‘Nowada I fm_d_ gar exutlng'
As Pulp prepare to tour the nation’s forests, we ask JARVIS COCKER about school assembly, Rolf Harris and, of course, the trees, those useless trees. Words: Tim Abrahams
Hello Jarvis! I’ve been calling your number for ages . . . Are you pleased with the album?
Ah. yes. sorry about that. I had to go to a school assembly. But Several things annoyed me about it. It was finished in March last now I'm back and you are my first interview of the day. I'm like a year and then we had to wait until October for it to come out. I virgin, spread-eagled and waiting to be taken by you. th0ught once we'd finished recording the record company should
have got it out quickly. but I'm proud of the album itself. Righto. Sorry, did you say you were at a school assembly?
Yeah. I went to see a little play they‘d put on. You said it was down to your own incompetence that it needed re-recording. Is that true? OK. To a large extent. We also wanted to record the album in a more i don't make a habit of wandering into schools uninvited. mind. You natural less structured way: just get in a room and play it. Only the can get arrested for things like that. And quite rightly so. I went person who we were recording with [Chris Thomas, producer of because my fiancee's got a six-year-old son. Different Class and This is Hardcore] said he'd do that and then changed his mind. He started fiddling around with it and then in the Congratulations on the announcement of your nuptials process we lost the feeling in the songs. We can play all right if recently. Will we be seeing the wedding photos in Hello? someone creates an atmosphere in which we feel comfortable. If Thank you very much. No. you won't be seeing them in Hello. We someone is getting uptight with you and keeps saying: ‘You are did get a request from one of those magazines - one of the rip-offs. shit,“ it doesn't really bring out the best in a band. I think — but it's unlikely we‘ll be taking them up on the offer. What was Scott Walker like as a producer? ‘we’Il The forest gigs. Why did you decide to do them? He was like a good film director. He latched onto The Forestry Commission suggested it — they are trying to raise the what the songs were about and what atmosphere profile of trees or something — and we agreed because we've we were after and he did his best to bring that out. always liked to play unusual venues. Hopefully I‘ll have time to That‘s all you can ask a producer for; that they bring organise something interesting for people when they arrive. Maybe their experience into accentuating what you do rather a a nature trail. A little exercise. Take in the scenery. than impressing their personality all over your thing. Our record was the first he's produced for anyone Was the nature theme for We Love Life an afterthought or else in 20 odd years. , part of the plan? Of the forest With an album you can't just say: ‘Ooh, let's have some thematic You’ve recorded a song for a Lee Hazlewood unity.‘ but songs spring from life. In the period when we were tribute album. What is it with you and the
making this record. I was going into the countryside quite a bit just late 80s? to get all the touring out of me system. Y'know the phrase. 'You‘ve There seems to be a period between 1966 and 1970 when records
got to get out more”? Well, I took it literally. sounded great. Scott Walker, Lee Hazlewood and Glen Campbell records all have this certain stylish feel: a few strings but not too
So you are a dedicated rambler now? much. My love of the fashion of that era comes from my love of the
It‘s not like I'm Man 0’ the Wooos or anything. Time Out took me music. It's strange because I was alive at that time but I was playing
on a walk the other day and it was ten fucking miles. I said: ‘I know with Action Man. If you think back to that period there were so
I'm into the outdoors. but l‘m not that fucking into the outdoors. many changes. Society seems to change more gradually now . . .
Can't we go on a bike or something?’ It wasn't even that maybe I am just an old git.
interesting. It was just walking across arable fields. We did get to see some redwoods though, and quite a lot of rabbits at one point What attracted you to Scott’s music?
which was all right. But it was only on the outskirts of London and l You could hear he came from the crooning tradition. but then the don't like flat scenery. especially when you are walking. I've always lyrical content was a complete antithesis of the syrupy ballad. I preferred a bit of up hill and down dale. Actually I am worried about found that really exciting that you could have this lush form with a the effect the noise will have on the wildlife. I've got this mental complex lyric going on underneath it. Revolutions happen, but picture in my mind that we'll play the first chord of the night and all human beings don't change completely. so you can never have a the woodland creatures will stampede out of the forest. We could full schism with the past. I hope l’m not sounding too conservative have a cataclysmic effect on the ecosystem which would defeat the here. but some traditions are w0rth having because they are things point really . . . Maybe it will be the other way round. Maybe the that have evolved over time. I've never really been one for the woodland creatures‘ll be right into it. You'll turn round and there'll radical communes and the ‘Yeah man. there's no rules' approach. be a badger stood behind you. ’
16 THE LIST 2O Jun—4 Jul 2002