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Hot Chip Interview: 'We're Not Just Trying To Make Something Cold And Electronic,' Says Alexis Taylor

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You'd think it would be hard to take a musician seriously while he's wearing a paisley headband and a fake pair of long plaits, but Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip was dressed as Willie Nelson for a reason...

I met the singer of the electronic band, who now have five albums under their belt as well as Grammy and Mercury nominations, in his alcohol-laden porta-cabin at Bestival, the home of fancy dress, where the band were due on stage to perform to fans (and people looking for a dance) under the huge blue Big Top tent.

So there was just one problem: "I didn’t realise it was a Wildlife theme, I thought it was just fancy dress," he joked, "at least I made a small gesture towards it."

alexis taylor

The band were performing at Bestival on Thursday, the warm-up night of Rob Da Bank's festival on the Isle of Wight, as they were flying out to the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, two days later.

Talking about their international success, Taylor seemed pleased: "It's been really good, America has been really strong for us.

"We're back there for the second time this year and then we're back doing the Coachella cruise, which is an American festival that's travelling to the Bahamas and Jamaica."

The electro pop group's latest album In Our Heads was released in June this year and is critically the band's best-received yet.

The praise didn't go unnoticed: "Reception overall has been really good, it feels like people are more into this record, maybe more people have accepted it and know it more than anything we've done before," Taylor said.

hot chip

And he explained: "We've got the balance better now, so that songs like Flutes feel quite emotional without people necessarily knowing the meaning of every line.

"It's got a groove to it that works as a deep house tune, that seems to go down well at festivals even though it's not a proper single that we've released, so it feels nice that people know these album tracks."

Hot Chip have been around for 12 years, without staying at the top of the charts for all this time. What did Taylor think had granted the band such longevity where other groups have failed?

"We've tried to do the same thing we're interested in, which is make records we like, we haven't tried to be more than that...

"People seem to come back to a band or stay with a band if they're consistently trying to make interesting records.

"We've changed and made some that are harder to get into, we haven't consistently had hits or anything, but the people that are interested in it seem to respect it."

Hot Chip have been praised with bringing "geekery to the dancefloor", a feat that Taylor still seemed proud of: "You meet a lot of fans that say how much the songs have affected them and that's what we're trying to do.

"We're not just trying to make something cold and electronic, it's meant to be touching and as emotionally resonate with people as possible, as well as make people dance."

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