The London-based Hot Chip are one of modern synth-pop's most lauded bands. In addition to their stunning records, they're also a popular live act, headlining gigs all around the world. While the group is now at work on its next album, its most visible member, Alexis Taylor, has just released a new solo record, 'Await Barbarians.' "I was writing the songs, and I felt like they were more to do with me than something that was worth sharing with other people," he tells us. "I wanted to keep them." Taylor took some time out of his schedule to answer five questions for us.

Are you as calm in real life as you sound in your music?
I would say I am, actually, with occasional eruptions, occasional anger-management problems. More so than other people, more than you would expect.

Where does 'Await Barbarians' come from?
It has to do with a poem by Cavafy. He's a Greek poet. He was talking about culture and society being defined by and affected by the people they expected to come into war or come into conflict with them. It has to do with what you're defined by and whether you need to be defined by something outside of yourself.

What do you think of the movie 'Conan the Barbarian'?
I remember it when I was a child. I don't remember it well, but I remember that sort of era when [Arnold Schwarzenegger] was making those films. There was a good joke on a British sketch show about a different character called Conan the Librarian. I remember that quite well.

What does Hot Chip mean?
A hot potato that you put in your mouth. I've never really thought about it, since we gave the name to our band when we were about 15 years old. So I don't know what it means. It's meaningless. It's not necessarily cool, but this is what we're stuck with now.

What's your favorite kind of chip?
I don't eat crisps actually, but my favorite kind, if I was to eat them again, would be one that's made in America. When Hot Chip was on tour in San Francisco, they would kindly provide them in our dressing room. They're called Dirty Chips. They're like a kettle chip. The salt and vinegar flavor I like.

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