Cosmo Jarvis is a prolific songwriter/film-maker/all round genius who made a name for himself with viral sensation Gay Pirates. Cosmo has penned hundreds of songs, four of which we captured in this week's live session including an exclusive track On a Train Downtown.
So firstly, do a lot of people ask if Cosmo is your real name?
Yes, many. I have been called Cosmo since birth, but my parents put Harrison there (after Mr. Ford) as my first name and Cosmo as my middle in case I grew up and thought Cosmo was sh*t.
From listening to your album and the session tracks, you seem to have a very eclectic writing style from song to song, is this an intentional decision?
I never found much point in written in one 'style'. There is no style. Style and genre are only extensions of the intention of the song, and you wouldn't write with one intention would you? I have always found it a way of creating a more broad and complete world for people to delve into for the duration of any given track.
Although they do vary from each other, the songs all have a very progressive structure and formula tied in with pop hooks, what would you say your influences are?
Everyone I have heard without restraint. And Chicago Transit Authority, Crash Test Dummies, Yes, Supertramp, Jethro Tull, Noisia, Sugababes, Beatles. Whatever... Except The XX.
It became clear in the session that you play a multitude of instruments, has playing music always been a big part of your life and where did it start?
No. I was always a listener until about 10 when I started piano after seeing Amadeus the movie. That lead slowly to all the other instruments.
I remember the band saying that the house party tour went really well, how was it and what sort of places did you end up playing?
A mixture of different cross sections of people's houses. It was mostly good, being with everyone on their party night when yesterday was your party night did start to take its toll after a while, I'm diabetic as well which was even worse. But it was good to know that people wanted gigs. It was fun and I met a lot of unusual people.
For our listeners that don't know, you star in, direct and film your own music videos and create short films. Has this always gone hand in hand with your musical career or was one before the other?
I was making shorts before music and when my managers took me on I sort of insisted on continuing to do both, and so I utilised the opportunities I had to make music videos along the way. Also I think that now visual story telling and sonic story telling should be one damn thing. Music is 80% of any film, and films can really assist lyrics in how they convey a story. They are both as important to me.
And the big question, which one if you had to choose, film or music?
Film. Because I can write the music for it. Also film has only just begun. Not that music hasn't, but trying to stay credible in music hurts more than it does in film. And now with YouTube and Vimeo and everything you can really get instant feedback and/or commendation if, or course, you deserve it.
Lastly how was your experience of The Amazing Sessions at our studio?
Ace. great environment, professional crew, a willingness to compromise what may be crucial in terms of time constraints due to artistic perfectionist ego bullshit, tea and coffee making facilities and some wonderful instruments. A good day was had by all.
Cosmo's latest EP, Sure As Hell Not Jesus is out now and available here.