Page last updated at 07:58 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 08:58 UK

Talking Shop: Daryl Hall

Chromeo with Daryl Hall (centre)
Daryl Hall (centre) invited Chromeo to his home for his latest collaboration
Daryl Hall enjoyed huge success in the 1980s as one half of pop pair Hall & Oates.

They became the most successful duo in US chart history with hits like I Can't Go For That (No Can Do), Maneater and Private Eyes.

Hall, now 61, now webcasts informal collaborations from his own home in a series called Live From Daryl's House.

KT Tunstall and Gym Class Heroes frontman Travis McCoy are among those who have been round for homely sessions so far.

Canadian electro duo Chromeo have recorded the latest show, which goes online on Friday.


What is your house like?

My house is actually two houses that were deconstructed. They were Connecticut Valley houses built in 1771 and 1781. I took them down piece by piece and reconstructed them about 50 miles to the west on the New York/Connecticut border.

It's a beautiful rural area, untouched. And where the houses were, they were both endangered.

How do the home performances differ from a normal studio or concert?

You have the sense of just fooling around, of having fun and being creatively spontaneous
When you're playing in front of people, everything is external. It's all going from you out to an audience. When you're in a studio, it's very internalised, it's going from the air through you into this meticulously crafted, layered piece of work.

But when you do Live From Daryl's, it's neither one of those things - it's a combination, if possible. It's a third, different kind of animal.

Why do you like that?

It makes it very spontaneous. It's such an intimate environment that you don't have the sense of putting on a performance, you have the sense of just fooling around, of having fun and being creatively spontaneous.

Do you treat your collaborators like normal house guests - do you cook them dinner and all sit in front of the TV and watch football?

Yes, actually, I have done all that.

KT Tunstall
KT Tunstall recorded an online session at Hall's London home
Somehow, somebody in Chromeo's management decided they were going to send their rider. Four clean towels, 12 cans of 7 Up, sparkling water, fresh water… [laughs]

They were very embarrassed about it. But we had a good laugh.

Do the neighbours mind the noise?

What neighbours? I have 250 acres! I live in the middle of nowhere.

But you did one at your London house with KT Tunstall.

The London one was a bit of a problem because, yes, I do have neighbours - and you know London neighbours. They don't want to hear about it. So I did it during the day and we kept it down and nobody complained.

Are you writing any new material?

I've been doing a lot of writing because I'm going to do a solo project. It will probably start in the beginning of the year. It will be some sort of an extension of Live From Daryl's - I've been talking to some of my guests about some co-writing ideas, particularly KT.

She and I get on very well and I think we're going to write and probably wind up singing something together on my new CD.

Daryl Hall and John Oates
Hall and Oates have performed together for more than 40 years

Are you still working with John Oates?

I work with John occasionally and we like to do special events. We like to keep it interesting. We're past the point where we're going to be slogging around together constantly and we want to make it count when we work together.

Many people think the 1980s was a golden age for pop and songwriting - what do you think?

Every artistic form has its golden age, and unfortunately I think the golden age for whatever I do probably ended about 1990.

In the post-golden age, I think we have gone from a non-ironic time to an ironic time. And now I think we're evolving past irony into parody. I see a lot of artists who are parodying artists and they're getting across.

I hear a lot of people singing in funny voices, and singing like they're stupid. Singing in a deliberately fey and dumb and childish way. And I find it to be a disturbing trend.

You've influenced a lot of current artists - how do you feel about the way they're reinterpreting your style?

It excites me. I like it. I enjoy hearing what people do when they take my influences and take it to another place. I find it stimulating and interesting.

Do you think there's been a change in the way you're perceived?

Yeah, I do. I think my contemporaries didn't understand me. Especially in the rock crit establishment, they had a different set of standards that they judged from. I didn't register on their level of coolness.

And I think there's a whole new generation of people who don't look at it that way any more - they look at what I do for what it is and I think I'm being perceived in a very different way from how I was 20 years ago.

Do you mind if people see you as a guilty pleasure?

I think those people are dwindling. I don't know who they're guilty to. Who are they guilty to?

I guess the establishment that decrees what is and isn't cool.

That's what I'm saying, that establishment is passe.

You had a bad bout of Lyme disease - how are you now?

I had a very serious case of Lyme, which is used a catch-all for tick-related diseases. Lyme is only one of them, I had six.

I'm in a good state of maintenance. I have a certain regimen of certain things that I have to take - some prescription and some non-prescription things - that keep me functioning.

That doesn't stop the very seldom flare-ups that I get now, but it's so minor that it's not really worth talking about too much.

Daryl Hall was talking to BBC News music reporter Ian Youngs.


SEE ALSO
'Icon' award for Hall and Oates
06 May 08 |  Entertainment

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