CJ Ang digs out the scorching scoop behind one of the hottest indie electronic acts to exist of recency.
With such openness in the expressions of appearances, styles and musical outputs from the collective, fans and listeners alike can expect the same eruption of feelings from tuning or following the band – honest, heartfelt, quirky and gleefulness. It’s such directness one can derive that these guys are in it for the welfare of music and the industry in general – producing music wholesomely for good intentions and contributing to the picture at large.
In the same 2012 The Guardian interview, Taylor pondered and questioned the motivation behind people who actually wanted to be pop stars and the reasons pertaining to them making records, with Goddard chipping in, “You can make good records on computers, but it’s down to your intention.” In my one-on-one interview for Power Of Pop with Goddard and Doyle back when they were in town for a one-night-only gig at Avalon last year, the one so-called regret that the band had so far in their music career was not being able to sell (or upsell) their records in a more successful sale-like manner, which was completely out of their scope of control.
And it’s with that I am proud to announce that I – a big-time music fan with reasonably limited financial budget in a competitive city setting and very average and modest family background – still buy records on a disgustingly but unavoidable regular basis, circling around surviving record stores like a suspicious character, and giving back to the one thing in this world that I know I will unconditionally love for (unless the one day that I foresee I grow deaf dawn on me). So far, I own two Hot Chip records – 2008’s Made in the Dark and their last latest offering, 2012’s In Our Heads. How many people out there can confess similar addictions and practices passionately without worrying socially to be sounding exactly like that of a fool?
A quick search online of the band will display mostly results of upcoming music releases and tour/show dates, with the rarity of conflict, controversy and gossip news. Goddard told Pitchfork, “We’ve never had a terrible time making a record. We don’t really have bust-ups that often, we work quite well together.”
We hope to expect more future music projects from them then, taking inspirations from and on matters that are more important in life – “good, essential, human things” and “fundamentally good things” that can go into the lyrics of a song. Goddard further stated in the Pitchfork interview, “There’s good stuff going on in modern pop music, but a lot of it is really materialistic and only about money.”
Just a few simple pointers to note though: to take their music and not their lyrical contents too seriously, not to answer and shout “yeah!” when the band asks the audience on how everyone is doing and say a lot of “that sounds like Hot Chip”.
They can be next heard on the upcoming October-release remix album in tribute to the late Donna Summer, and if you are rich and lucky enough to get to travel, be sure to check them out at these following festivals: Camp Bestival 2013 (Dorset), Pitchfork Music Festival Paris 2013 and The Warehouse Project 2013 (Manchester). Alternatively, these following side projects of Hot Chip members can be of worthy interests as well: The 2 Bears, About Group, Joe Goddard (as a solo artiste), New Build and Fainting by Numbers.
“We’re not like this kind of band that’s going to implode; we don’t make a massive amount of money. We do OK for ourselves, but we don’t do it for the money.” – Joe Goddard