Daryl Hall & John Oates are prepping their first new album in 14 years. Although a constant presence on the concert circuit, Hall & Oates haven't recorded together since their 2006 holiday collection, Home For Christmas. The pair's last all-original set was 2003's Do It For Love. Hall & Oates will be back on the road this spring and summer with Squeeze and special guest KT Tunstall.
Daryl Hall spoke about the project that's now in its earliest stages, telling Rolling Stone: “I’m in the process right now of coming up with some ideas. I’ve been working with some people on them right now I don’t want to talk about yet. (John and I) don’t write together very much, never did really. We went separate ways creatively. We needed to have that space apart, in that respect, even though we never stopped playing together, but now it just feels — I don’t know how to describe it. When it feels right, it feels right.”
Oates has yet to offer up his contributions, but is also gearing up for their return to the studio: “I have so much going on, so to be honest I’m not quite there. Daryl has shifted his focus to Hall & Oates, which is great. I’m going to jump on board, for sure, but it’s in the early, preliminary days of it. He’s very excited, and he’s been spending some time in Europe. He’s found some young producers he’s kind of getting energized with. He’ll jump-start the process and then I’ll definitely jump on board later.”
Although much is made over the fact that Hall & Oates remain the most successful duo in popular music, Hall maintains that the “duo” tag has always been an incorrect one: “We aren’t a duo. We aren’t Simon & Garfunkel. We are two people that run a band. It’s more like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.”
Although 2020 marks the pair's 50th anniversary, Daryl Hall explained fans shouldn't be counting on them commemorating it an any nostalgic way: “It’s the same reason I don’t go to f***in' high school reunions. I’m not into celebrations or milestones or awards of any of that crap. It’s all about the work to me.”
Oates is also about living and working in the now, saying, “I don’t think we’d ever do a farewell tour. Every farewell tour I’ve ever heard about didn’t turn out to be a farewell tour, so I don’t know what the hell that means. Sure, if its a marketing ploy, hey, why not? Everyone needs a hook. Everyone needw a schtick. Whatever.”
Daryl Hall says with he and John Oates juggling solo projects along with group work, they feel lucky that, unlike other groups, they've never had a falling out during their long career: “It does happen. It has never happened to us. Y'know, we were friends before we started even writing together. Y'know, we go back to kids. We met right out of high school. So we have all that stuff straightened out.”
Hall & Oates are riding the crest of a newfound popularity, which has pushed the duo back into the same arena venues they played during their '80s heyday. John Oates explained that success is a weird thing to define, especially when mass popularity and fame become intertwined with it: “It's funny how it works in pop music. Y'know, there's the ebb and flow of popularity. Y'know, you can be doing the same thing and all of a sudden the world comes into synch with you, and it's this synchronicity of timing, public opinion — kind of the mass-consciousness all kind of comes together in this weird way.”