Hot Chip Interview with Alexis and Owen

Dalston Oxfam shop, London on Monday 1 October 2012

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Ahead of their evening at the Oxfam shop in Dalston, East London, I managed to grab a few minutes with Alexis and Owen of Hot Chip in the shop basement to find out how they feel about playing at Oxjam, their hectic touring schedule and just what they had planned for their DJ set.

Hot Chip
Just remind me, is this the first time you've played at Oxjam in Dalston?
Alexis: No, we played here, in the same shop maybe four or five years ago, back in the basement of this shop, over in the corner behind us. We've always wanted to help them when we first heard about Oxjam so it's good to be back.

Playing in an Oxfam shop, how does it compare to your other intimate gigs or live shows?
Owen: Well, it's obviously quite different as you are surrounded by objects that you wouldn't normally be, including a crowd who are really close to the decks. It's fair to say that over the years we've taken more than a few records off Oxfam's hands and it's nice to give something back.

Alexis: It's quite nice in a way as Owen, myself and Felix have spent years finding records and junk in charity shops all around the world. So it's quite nice to be asked by Oxfam to come in and actually support them in their Oxjam festival. Felix actually worked in the Oxfam shop in Goodge Street after graduating from university for quite a while and in this particular shop in Dalston I found a nice kind of percussion box that I used on Flutes from our last album, so we've got a strong connection to charity shops.

So that covers the best thing you've ever found in a charity shop, what about the worst?
Owen: Nothing really, I think it's really good to buy things blind and just have a look through. There's never anything that's totally worthless.

Alexis: Yeah, you can buy records just based on their cover and it's satisfying having a rummage and finding something really good in amongst everything.

Looking to your successes this year, you've had a new album out and have been touring all over the place during the summer. Any highlights from all the festivals and gigs?
Owen: We've been playing all over the US and Europe so it's quite hard to pick out the best - I'm running on short term memory right now! One highlight for me would be when we played in Vancouver this year. We hadn't been there in a while and our last gig there got cancelled, so the two nights we played were just amazing fun.

Alexis: The vibe we got from the audience in Vancouver was just great; they were really up for it and we had a really great time as a result. They were definitely singing more than we were and they even ended up singing one of our new songs for a good ten minutes after we had stopped. It's tough to say what UK festivals we've most enjoyed as they have all been great this year.

How are people reacting to the new material from the album?
Owen: Really well, almost as well as the old stuff so that means we can mix up our set list nicely and not have to rely on our older tracks to pull us through.

Alexis: It's good to know people like it and it should set us up nicely for the series of headline gigs we have for next year.

Speaking of 2013, what does the new year hold for you?
Owen: Well, to be honest I'm sticking to 2012, right to the end of the year, as we've got lots of things coming up. We're even going to be playing on a cruise ship going around the Caribbean on the Coachella tour with Pulp, Girl Talk and a load of other acts right at the end of the year, which I'm looking forward to. It makes us sound lazy, but we've got lots of other gigs planned between now and then so we're going to be kept busy.

Alexis: We are also going to be going to Australia and Tazmania on tour later on in the year for the first time and we've always wanted to play there so I'm really excited about that. We're also going to be at other Oxjam gigs in Glasgow and Manchester later on to support their efforts across the country.

So what are we going to expect from the DJ set upstairs? Something similar to your Bugged Out mix?
Owen: Well, it should be a lot more bugged out than usual, as we're going to be using all the records that we're donating to the shop, so some of them will be good and others won't but they have other virtues. You get really tied up in deciding what to bring, especially the Dolly Parton records!

Alexis: It's a strange challenge to bring records that you don't really want any more and then to try to play them before you pass them on, especially to mix them properly. I'm sure we'll find some great stuff already sitting in the shop to play as well and it should be a lot of fun.

Thanks Owen and Alexis!

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article by: Chris Smout

photos by: Chris Mathews

published: 01/10/2012 09:14


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