Words by Aaron Richter
The windfall of attention soon to hit Hot Chip is obvious. It has built steadily since the UK group’s debut, 2004’s Coming on Strong, and gained momentum with 2006’s The Warning, ignited by the top-of-its-game single â€œOver And Over.â€ This past year, Hot Chip set out to match the full-throttle intensity of its live performances by hitting the studio as a full band for the first time and constructing some of the year’s most ambitious electro-pop anthems. self-titled caught up with band members Joe Goddard, Al Doyle and Owen Clarke as they spent some time in New York to do patches of press and finalize details for their third album, Made in the Dark.
self-titled: Alexis [Taylor, Hot Chip songwriter and singer] seems to have always been the balladeer of the group and Joe, you seem to bring more of the loud, club-oriented sound. Does that breakdown still hold true on Made in the Dark?
Joe: It comes from all of us. About a third of this record is recorded by everyone playing in a room together, like in a real recording studio. That’s track like â€œOut at the Pictures,â€ â€œOne Pure Thoughtâ€ and â€œHold On.â€ So the mood of those songs is created by everyone while they’re playing. And then the rest of the album, the songs are pretty much written by myself and Alexis. If you had to generalize, the more somber, quieter moments are often Alexis’ songs, like â€œWhistle for Willâ€ and â€œMade in the Dark.â€ Those are things that he pretty much wrote and I helped him to produce them. Other parts, the more raucous, bombastic songs, like â€œReady for the Floor,â€ â€œBendable, Poseable,â€ are things that I wrote the music for and Alexis wrote the words.
Is having everyone in the studio something new?
Joe: Only like three of the songs were made in the studio, the three that I mentioned. The rest of them were still kind of done in my bedroom.
Al: Even the ones that were done in the studio were still kind of added to in the bedroom.
Joe: The reason why we wanted to do those studio tracks is we had been playing those songs live for maybe six months or a year and we felt that those were the best versions we could do of them. So we went into the studio and captured those. We actually recorded a couple more songs within the studio. We recorded a live version of â€œShake A Fist.â€ For the record, we just felt the version that I’d originally made on my computer worked a little bit better. But when I listen to the record now, the songs that excite me most are the ones with the band playing as a whole. They have a vitality that’s very hard to achieve when you’re working track by track in your bedroom. I think in the future we’ll do much more of that.