1994 - The New Music (TV)


  • Programme: The New Music
  • Channel: MuchMusic (Canada); ITV (UK)
  • Broadcast: Autumn 1994? (Canada); 23rd January 1995 (UK)
  • Recorded: Late August 1994 (by the River Thames, Hammersmith, west London)

Features presenter Jana Lynne White interviewing Jarvis by the River Thames, plus promotional video clips.

Canadian music and culture magazine, which was then shown on MuchMusic in Canada, and also rebroadcast on late-night ITV.



JLW: A picturesque day in late August next to the Thames. The Thames is low right now.

JC: Very low. This is about as low as it gets actually - probably find a few bodies of, you know, diplomats floating around in there.

JLW: (Laughs)

JC: Well, they do.

JLW: Really?

JC: Mmm.

JLW: Dump them in the Thames. Is that a London tradition?

JC: Yeah, it's a London tradition to dump bodies in - well, at one time they dumped everything in the Thames - it was the only kind of sanitation. So it was the drinking water, plus, it was also the sewage system. So, as you can imagine, that wasn't so great for personal hygiene in those days. It's changed a lot since then, so I'm told. I still wouldn't go for a swim in it, I tell you.

Excerpt from Babies video (94 version)

JLW: You were just in America, for the first time, recently?

JC: I was, yeah. Well, we were, even, to use the royal plural, yeah. Well, it was a funny experience, because we weren't actually playing, we were only talking, and eating. Did a lot of eating. And shaking hands, of course. You know, I suppose it was to introduce us to people in America, so we talked on radio and things like that. But I'm looking forward more to actually going and playing because that's the real thing. It's all a bit abstract, if you're just talking about things all the time. Eventually, you have to see the product, don't you? You can, kind of, build it up so much, but there has to be something behind it in the end.

Excerpt from Babies video (94 version)

JLW: What do you think the reception is going to be like? Do you think that the kind of pop personality that British bands have is something that America welcomes easily?

JC: I really don't know. I think in the end, you just can't worry about things like that. It's like a blind date, I think. You know, if someone sets you up on a blind date, you're quite keen on the idea, you've got no idea what the other person's like. You hope it's going to work out well, because you need some love and affection in your life, or whatever. But there's no guarantee, so you have to just go along to the blind date and try and give a good account of yourself. You know, don't get too pissed before you go, and then [pretending to be pissed] '...you're really good looking you are, you know that...', because you're not going to get very far.

JLW: (Laughs)

Excerpt from Lipgloss video

JLW: There is something that seems completely indicative of the British pop arena and that is how scenes happen so fast and then disappear. You were associated most recently with something called the 'crimplene scene'.

JC: Oh, bloody hell... well, that's dead, I'm glad to say crimplene is... there was a great bonfire of man-made fibres and it's dead now.

JLW: But, in truth, these so-called scenes don't last that long, do they? Why do they happen in the first place? Is it just a desperate need to have this scene that you can then disassociate yourself with right away, because nobody really wants to be in a scene. Really, it's a bizarre, kind of frenzy, to be in it and out of it very fast.

JC: But, I don't think there is ever much of a frenzy on the part of the bands to be involved in a scene. I think it's just because in England the music papers come out every week, so there's a real high turnover of stuff to write about, so they're constantly having to find new things to write about.

Excerpt from Do You Remember the First Time? video

JLW: Can you say - having grown up in Sheffield and lived in London for a number of years, and basically most of your life experiences have been in Britain - are there British truisms, about the British? Are there absolute truisms that you can say, yeah, that's like a Brit?

JC: I think that thing about reserve, British reserve, is quite true in some way - that British people tend to be more reserved. The thing that I found when I went to America: there's not much in the way of shading. Things are either one thing or the other. Good or bad. Cool or it sucks. Or whatever, you know what I mean? There wasn't much like "that's not bad", "that's kind of okay", but you know, "could be improved slightly", there's not very many shades of meaning, it's kind of ommff [enthusiastic] or ommff [unenthusiastic], very, kind of, simple, one side of the fence or the other. I think there's a lot more - it's probably an English vice - there's a lot more prevaricating and, kind of, 'hmm, well, I'm not quite sure whether... maybe... err... I'm not sure'. There is a lot of dithering.

Excerpt from Do You Remember the First Time? video

JLW: The perception of punk in Britain and the perception of punk in America were quite different.

Short Sex Pistols and Dead Kennedys clips

JLW: What's your perception of what punk is, and is punk still here?

JC: In England, no, I don't think so. The thing that was a big deal about it here was... it was one of the rare times when... it was something you had to have an opinion on. And it was - more than it was a musical thing - it was a big social thing. You know, people like Malcolm McLaren, I haven't got much time for: I think they saw it as a kind of fashion thing, or whatever. But it was a lot more than that for people in the north, often they kind of take things more to heart, and it was quite serious. I think now - maybe I was wrong to say it doesn't live on any more - but I know people who were involved in that thing, who are now like parents and stuff, and they're not walking around with green luminous hair and bondage trousers whilst they are taking their kids to school, but they've still got that mental attitude that they're not going to do things the conventional way.

Another excerpt from Babies video (94 version)

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