After pursuing various side projects the five members of electro-pop outfit Hot Chip have come together to make their sixth album. Al Doyle tells The Big Issue in the North they know what side their bread is buttered on. They play Gorilla, Manchester on 13 May.
What progression can be heard on Why Make Sense from In Our Heads?
I think it’s easier to get a sense of progression, a sense of development and clarification, by looking at Hot Chip’s output over the six albums, which are definitely moving in a particular direction. Some things are lost of course – there is an innocence, almost a naivety to the earlier records, which I still love, and I think many people have a lot of affection for that sound.
At the beginning of your career Hot Chip were quite misunderstood. Do you think people get it now?
I still think there are individual things that we put out that not everyone “gets” but as soon as you release something for public appreciation you immediately give up ownership. It becomes a conversation between artist and audience, and conversations can of course turn into arguments.
How do you feel about the current pop landscape?
I don’t have a massively strong opinion. It’s not a golden period. A year that has Blurred Lines as its biggest song is different to a year that has Hey Ya or even Crazy as its biggest song. But it’s been a pretty shitty year for the world all round, hasn’t it?
Is it a challenge to return to making music together after only having to consider yourselves in solo endeavours?
None of the solo projects involve us only considering ourselves! In fact it’s quite the opposite. We have no cash to back the side projects so often they are funded by calling in favours and riding an ever-ebbing tide of good will. So in some ways I feel more selfish when I’m doing Hot Chip, as I start thinking more about what kind of glass I want my champagne served in rather than how I can make life easier for my fellow bandmates.
Have other projects ever interfered with the band?
Yeah, it’s caused scheduling problems. But we all see Hot Chip as the main gig, so we tend keep our bread buttered on the right side.