in a much less crowded space than 20 minutes prior, uk artist cosmo jarvis kindly sat down for a chat after his intimate show at the newsagency. We spoke about his new album ‘think bigger‘ (2012), his video clips as well as his upcoming feature film the naughty room‘ and it’s influence.
thank you very much.
how did you think it went?
the crowd was really forgiving I thought, with your tuning issues. it’s the venue to kind of have that problem…
did you like this venue?
yeah! it’s fuckin’ really cool hey. there’s going to be good shit happening here…
i missed your last show in sydney at goodgod small club…i only found out about it at like 11 o’clock the night of…
bummer, well there’ll be more in december, with the band.
do you prefer playing with your band?
yeah, a lot. a lot of the tunes on the album i can play acoustically, and it works fine ‘cause they derived from that originally. but others, you know, require moshpits - and you can’t really do that here. like sunshine, which I played tonight.
that’s one of my favourites from the album!
yeah, same here. i like playing it live.
what i get from it is that it’s about those days where you don’t want to be happy and that’s ok?
yeah, pretty much.
i love that.
and it’s when you meet people who can be happy for no reason. but i think it might be because – i’m not trying to be negative about them – but because they have less dimensions emotionally, and things are just ‘ok’ for them. but if things are shit, than you can do more shit with it, than if things were just good all the time.
well it would be a bit boring as well.
it would be very boring.
and love this of course is really cool. the video is hilarious! you directed it as well?
yeah, it was all just the guys i live with. we got together and choreographed, practiced it a few times and got it done.
it has that great one shot. which take was ‘the’ take?
it was the 22nd…but gay pirates was probably harder to do, ‘cause there were more people and stuff…but love this was harder because the camera was moving.
it was actually a ford car. i tapped my tripod to the top and rosie, a girl i live with, who weighs like, not a lot, went on my mates roof so it didn’t dent. she manned the tripod.
so all the tracks on this album you recorded yourself? like on your previous two?
yeah…well, actually that’s bollocks. no, it’s not bollocks, i did. i recorded it all and produced it in my bedroom. the only elements that weren’t were the drums on a few - i don’t have enough microphones! and on train downtown and tell me who to be the strings were recorded somewhere else…but that’s it. everything else is just me.
do you think that you’d like to go and work in a studio?
on the next album I’m going to…cause i’ve got a lot more heavier shit i want to put on it…I’ve written a few hardcore songs and i really want to do them with my band. and i’ve done three albums now on my own…
so you think you’d be happy to hand the reigns over to someone?
i’d need an engineer in the studio, but i’d still mix and produce myself, ‘cause it’s the only way i know really…and loads of bands just get with a producer just cause of the incredible vouching power having a producer could have…but i wouldn’t want to do that. at all.
i love your ‘do everything on your own’ approach - it’s inspiring!
well, it’s just, i’ve got no friends, so you know…
well no, that’s contrary to what i hear about your film ‘the naughty room‘ and who you had to ask favours from?
yeah, my mates. but yeah, working with non-actors and just guys that just want to be involved with the film seem to take risks on it professionals and theatre students wouldn’t take. which is great, ‘cause it means i save loads of money and we all have a great time doing it.
and you did it all with a tiny, tiny budget?
it was 8 grand to make the movie.
i’ve seen the few trailers online - it looks really interesting! do you know when it will be released here?
we’re going to try and go to abc to see if they’ll show it, but it will definitely be on dvds that will be out in australia. and the bbc are showing it in late august so that might help other territories take it seriously.
do you feel you can direct and everything as best you can as well as act in it? do you find that you’re quite critical still of yourself in the process?
yeah well for ‘the naughty room’, i wasn’t just acting and directing, i was doing the sound recording and boom operating and making sure everything was ok. and because there weren’t many of us, i said to the camera operator and to my little brother fletcher (who was production designer and 19 at the time) to tell me what they’d like to see out of me. we’d do one my way and then a couple the ways that they thought. so when i cut it i’d just get the best of everything. well i hope i did.
well, from the little snippets i’ve seen it looks like you have…it’s really exciting.
so what can we expect from the film? are we going to be as challenged as we are sometimes from your music?
there’s never been a film like it, which is good, and there are definitely worse films which have been made for more money. you’ll never see anything like it…it’s a black comedy, it’s funny, it’s touching on some quite dark shit quite a lot of the way through. a lot of movies nowadays are doing dark shit and it’s very over dramatic and very contrived. with this, we tried to think about how we might react if something like a kid being locked in a bathroom by his mother for sixteen years was to happen. you wouldn’t suddenly be kicking to hero mode: “oh my god, i’m going to call the police”. there are other emotional, moral conflicts that you might go through first. and the music has a lot to do with telling the story as well. i wrote the soundtrack as well.
what inspired you for the film?
the whole purpose of it really was to kind of expand on the question of where you can draw your examples from growing up as to how to live your life…and how your friends sometimes can give you more accurate and better information than your parents can. ‘cause your parents are tainted by who they think they are status-wise to you. they know they have to power to mould, but in actual fact they are as flawed as they reprimand you for being. and when i was a kid growing up i learnt to choose pretty early on who i’d would take shit off and who i would be influenced by, if i felt like they deserved or qualified to teach me a life lesson.
but it will be funny?
yeah! but it’s funny!