Most musicians would give anything to be involved in one mega-successful, genre-defining band, but Al Doyle (pictured left) can boast his part in two. While playing all sorts for Hot Chip remains his day job, Al is also an on/off member of LCD Soundsystem. Both bands are heading Down Under, so we dropped him a line…
You’re touring at the moment. Have places started merging into one yet?
Yeah. Last year we took a year off touring, but prior to that we’ve been on the road pretty much for about four years so we’ve been to many of the cities and venues many times. They do definitely start to blur a little bit. But on the other hand we’ve got quite a lot of friends in different places now so it’s nice to see people and catch up. It’s not all hard graft by any means.
You’re playing gigs with LCD Soundsystem when you’re down here. What’s your link with them?
We’ve known James [Murphy – LCD frontman] for a really long time, probably about eight or nine years. He was one of the first people to really take an interest in Hot Chip as a band. At the time nobody knew who we were and nobody gave a shit but he invited us over to New York to do some recording with us. That didn’t work out for various reasons but we remained really good friends.
And you play with LCD as well?
His original guitarist dropped out of the band and they needed a new guitarist. Pat Mahoney, the drummer in LCD, had already been playing with us for a couple of tours and he suggested me to play, so I started playing with them and did a year’s worth of touring, then came back last year to do a couple of bits of recording and co-wrote the soundtrack to this Ben Stiller film Greenberg. We’re just really good friends. We knew we were both going to be in http://www.tntdownunder.com/tours.html[Australia] at the same time, so when this chance to play together came up we just jumped at it.
It must be a while since the two bands played at the same gig?
Yeah I was trying to think when the last time would be actually. The last time that we did gigs together might be three or four years ago. It will be really good, we’ll both have to up our game a little bit, there’ll definitely be some rivalry there. Also for me, I’m not going to be playing both shows but I’ll have to be watching Tyler, LCD’s bass player, because I’ll be taking over from him later in the year. It’s very incestuous!
So Hot Chip and LCD will be out on the town in http://www.tntdownunder.com/tours.html[Sydney] and http://www.tntdownunder.com/tours.html[Melbourne] then?
Ha, yeah, that could be quite extreme. That’s the thing with playing with both bands, I have to keep up with the drinking which can be tough. We’ll definitely be seeing what’s going on.
You mentioned doing the Greenberg soundtrack. Is that an area you want to move into more?
Well we have done a couple of small things for friends, documentary makers, and we’re about to do this thing for HBO… I don’t know how to describe it really, it’s kind of like a funny movie about the Holocaust! It’s something I hopefully will be doing more of in the future. It gives you a chance to do something out of the pop idom and be a little bit more experimental and try some different styles. It’s very liberating I think for a musician to be in that position.
Do Aussies get confused by your name, what with chips being called hot chips here?
Ah, I didn’t know that. That explains a lot, hardly anybody calls us Hot Chip in Australia, they always call us Hot Chips!
Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem both play Sydney (26 July; http://www.ticketek.com.au) and Melbourne (29 July; http://www.ticketmaster.com.au), before Queensland festival Splendour in the Grass (30 July-1 August; http://www.splendourinthegrass.com/[www.splendourinthegrass.com])