Born in New Jersey to an Armenian-American artist mother and an English sea captain father, the family moved to the UK when he was young and Cosmo spent his formative years with his mother in Totnes, Devon after his parents split under acrimonious circumstances. His teens were spent sparring with her and getting up to all manner of small town trouble. He also developed a sideline in writing songs and making films and we recently caught up with the talent Jarvis, and here’s what happened.
Cosmo Jarvis: Probably mixing the drums, always found that hard because of the physical space of the instrument that you sonically need to re-arrange and present in a cohesive way to the listener. Also playing the double bass high on 'think Bigger' because I busted my cello.
CJ: Because they told me if I didn't they'd kill my family.
CJ: I think that being able to make and release videos myself has helped things a lot as if gives the audience something a little more meaningful/consequential than a piece of promotional material in the form of a moving image. Many local fans started out recognizing places they knew of in the videos and shared them which was great. After it became about using the opportunity to make a music video as an opportunity to create a new piece of work, equal to the music that inspired its creation in sincerity and execution, that helped convey a songs message or an entirely new message.
CJ: I spent very little time in he U.S so UK was always my home. But, and perhaps this was naive, American culture raised my English friends and I anyway through music, film and pop culture. My allegiance to American art would have manifested itself even without my duel citizenship because there was always so much good shit coming out of there (or I had heard or seen so much good shit that came out of there). But yes I got shit about Americans being dumb and my moms a teacher in the UK and she gets shit from students all the time.
CJ: Everything. Not the work of good artists. but the artists good work. Just wholesome songs that speak for them selves, everything from The Bronx, Noisia, Zappa, Beatles, Toots and the Maytalls, Souls of mischief, Corrine Bailey Rae, Kill Switch Engage, John Williams, Randy Newman, Tom Waits… Then I just tried to make the ideas for the songs incapable of living without an equally thorough and communicative melody and then genre.
DK: What artist, living or dead, would you want to collaborate with?
CJ: Quentin Tarantino or Roman Gavras.
DK: What was the last movie you saw? Did it suck or rock?
CJ: Last movie was a French movie called 'Our Day Will come'. Directed by Roman Gavras and starring Vincent Cassel and Olivier Barthelemy. It kicked so much ass and was like a dream that turned real. Awesome idea.
CJ: I made a short film called the naughty room about a boy who was locked in a bathroom. It sucked so I deleted it. On coming to the realization that making a feature length movie using the resources and people that I had available to me and that the short sucked because It wasn't detailed enough and was a bit of a gimmick, I decided to write the rest of the story and do my damnedest to get it done. I have just finished a first draft of my next film A Band On Hope and hope to get things moving on that as soon as fucking possible. I wont say too much about it because I'll be accused of not using this interview to talk about present areas of interest, but I will say that I think it's going to be interesting at the very least.
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