Jarvis Cocker Interview
BBC 6 Music: Rocket Science With Marc Riley, Saturday 12 March 2005

[Babies fades out..] Marc Riley: Well it's 13 years old and still sounds great to me but how does it sound to Jarvis Cocker? Jarvis, are you there mate?

Jarvis Cocker: Yeah - I won't be playing drivel like that when I'm on there!

Oh no don't shoot your bolt too early mate we've not told anybody about that yet - that's the trade secret, the big climax of the interview.

JC: Oh so I've spoilt it all... I always come on a little bit too soon Mark.

Ah yes I know where you're coming from, pardon the phrase. How are you?

JC: Fine, I'm on a Parisian walkway at this very moment - the ones that Gary Moore used to write about. We've just had a very short but quite intense snow shower.

Have you really?

JC: Yeah - thought I'd give you a bit of weather. That's what you when you're on the radio in't it?

Yeah but they don't do it on 6Music - it's ridiculous! I did say to the bosses it should be called 6Weather, but they weren't having it.

JC: Fools!

Now can we just get this out the way - have Pulp split up?

JC: Err. We're too lazy for that kind of dramatic-ness.

You didn't have a big final confab where you just snarled at each other and walked out a room?

JC: We did that all the time anyway! It was when we started being nice to each other that we realised something was wrong.

You don't want to be nice to people you're in a band with and spend your life with do you?

JC: No. Exactly! Pulp, as I'm sure you kind of know, has undergone many periods of hibernation and stuff. I don't know whether we'll do anything again, but you know...

Well, you've got to do it if you enjoy it haven't you - that's got to be the lure for you hasn't it?

JC: Yeah - there's no point otherwise is there?

Absolutely. So maybe some of the other members of Pulp are in a cardboard box under the staircase in some hay?

JC: Yes!

I know Steve Mackey isn't there - because you've been out doing some DJ-ing with him haven't you?

JC: Yes - we went to Lisbon the other night. That were quite good. Full of lesbians.

Was it?

JC: I think that's what they call them in't it?

Oh dear!

JC: I know, it is rubbish!

You want to hear the rest of the programme - that was good by that standard. So what kind of stuff do you play when you go out? Is it 'Hi Ho Silver Lining' or is it Aphex Twin?

JC: Both! You've kind of hit on the two polar opposites - the two poles which we try to operate between.


JC: Yeah - take it from one to the other. Yeah, we play quite a good mixture of stuff and it's a good laugh. I don't know if the Portuguese really got in to us that much but I enjoyed meself.

Are you fabulously famous over there in Portugal?

JC: Don't seem to be, no. I kept standing near the bar thinking maybe someone would say 'I liked one of your records once - here's a drink' but it didn't work.

You've just said you're in Paris at the moment. You live over in France don't you?

JC: I do yeah. Can't you tell by me French accent?

I can tell by your breath. No offence!

JC: That's my Gallic charm!

Did you go and live in France to get away from your profile in Britain? Because you turned into a British institution almost overnight and that must have done your head in.

JC: Well I suppose so, but the main reason for moving to Paris was I married a French woman - my wife is French and she'd lived in England for five years and she wanted to come back and I just thought 'well, you know, middle age is upon me and I've never lived in a foreign country', so I thought I'd try it, you know? Spirit of the Entente Cordiale!

Yeah, absolutely. Do you get bugged over there? Is it the kind of environment where you can just walk around or are people pointing at you all the time and buying you drinks when you stand by the bar?

JC: [laughter] No it's alright - it's fine. The only problem is there's a lot of dog-poo on the streets.


JC: Yeah. They're mad on it!

You wanna get them little smelly bags - Michelle got some for me - I'm sure she could sort France out.

JC: They've tried that. Somehow the Parisians don't think that's the done thing.

Do they think it's bohemian?

JC: I don't know. It's bad.

It is bad - you don't want dog-poo everywhere do you. Have you seen any white dog-poo on your travels 'cause that's quite rare?

JC: No no - even in Paris that's died out.

Okay then let's go off dog-poo and talk about Nancy Sinatra just for a minute. You've been working a little bit with Nancy haven't you?

JC: I wrote a couple of songs for her yeah - about a year ago now I suppose.

Well it's been a while since you've been 'pulping', so you've been filling your time. I'm just trying to work out exactly what you've been busying your time with over that period.

JC: Me? Well just faffing about... I've just been told off by a man 'cause I was stood in front of his jewellery shop window. He obviously thought I was making it look untidy. He was just motioning to me through the window to go and stand in front of somebody else's shop... they're ever so friendly over here you know... erm... what were we on about? Oh writing songs for Nancy Sinatra. You know I've been a bit of a house husband and stuff like that. I've been doing Pulp since I was 15 years old I think was when the group started and now I'm a 41 year old man and even though we've never released that many records I was always doing it and thought I'll try doing summat else.

Well you say that but when Richard Hawley was on here he did allude to the fact that you've been doing a little bit of solo stuff and a bit of writing. Have you got a solo project on the boil now?

JC: I've been writing some songs and when I've got enough ones that I think are fit for human consumption then I'll try to decide what to do with 'em. The main thing that I've done, I suppose recently, was to write some songs for the Harry Potter film.

I was going to get to that.

JC: That's just a shameless effort to try and ingratiate meself with kids! It'll get me a whole new young audience!

Well you start fearing your mortality don't you at the age of 40. You know - your audience dies with you don't they, so you need another one coming up on the ranks.

JC: Absolutely.

You've been over to Australia haven't you recently?

JC: I have yes. I went over as part of a thing - there was an evening of Leonard Cohen songs. Immediately you say that, everybody goes 'Oh God - depressing!' but it was really good.

Who else was on it?

JC: There was Nick Cave doing it, Rufus Wainwright, the McGarrigle sisters. It was really good.

Okay, so you've not really just been a house husband - you've been doing other bits on the way haven't you?

JC: Well, you know - it's like having an allotment!

Now you did allude to it at the start of the chat, but in a couple of weeks time on the second and ninth of April you're going to be in this chair doing this programme aren't you?

JC: Is it a nice chair?

Well it'll be nicer when you get here I'll bet. You know they'll be out to Ikea and they'll be a big comfy...

JC: ...Will they get one of those ones where you're in a kind of semi-kneeling position?

All of the staff will be kneeling before you! You'll be in a Parker-Knoll instead of this scabby thing I'm on at the moment. But yeah, you are - all joking aside - gonna be presenting this programme for two weeks.

JC: Yeah - it's 6Music! That's what you call it in't it?

6Music yeah. Just say "6Music's great" and they'll stick that on the news.

JC: Right.

Go on - say it!

JC: "6Music's great"

Right nice one - thanks a lot Jarvis! Right okay mate, well don't be too good! That's all I can say really. I can't give you any advice 'cause I'm crap.

JC: I can't help it - it just oozes out of me though!

I know - you're a genius aren't you... and a British institution blah blah blah...

JC: Well I suppose I should be in one... huh huh!

Well I tell you what you could do - instead of just moaning about it, you should go and get a load of bags and clean up the dog-poo up yourself. I mean start your own campaign - "Clean Up Paris Says Jarvis"

JC: That's not bad. That would get me noticed wouldn't it?

It would get you noticed yeah. And you could stand outside jewellers' shops 'cause you could pick up the shh... the poo!

JC: Actually I feel like chucking one in that bloke's face! No, I could post it under his... he hasn't got a letterbox though!

Jarvis you should know by now that you can't say things like that 'cause that could be in the News Of The World tomorrow!

JC: No - anyway - I wouldn't do a thing like that. But anyway yeah, I'm very much looking forward to coming over and doing the show.

Well so is everybody.

JC: I've been practicing me patter, stuff like that. I'm hoping to get some good bands in session. There's this bloke over here - Jean Michelle-Jarre - have you heard of him?

Yes I have yeah!

JC: Fantastic! Absolutely superb.

I can see them graphics that he has on that little wall over there - that'd be smashing.

JC: He's kind of like a bit of electroclash, you know...?

Yeah course his is. God you don't half mix with some famous people.

JC: Aye.

Well thanks very much for doing the show for us today and in two weeks and three weeks. We're made up about that I have to say.

JC: Alright - well you know - don't speak too soon it could go all horribly wrong!

It won't, it won't. It can't 'cause Michelle will get the sack. Alright well go and enjoy Paris and take care. When you do the second show I get back into Manchester on that day so I might just come into the studio when you're finishing and drag you off for a quick pint...

JC: What? Put me off...?

Nooo! No!

JC: Yeah you will won't you? You'll start making faces and farty noises in t'background or something.

No - I used to be Lard but I'm alright now. Maybe I'll see you in a few weeks if you're very unlucky.

JC: He he! Alright.

Take care then.

JC: See-ya.

Cheers mate. See-ya. Well hopefully Jarvis likes Sorted For E's & Wizz cause that's what we're gonna play now...

Jarvis Cocker Rocket Science, BBC 6Music
Tracklisting 2 April 2005:

The Birthday Party - Blast Off
Midlake - Balloon Maker
The Stooges - 1969
Chocolate - Emma
Artery - Potential Silence (Archive Session)
Jem - They
The Fall - Touch Sensitive
British Sea Power - Will I Ever Find My Way Home
Prey - Save Yourself (Session)
The Beatles - I'm Only Sleeping
Link Wray - Comanche
The Shortwave Set - Is It Any Wonder
Jet Boy - Jet Girl
New Order - Turn
Tim Rose - Long Time Man
Prey - The Godsy Beat (Session)
Artery - Afterwards (Archive Session)
Frank Black - Headache
Beck - Rental Car
Phuture - Your Only Friend
Prey - Rubber Man (Session)
Sambassadeur - Between The Lines
Sisters Of Mercy - Gimme Shelter
Suicide - Cheree
Television - Glory
The Rutles - Cheese And Onions
Warren Zevon - Werewolves Of London
Roxy Music - Pyjamarama
Bloc Party - Banquet
Artery - Into The Garden (Archive Session)
Elbow - Not A Job
Doctor Mix - No Fun

Jarvis Cocker Rocket Science, BBC 6Music
Tracklisting 9 April 2005:

Nag Nag Nag - Cabaret Voltaire
Love is an Unfamiliar Name - Duke Spirit
Not Like Before - Andrew Aveling
I'm Straight - Jonathan Richman
Just What I Needed - The Cars
Liar Liar - Castaways
Rocks - Primal Scream
The Hot Pear Snatch - The Cramps
Everytime - Andrew Averling
Their ways - Little 'ans
Never felt like - Jack Scott
22 The Death Of All The Romance - The Dears
Smile Like You Mean It - Killers
Chiken Payback - The Bees
Paper Plane - Status Quo
Believe - Chemical Brothers
Vice Versa - New Girls/Neutrons
March Of The First State - Graph
How Far Can Too Far Go - The Cramps
Like An Angel - The Mighty Lemon Drops
Curiser's Creek - The Fall
Little Girl (With Blue Eyes) - Pulp
She's Got No Hair - Arthur Big Boy Crudup
Pump It Up - Elvis Costello
King Of The Rodeo - Kings Of Leon
Aloha From Hell - The Cramps
Coles Corner - Richard Hawley
Love Action Dub - Philly

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