The pop stars talk about appearing on ''Will & Grace,'' spelling, and shaving off mustaches

Hall. Oates. Never before have two individuals been so powerfully joined by an ampersand. Hitmaking duo Daryl Hall & John Oates are touring to promote their CD Our Kind of Soul; they’ve also begun work on a Christmas album. Think these guys could go for an early present in the form of Stupid Questions? They can do.

Oates, you answer this question as if you were Hall, and Hall, you answer as if you were Oates. How’s it going?
JO: It’s going just swimmingly. DH: Would I say ”swimmingly,” though? JO: No, probably not.

My brain just melted — go back to being yourselves. You recently appeared on Will & Grace, playing ”Maneater” at Grace’s wedding. Which was harder — playing ”Maneater” or playing yourselves playing ”Maneater”?
DH: We were always playing ourselves playing ”Maneater.” JO: Oooh, very Zen, Hall…Zen Hall? Isn’t that, like, a gym at a really bad community college?

What’s the most rock ‘n soul thing you’ve done today?
DH: Let’s see…I ordered a pair of cowboy boots from a guy in Comanche, Texas. JO: Honestly, I have not done anything rock ‘n soul today… I fed the llamas. I don’t know if that’s rock ‘n soul, but — DH: I think that’s pretty soulful. JO: There you go. Fed the llamas.

You employ the catchy gimmick of spelling ”M-E-T-H-O-D-O-F-L-O-V-E” in ”Method of Modern Love.” Have you ever played that song in concert and mistakenly misspelled those words, and if so, was it V-E-R-Y-A-W-K-W-A-R-D?
DH: When you sing, you don’t blow it. If I were asked to spell it normally, I might make a mistake.

Care to weigh in, Oates?
JO: No…I can spell.

Do you guys split the groupies 50-50, or is it every half of Hall & Oates for himself?
DH: Well, we’re a little beyond splitting of groupies…. I get ’em all, actually. John is married with a child. He’s relinquished his groupie card. JO: My groupie grope is gone.

The two of you met in an elevator while fleeing a gang fight at a dance. That sounds a little wimpy. Let’s come up with a better story.
DH: We never existed because we were killed in a gang fight. JO: Oh, God. What would the world do? DH: All those songs would be lost to history. JO: An alternative universe without ”Maneater” would be a hollow place.

Oates, you shaved off your mustache. Did you need multiple government agencies to sign off on that?
JO: No, but it was a psychically freeing moment. I’m sure it didn’t mean anything to anyone else, but it was very important to me. DH: Actually, I would disagree. I think it meant a lot to a lot of people… [Conversation about mustaches continues for a while.] A mustache means some strange thing. I don’t know what that is.

On the album cover of Rock ‘n Soul Part 1, you guys seem to be engaged in an awesome arm-wrestling match. Between us, who won that match — or do we have to wait for Rock ‘n Soul Part 2 to find out?
DH: Well, John has bigger muscles but I have longer arms. JO: It was leverage against power. DH: Archimedes would have the answer to this. JO: This is a physics problem, not a rock ‘n soul problem.