Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard is a man with many talents – as a DJ, Producer, vocalist and one of the Two Bears he’s definitely got some musical knowledge to share, which is exactly why Bacardi chose him to mentor emerging artist Jessie Ware.
To mark their 150th anniversary Bacardi are giving away £10,000 bursaries to established talents including Friendly Fires and Mylo to get their mentor on and make music with the new nominated acts. Bacardi invited WJ down to get the gossip about the project and meet the artists.
In the first of our interviews we got chatting to Joe about Hipsters, the success of Two Bears debut and what it was like to be in The Simpsons. Oh and we totally got a Bear Hug.
Hello Joe Goddard! How’s it going, are you excited about all the Bacardi goings on?
Yeah good, yeah totally!
I hear you and Jessie are getting quite involved and are already talking studio time?
Yeah – Yeah, trying to work out when we can both do, looking forward to doing it!
It’s quite a big amount of money, £10,000 for a small artist?
Yeah we can do some really good stuff with that, like particularly if we use the studio we’re talking about using – its where we made the Hot Chip album and it’s not a massively expensive studio so yeah we can afford some good time there get some good players in. We havent worked out exactly how we’re going to spend that money but it will go a long way if we’re just making one track.
So what made you choose Jessie Ware – what do you think about her music?
Well, she was just a name that came up as a possibility I thought it sounded like a great idea. Just I think she’s got a great voice you know, always in tune, powerful she’s got a good personality, yeah just kind of jumped at the chance really. I was suggesting people initially and Jessie was much more kind of established than the people, so I was really pleased she wanted to do it you know?
Who else apart from Jessie are you watching, who’s on your radar?
I initially thought about Disclosure but I think they’re a bit too young to be involved with the whole thing because its alcohol related and they weren’t allowed. But I’ve been working them on our label Greco-Roman so they just came to mind first, but working with Jessie is great.
Two Bears debut was pretty popular, did you know it was going to be that well received?
I was actually really, really, pleased with the reception of it because essentially it’s quite a straight forward, you know a house music record. I mean I’m very like proud of it but I thought I might get some reviews that kind of said it was a bit too, a bit dumb or something but people really got into the spirit of the record and seemed to like it so I was very happy. I guess last year we were helped a lot by like Radio 1 really supporting “Bear Hug” and things like that.
Yeah Annie Mac loved “Bear Hug”!
Yeah she was amazing, that supporting us was last year, that made me feel like probably a lot of people would hear the record but for people to really have got into the record after it came out – yeah it’s been very nice.
And at the end of July you’re releasing “Be Strong Remixed”, that’s exciting?
Yeah there’s loads of good mixes we’ve got loads of great people from the world of house music, like real heroes you could say, so yeah it’s great.
Lets talk about the Simpsons, because Hot Chip had a track “Boy From School” in the iconic cartoon not so long ago, what was that like to see that?
Yeah we weren’t like characters, but it was just fantastic to see it’s just one of those very nice lovely things that came along where you obviously immediately say yeah that will be great and its lovely to get those emails.
Hot Chip have been together for a while, you guys are like an ensemble cast, do you after, Two Bears and the fact that you DJ and Produce, have a way that you most like to work?
I kind of enjoy working in lots of different ways, I don’t really have a favourite. I love working at home on my own, I love working with Raf, I like working in the studio in Kilburn that we made the Hot Chip album – working their with the engineer Mark is really great. Theres good things about all those ways of working I couldn’t really pick one over another. I just love being in studios, I love spending my time doing that.
Your latest album with Hot Chip has been released, what’s your reaction to the reviews for “In Our Heads”?
Yeah I’m happy with the response in general – there were a couple of the more kind of hipster websites kind of really turned against us, which I do dislike when there is bad reviews, but most of the major newspapers and things were generally really positive about it so I was happy. I just try not to let that stuff bother me to much, some times it does but you just have to move on really.
Have you got other side projects on the go apart from your new found Bacardi/Jessie Ware project?
Not loads on right now, working on a couple of remixes with Raf and I just remixed Scissor Sisters as Two Bears and we did a remix for Elton John recently, which is really good. Yeah not that much apart from that.
Remixes are a brilliant way to get involved with other artists and put your own stamp on stuff. Is there a particular criteria or process to you choosing them or do they come to you?
Yeah people come to us, I just, it’s really straight forward, listen to the track and see if I’ve got the time to do it. That’s basically it, basically if the vocal is good sounds strong or sounds interesting and you can clearly see what kind of thing you would do with it then, just if it makes sense, then I go for it basically.
Your debut solo track “Gabriel” was number one in South Africa, it was a less mainstream release here – what was it like to know it was that popular?
Yeah aparenty like house music is having a really big time there, I haven’t actually been out to South Africa since that happened but i did some interviews and things with South African radio stations and newspapers. Yeah it was really cool because on Twitter lots of South African people were getting in touch.
So you’re a Tweeter?
Sometimes yeah I don’t actually do it that much really but if I’m working in the studio just means I’m not concentrating if I’m doing that – so I try not to turn it on too much.
What do you think of the internet as a platform for music and the general blogging culture?
Well I mean it’s like a massively complex issue. On one level it’s really, really, really positive and good that people can get their music out there so quickly and reach so many people – you know that’s helped Hot Chip massively over the years it means you can turn up in Mexico and play a gig to a couple of thousand people which is obviously like great.
But at the same time the culture right now is for things to be very kind of “flash in the pan” the tracks cool for three days and then all the hipsters are over it. It’s pretty crazy, I guess that’s why some of the more hip younger producers are going back to vinyl in some ways now – you know releasing stuff and making people work a bit harder to get things then means they hopefully love and enjoy that a bit more.
The internets changed everything hasn’t it.
I really want to ask for a Bear Hug, I know that’s probably not cool, but if you could just give me a little Bear Hug?
(laughs) Yeah sure!
For more on the launch of Bacardi Beginning’s check out this.