Broadcast live on XFM's Studio 68, 17 July 2001
The plan for this interview was very simple. DJ Tim Lovejoy would telephone Jarvis at 6:45pm. Jarvis would pick up his phone and the interview would be broadcast on-air. Except for the fact that Jarvis, punctual as ever, was uncontactable at this time and it took the DJ another hour to get in touch with him. At 7.50pm, ten minutes before the end of the show, they finally got hold of Jarvis and this is what he had to say...
DJ: Hello Jarvis...
DJ: How are you?
Jarvis: Slightly damp. That's nothing to do with incontinence, it's raining outside.
DJ: Been out in the rain?
DJ: Where are you at the moment, are you in London somewhere?
Jarvis: I'm in London's lively Soho.
DJ: Oh right, are you doing some recording?
Jarvis: No, I'm just looking for a prostitute.
DJ: Nice! I tell you what, after the interview, stay on the line, I'll give you some recommendations.
DJ: Now what have you been doing, we haven't heard from you for a while?
Jarvis: You know, just farting about, you know, going for walks etcetera.
DJ: You've been lying low cause we used to read a lot about you and I think the industry's missed you really. I think you were always media friendly. Did you get annoyed eventually with all the media intrusion after a while?
Jarvis: Noooo. Well if it's in like rubishy tabloids and stuff like that cause I never read those papers anyway. Just gets on your nerves if you go out and you've got some - well in fact it did happen the other day - I borrowed somebody's mobile phone and I were trying to make a call on it and somebody took a picture of me doing that. And I thought 'well that's really interesting that, me trying to make a phone call'. Just boring innit?
DJ: Sadly they make millions and millions of money out of those magazines where they have: "JARVIS - ON A PHONE!"
Jarvis: Well no, of course they won't, cause it's just a sad, crap, boring picture. I mean if I was chucking the phone at somebody or trying to shove up their backside, I suppose it would be alright, but actually making a phonecall ain't rite interesting is it?
DJ: How long has in been now since you released something, it seems like ages?
Jarvis: Probably is quite a long time, yeah. I'm not sure - about three years I think.
DJ: Three years. So are you enjoying now the fact that you've got an album coming out soon haven't you?
Jarvis: Yes we have - we've finished it and yeah, I'm looking forward to doing it actually, yeah.
DJ: The first thing we've had though is the limited edition twelve-inch Sunrise.
DJ: Is it going to get a proper release?
Jarvis: Er, I don't know. The thing about that was, you know we played Homelands about six weeks ago and it was supposed to come out around then, but then record company was slightly dozy and it ended up being a bit late. We just wanted to get something out cause that song's about being out late and being still awake when the sun's coming up. I thought, 'well people tend to do that more in summer than they do in winter cause y-know it's a bit cold isn't it? It just seems appropriate that that song should be around in some kind of way during the summer and hopefully get played at some do's and stuff like that, y-know. So, I dunno. We'll see.
DJ: Now on your new album you've managed to get Scott Walker of the sixties band The Walker Brothers working on it. How did you manage that?
Jarvis: Well we performed at this Meltdown effort that he did last year and we'd started doing our album and then we kind of fell out with the producer that we were working with then and so we were kind of at a bit of a standstill and then our manager just asked him, kind of, 'oh have you thought of doing some production', and then he just said, 'oh yeah - I'll give it a go'. So that was quite weird. Because I've kind have been into him for quite a long time, sometimes I think it might not be such a good idea to work with your heroes because you might be a bit too respectful to them - saying [in agreeing child-like voice] 'yes yes I think if you want to have my vocal really quiet Scott, that's a really good idea, yes'. But when we started working with him, all that kind of went out of window - he seemed to be fairly natural... [screeching modem sound]... sorry, someone's going on internet - can you hear 'em in background?
DJ: Yeah, I can hear that yeah!
Jarvis: Hope they're not... oh yeah!... downloading something rude I think. NOTHING TO DO WITH ME! Nothing to do with me!
DJ: Yeah, that's the only thing people use the internet for isn't it, email and porn...
DJ: Now, I know how to listen to music, but I don't know anything about making it so are producers important then, do you think, in making an album?
Jarvis: Well yeah cause they're like a referee. I mean if we were left to our own devices we'd just kind of kill each other... [in argumentative voice] 'You're playing out of time!', 'That bit's rubbish!', 'My bit should be louder than your bit!' And y-know, the producer just kind of says, "Shut up children, this is how it's going to be". I mean different producers do different things. We'd got this idea that we wanted to do a record in a bit more of a natural way - just get in a room and just play rather than have it all fed into a computer and put exactly in time and all this kind of thing. I suppose we were going more for atmosphere than pristine-ness, and he kind of helped us do that.
DJ: Do we know when it's out yet?
Jarvis: I think it's either end of September or the very beginning of October.
DJ: And do we know what it's called yet? Well, obviously you do, but...
Jarvis: Well, you know what? I don't.
DJ: Not come up with a name?
Jarvis: Well I've got a couple of different ones but I haven't really settled on it - it's not really super-carved in stone yet thought obviously I'm going to have to decide pretty quick cause things like the sleeve artist are going to ask me things like that.
DJ: Yeah, it is quite important I suppose!
Jarvis: The songs have got names. And also words, so I've done some work!
DJ: And a bit of music?
Jarvis Yeah, most of them have got music on them and all - yep!
DJ: It's a good start!
Jarvis: A few a cappella ones obviously.
DJ: Now we've just had Cerys on the show doing a bit of a session for us and an interview. She's playing the Guildford Festival. You'll be playing there as well won't you?
Jarvis: We will be yeah. I'm looking forward to... or actually particularly because I was hoping Kiki Dee was going to be playing on our day. And also Wurzels are playing there you know?
DJ: [Sarcastically] Great! Hmmm. Will you be playing all your new stuff?
Jarvis: Yeah I should imagine so. It'll probably be about 50:50 new and old I suppose. That's what we did at Homelands and we didn't get lynched.
DJ: So we can still expect some of our old favourites as well?
Jarvis: I guess so yeah. Well you know, you don't want to be too awkward do you?
DJ: I've got to ask you a question right - you've been in the industry years now yeah?
Jarvis: Oh yes, I'm an old pro.
DJ: Do you still get a buzz out of it?
Jarvis: I do yeah, well there's no point in doing it otherwise is there? I think that's the thing you have to keep asking yourself: are you doing it just because you've got such a lack of imagination that you can't think of owt else to do, or are you doing it because you think you've still got summat to say and you enjoy it. I thought long and hard and I decided, 'Yes, I'm going to inflict myself on people for a bit longer yet'.
DJ: Excellent! Well it's been brilliant talking to you. Can't wait to hear the new stuff on the new album and we're going to play Sunrise now.
DJ: Thanks a lot for joining us tonight.
Jarvis: Can I just mention one thing?
DJ: Course you can...
Jarvis: If people are at a loose end this Friday, we're doing this 'do' down near Old Street. It's the Desperate Sound System and we've got that band ARE Weapons over from New York and it's their first ever appearance in this country. So if people want to come and see 'em and also dance to some music played by me - probably at the wrong speed - till about five o'clock in't morning, then they're more than welcome.
DJ: Where is it again?
Jarvis: It's at that place called Fortress Studios on Provost Street near Old Street.
DJ: Okay, brilliant, thanks a lot for that...
Jarvis: You should come down an'all.
DJ: I'll try and make it down. Cheers, thanks Jarvis, I'll play Sunrise now. See-ya.
Jarvis: Cheers. thanks a lot, ta.