“Let’s put it this way,” John Oates says, discussing how his approach to touring has changed over the past 40 years. “I still play music for free, but now you’ve gotta pay me to leave my house, sleep in a hotel and go on an airplane.”
Last summer, the singer flew to Ireland to play Hall and Oates‘ first-ever concert in the country, and tomorrow, that performance – a nearly two-hour set for a packed Olympia Theatre – will be released on DVD and CD. Oates says that they decided to film this particular gig because the circumstances surrounding it seemed to promise “the witch’s brew of a great show.” “I think our level is always consistently high,” he explains. “But the audience and the chemistry of the evening is what makes it go over the top. The show sold out in an hour, so we knew there was going to be an amazing demand of hardcore fans, and we knew the Irish audience is really into music.”
Hall and Oates met in 1967 and released their first album together, Whole Oats, in 1972. They scored their first hit with 1976’s “Sara Smile” and their first Number One with “Rich Girl” the following year. In 2002, their “Do It for Love” spent two weeks atop the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts, and in 2014 they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Oates credits their continued success to consistent vocal training and long-term planning. “We were born singers,” he says. “We were trained singers, and we know how to preserve our pipes. We never really abused ourselves back in the abusive Seventies and Eighties.”
Their secret? “Trying to have common sense and trying to make decisions that were predicated on things like ‘How can we continue to make music for the rest of our lives if we never have another hit record?’ That’s what we care about, and all our decisions are always based on that: What will allow us to keep doing the thing that we love to do?”
He admits that being logical isn’t necessarily the sexiest strategy for success. “I know it’s maybe a little too practical for the average rock fan,” he says. “But hey, it’s 2015 and we’re still here.”
Daryl Hall & John Oates: Recorded Live From Dublin can be pre-ordered here.