Ahead of the release of their sixth studio album, Why Make Sense?, this Friday, May 15, Hot Chip’s Felix Martin speaks to JAI CHOUHAN.
Stripping back the layers on Why Make Sense? Hot Chip have put their heads together for one of their most exciting efforts yet.
“There’s still an element of complexity, it was more just feeling like we wanted to have ideas and feel confident in the simplicity of an idea rather than feeling like it had to be accompanied with more sounds,” Felix Martin says. “It’s a lot more difficult to do than just add more stuff which is maybe what we’ve done in the past, we’ve tended to just keep layering things on because it’s fun to do but this is was harder and took a lot longer.”
When asked about the inspiration behind the album, Martin opens with the record taking, ‘about a year-and-a-half to make’.
“There wasn’t one thing that we were inspired by that we sort of sat down and agreed on. It was more just, as we went through the sessions recording stuff, we would tend to have certain things in mind; like we wanted it to be more stripped back, we wanted it to have fewer elements, we wanted it to have something in common with the R&B productions from the early 2000s and late ‘90s that we really like. There were some kind of guiding principles, but there wasn’t really a set of 10 commandments about how we were going to do it.”
Collaborating on the album, the group’s friends and affiliates came to be an important part of the release. “Sarah Jones, the drummer from the live band was a huge part of the sessions, enabling recording to be set up more like a band.”
Mark Ralph, who was involved with the recordings on Hot Chip’s last album, In Our Heads, also sat in again for the electronic icons’ sixth release.
“He’s just sort of part of the family really,” says Martin. “He gets where we’re coming from and he gets what we wanna do, so it makes it easy and fun to work with him.”
Also involved on Why Make Sense? was De La Soul’s Posdnuos, featuring on the second track of the album.
“It was just kind of like, ‘oh, we could just ask one of our musical heroes to contribute to the album. Okay, lets do that then’, and that happened. It was something that was really exciting when he came back because it was really funny, kind of unique sounding and a bit of a departure for us, something that we haven’t really dabbled in before.”
With the album released this week, Hot Chip will follow up with heavy touring until October, hitting both the US and Europe. Although there’s no Australian dates set in stone yet, Martin is sure they’ll make it out in time for festival season.
“I imagine it would be in your summertime,” he says. “We’ve always had such a good following there and had such a good time that I think we’ll definitely be back. I just don’t know where or when at the moment.”