Musician Joe Goddard talks turntable tech, VR gigs and the ZX Spectrum

Joe Goddard is a British musician, singer songwriter and DJ but he’s probably best known as a member of the synth pop band Hot Chip.

What you may not know is the 41-year-old has a soft spot for all kinds of tech and initially got started making music on an Atari ST.

He sat down with Metro to discuss some of his very favourite bits of tech and give us the low down on what it’s like to film a VR gig.

What do you use the most in the studio?

The Arp 2600 is a classic vintage synth from the early 70s. It does all the things a typical synth does but has a rich, beautiful timbre to it. During lockdown I’ve been using a Prophet 6 made by Sequential Circuits. It just came out a couple of years ago.

Have you had any festival tech disasters to deal with?

We did a small festival in Lyon when the power cut out and it was complete darkness and silence. It started working again, there was a big cheer, but there were three more power cuts.

We had a similar thing happen in Brazil. But the crowd were having such a good time they just kept dancing until the power came back on.

What tech made an impression on you as a child?

My dad had a ZX Spectrum and we’d play those text-based adventure games. It was just white text on a black screen and you’d wait 30 minutes for the game to load from an audio tape making crazy noises.

Did you move on to any more exciting games?

We had Feud, which was very basic. Every now and then an evil wizard would run onto the screen and shoot you with a fireball.

I still remember the sound, it was terrifying. But then I started making music on the computer and that took over from games.

How did you start?

When we got the Atari ST. The music software Cubase started on the Atari and I’ve been using it for over 25 years.

How did you become a fan of Oculus Quest?

We were on tour and went to a place where you could play the zombie shooting game Arizona Sunshine. It really made you feel you were part of the world, jumping and looking around.

Would you do a VR gig?

We performed at the South By Southwest festival and Samsung shot one of our gigs using VR as it was. It was a bit shonky but the idea was you could experience being at the gig, looking at the crowd or around the stage at what we were doing.

It’d be cool to do one with VR as it is now. If you’ve got an amazing sound system that’s one thing but lots of people will be using the laptop speakers.

What was your last tech purchase?

I bought a massive ex-BBC vintage turntable – the EMT 950. It’s a beast. I drove to Cardiff to buy it at a BBC auction. It sounds absolutely fantastic and looks amazing. It’s a beautiful old bit of kit and it has special buttons the BBC asked
for that rewinds the vinyl to specific point so they could play records on the radio easily.

Hot Chip’s Late Night Tales compilation, with three new Hot Chip tracks, is out today.

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