Hot Chip on the revival of vinyl and returning to Australia
London electronic band Hot Chip are known for their synthpop/alternative dance sounds and great sense of humour. In May they released their sixth studio album ‘Why Make Sense?’
At the beginning of last month they took to the stage at Governors Ball music festival in New York. We sat down with two of the guys, Felix and Owen, before their set to talk about music and Australia.
MTV: How did you decide on the album name ‘Why Make Sense?’
Hot Chip: We have trouble coming up with titles for records by and large so our trick is to take one of the song titles and use that. It was a song lyric then it was a song title and then it was an album so it was like it got upgraded, it started off in economy and ended up in first class.
MTV: How do you plan what songs to play at a festival?
Hot Chip: We're never quite sure if we have any hits or not as a band because we're an under the radar band, so we like to think of it as our greatest hits set, but they're not quite hits so it's more like Hot Chip's most known songs set. It’s ten of our most known songs, it’s cut down for festivals so it’s kind of an abridged version.
MTV: Tell us about the ‘Need You Now’ Clip.
Hot Chip: It was made by some guys called Shineover, they've wanted to make a video for us for a while and I think they liked the vibe of the track, it's a little more melancholy and a slightly different feel to other Hot Chip songs and that appeals to their style of making videos.
It was filmed in Dungeness, which is kind of, I wouldn't say it’s a bleak place but it’s quite cinematic and sparse in terms of architecture and things like that. I think they very carefully plotted it out. It plays around with the idea of time travel and multiple narratives, its quite intelligently structured.
MTV: So do you prefer to hand over creative control for videos then?
Hot Chip: We normally work with people we know, people we're friends with, but we like other people to have their own ideas and bring their own thing to it. It’s good if you can collaborate but it’s also good if you let people do what they're good at too.
So by and large most of the videos are collaborations, but this one we thought seems quite complicated already, the last thing they need is five other people trying to travel through time, so we let them get on with it by themselves.
MTV: When are you coming back to Australia?
Hot Chip: Australia, it's not far away if you live in Australia, but we live in the U.K. so it takes us a while to get there, it's quite expensive to do so. We hope to come to Australia to tie it into a festival. It's not going to be an intimate club show. So yeah it will hopefully be linked around something like that so we can do the trip justice.
MTV: What are your thoughts on the revival of vinyl?
Hot Chip: It’s a little bit over-blown. There's a chart that someone shared that shows what vinyl was actually selling when it was selling a lot and it’s just like a huge cliff face. It went down to zero and now it's gone up a little tiny bit. If you fell off a cliff and then you got to the bottom and rolled along a bit and then your skull kind of bounced on a stone it's that, the return of vinyl is the skull bouncing on that pebble.
It’s nice that people are doing it, but it seems like a bit of a fad, we can't see it lasting in the long term. We're moving into a bright new future that probably doesn't involve plastic disks. Or us, we're just as old and redundant, so it doesn't really matter what we think anyway. But it is nice that people like to take possession of something and make something meaningful that they kind of invest, it's nice that people are investing energy into things.
MTV: Any collaborations coming up?
Hot Chip: Well on the record we've got Green Gartside, so Scritti Politti, Posdnuos from De La Soul, and we've had friends do strings and play drums and things like that.
We've worked with Peter Gabriel and Robert Wyatt and so we've done quite a few. We probably will do some more stuff.
MTV: What do you think about Australian dance music?
Hot Chip: It’s an exciting scene, there's lots of stuff going on. It seems like there’s quite a vibrant club scene of people who are into dance music so yeah, exciting times.
MTV: Are there any Australian artists that you guys like?
Hot Chip: We like the way that things happen and take a while to travel to Australia and take a while to travel from Australia, so you get these nice interpretations of things. Things have time to ferment, if you get what I mean, so you get this sort of left field take on things, which we think is quite interesting. It's like a hangover from the past but also a nice thing that happens because it doesn't happen very much.