Cocker Shoulders The Burden On Solo Debut
Former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker will release his first solo album, "Jarvis," April 3 in North America via Rough Trade.Former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker will release his first solo album, "Jarvis," April 3 in North America via Rough Trade. The set features contributions from former Pulp bandmates Steve Mackey and Richard Hawley and was recorded in roughly 13 days in Sheffield, England. The vocals were then tracked in Paris.
"I didn't plan it that way," Cocker tells Billboard.com of the quick pace of the studio sessions. "The thing was, it took about three years to write it. Not that I was working on it 24 hours a day. But, I started on it pretty soon after I moved to Paris. I had to do a lot up front, and it was quite easy to record. I showed the chords to the guys, and we got it down as quickly as possible. Besides, being in the studio for long periods of time starts to become unhealthy. You smoke too much."
Cocker says that his approach for "Jarvis" was a departure from writing and recording in his Pulp days. "With Pulp records, a lot of times I'd be writing lyrics at the last minute," he explains. "I did some songs for [the] 'Harry Potter' [films] and we recorded them live. And it was much more fun that way. On several cuts, the first or second take was the best. When people know the song too well, sometimes it takes the life out of it in a weird way."
"Jarvis" was released internationally in November 2006, and Cocker admits he was "a bit nervous" around its release. "Solo is solo and I couldn't blame anyone else if they didn't like it," he laments. "I was a bit worried of using the same people in Pulp. Maybe it wasn't different enough, but I think people saw that it was."
Of late, Cocker has kept busy with side projects, most notably contributing lyrics on the forthcoming Charlotte Gainsbourg album, "5:55," as well as penning two songs on the recent Air album, "Pocket Symphony."
Cocker is slated to return stateside for a short string of shows in late April, including two nights at New York's Webster Hall and a visit to the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.
The artist says that a reformation of Pulp, who ceased activity following 2002's acclaimed "We Love Life," is "not out of the question. I mean, we all get along. No one has died of a drug overdose. But it’s not something that we’re planning. And no one has driven up with a van full of cash yet."