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Upfront: Joe Goddard on doing the solo thing

The founding member of Hot Chip and The 2 Bears still has time for himself

Posted by Madeleine Rowe

Deep in the underground of his basement studio on Old St in London, Joe Goddard births his debut solo album, Electric Lines. Over 20-years of industry experience has seen the London producer and multi-instrumentalist perform and DJ at nightclubs and venues across the globe. To add to his legacy, he formed the groups Hot Chip and The 2 Bears and co-founded the record label Greco-Roman. It is with these acquired skill-sets and an unmistakeable confidence in himself that Goddard now redirects his focus to his solo project. With sounds likened to Four Tet, Caribou and Jamie XX, the record features an array of artists including works with singer-songwriters Jess Mills and Daniel Wilson, and fellow Hot Chip band member Alexis Taylor. Over time, the Grammy nominated producer has mastered the art of preserving emotion in electronic music. In a time where computer production takes prevalence, Goddard reverts back to his vintage synths and old-school patch delays to create a record that still somehow manages to hold sentimental value.

 

You’re the founding member of bands, Hot Chip and The 2 Bears. How did you find the solo writing process for Electric Lines compared to your other collaborative experiences?

It was tricky but rewarding. I felt like I learned a lot about myself and grew as a producer.

Was a solo project something you’ve always wanted to do?

Yeah. I like making music alone as well as collaborating.

When and where did you write most of your record?

Last year in my studio in a basement in Old st.

What influenced your album lyrically?

My life, my dreams and my wife.

Are there songs on the record that are more personal to you?

‘Truth is light’ is the most intimate lyrically—it’s about my relationship with my wife.

How has nightlife in your hometown London shaped the music you create?

I was inspired by it in every way—in terms of the rhythms I enjoy, the equipment I use and the chords that I like.

How important is live performance to you?

It’s very important. [Live performance] is an amazing transference of energy from band to audience and back again. It makes you feel something.

What is the story behind the Electric Lines visual representation?

The cover is a painting by my good from Robert Bell from block 336 gallery in Brixton.

You’ve always used vintage synthesisers and a combination of computer generated sounds in your music. Do you think technology limits your expression or do you think it increases the possibilities to create?

I think it increases the possibilities generally as you stumble across new sounds and techniques that inspire you.

You’ve been in the industry for over 20-years now. Looking back on your early development, in what ways have you changed the most as an artist and as a person?

I’ve become more cynical and simultaneously more sure than ever of the importance of music as an art form.

 

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Buy/Stream ‘Electric Lines’ here.

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