Joe Goddard is in between albums with Hot Chip, which for most normal hardworking musicians, would be a time to take things easy. You would think…
With an ever growing roster of side-projects, Mr Goddard (one part Hot Chip/ one part The 2 Bears) is now embarking on a solo tip. The 2 Bears (watch them bear hugging to your right) have been touring heavily, with a stop off at Glastonbury, and will be dropping their album this autumn on Southern Fried Records. Joe’s also found time to collaborate with talented folk singer Valentina to lay down the single ‘Gabriel’ on Greco-Roman. A tune which verges towards the garagey side of house, Gabriel received massive attention across the musical spectrum with notable radio plays from Annie Mac, Rob Da Bank and ever so slightly less impacting, the i-D office stereo. We crossed wires with Joe to chat about his hectic DJ schedule, the story behind ‘Gabriel’ and – of all things – Paul Simon.
Tell me a bit about Gabriel, did you expect it to achieve that level of popularity? Popularity is always my main aim! No… well I feel like I’m a bit of a fraud really because the song was actually written by the singer Valentina. I used to play her music as a solo artist, and it’s a lot slower, she’s essentially a folk artist and wrote the track as a folk song, an a capella piece that was much, much, much slower, maybe 35-40 bpm slower. I heard the song and just thought it would work brilliantly as a garage or house track. So I sped it up and put some music behind it and this is the track that’s emerged.
The gig schedule for 2 Bears is looking pretty busy for the rest of 2011, have you enjoyed touring as a DJ as much as your live touring with the band? It’s much easier as a DJ, we just work at weekends so it’s very civilised. I mean I have a baby girl so it’s much more comfortable being at home during the week, I’ve been enjoying that a lot.
And I guess as a DJ there’s less prep time before you go on… Yeah absolutely. With the band [Hot Chip] we’d tour with like twelve people and two trucks full of equipment and a PA, so logistically it’s a million times easier. A lot of DJs turn up without CDs or records even, with just a USB stick – it’s just incredibly straight forward.
What’s the latest with Hot Chip? Have you started working on the follow up to One Life Stand? We’ve started working on the next record, there’s no real definite plan about when it’s going to come out yet, it will probably be next year. We’re very excited about it actually.
What other tunes are you listening to at the moment? There’s one called Man or Mistress by Levon Vincent – that’s really excellent. He’s a new American producer and this is his best track so far, it’s a really brilliant, hypnotic techno record.
What did you listen to growing up? I guess the first things were just like Beatles tapes and The Rolling Stones, and things that your parents had on the car while you were going camping – and Paul Simon.
Did you see him at Glastonbury? Yeah I did yeah, it was good. He didn’t really have that much banter on stage but musically, his band are great and he’s written so many fantastic songs, it was good to hear him playing things like The Obvious Child, and Hearts and Bones.
Are there any plans to DJ solo in the future? Yeah absolutely, I’ve got some solo gigs coming up. Playing at XOYO in September and there’s a few more but mainly it’ll be 2 Bears stuff because hopefully our album will be coming out in October.
Text: Luke Sutton