Frank J. Miles interviews KOORTWAH / Jake Courtois

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Os1MVfb5r5M

FJM: 
Ooooooooooooo, I really like this song, this video! Thanks for sharing!
JC:
Thanks, man.

FJM:
It’s so “Velvet Goldmine.” And that’s one of my favorite things on planet Earth. So glam. So rock. Keep it going!
JC:
THANK YOU! LOVE that aesthetic. Always listen to T.Rex at the gym.

FJM:
What’s your favorite song by them? I am partial, always, to Mr. Brian Eno.
JC:
There are lots. “Telegram Sam” never gets old.

FJM:
What do you like so much about “Telegram Sam?”
JC:
That infectious boogie-rock riff – and the ridiculous lyrics.

FJM:
Is glam rock your favorite musical genre?
JC:
No. T. Rex has some great songs that I will keep going back to, but I’m not overly attached to any specific genre.

FJM:
How do your most obsessed fans describe your music, your sound?
JC:
I’m not sure I have obsessed fans yet. Looking forward to that day. I think that I make a form of lyrical synthpop – or alt-pop. Maybe alt-pop is a better blanket term. It makes me feel like I have more room to move around.

FJM:
What is real about you – what is surreal?
JC:
Well, without going into the semantics of what is and isn’t real, I think I’m a bit of a walking contradiction.

FJM:
Are you reconciled – or are you dissonance?
JC:
On the one hand, I’m extremely pragmatic – and have a strong aversion to wishy-washiness, bullshit, and sugarcoating.

FJM:
Your eyes say that.
JC:
But then, of course, I’m a dreamer – and a bit of a vagabond.

FJM:
Is flâneur your favorite word? I used to have that on my business card.
JC:
I’ve learned to accept the dichotomy, but I suck at being poor. Flâneur is a GREAT word.

FJM:
Everyone sucks at being poor. I think I just channeled Quentin Crisp.
JC:
How did you get the little accent circonflexe to appear? Keyboard shortcut? Quentin Crisp is definitely an inspiration.

FJM:
Copy-paste.
JC:
Aha. We have similar views on dust.

FJM:
You and Crisp? What about dust?
JC:
Dust/dirt. That after three or four years, it doesn’t get any worse. In regards to dusting/cleaning.

FJM:
So don’t clean? Leave the dust as is?
JC:
Although I’d happily pay someone else to dust if I had any money. I’m a relatively tidy person. And I own next to nothing. But I’m not the get-down-on-my-knees-and-scrub-the-floor type.

FJM:
You’ll be perfect in the zombie apocalypse.
JC:
I often fantasize about surviving just such an event.

FJM:
How would you? You don’t seem to have vanity muscles.
JC:
Survive?

FJM:
Yeah.
JC:
Vanity muscles?

FJM: 
The difference between knowing how to fight and looking like you know how to fight, should it come to that. The body as shallow vs. substance.
JC:
Ha-ha. If I had to fight, I would have no problem doing so.

FJM:
Winner take all?
JC:
I am always kind to animals, of course, but if it’s between me and someone else, I will find a way to win. Although I think I may do better in an extreme situation. Life is rarely that extreme, and, in as much, it’s so much easier to loaf around and not get shit done.

FJM:
Those that want it easy won’t be remembered.
JC:
Agreed. Fortunately, I have little to no choice in the arena of what I’m doing with my life.

FJM:
How many tattoos do you have? Which is your favorite – and why?
JC: 
I have a lot of dumb tattoos. I’m not sure how many – 35?

FJM:
Whoa.
JC:
I have no favourites. I don’t take them very seriously. They’re, you know, literally superficial.

FJM:
Are your tattoos like the equivalent of biting your nails?
JC:
Hmmm. There may be some truth to that. Although I like the way tattoos look more than chewed-off nails.

FJM:
We’d never work.
JC:
My heart belongs to English bulldogs.

FJM:
What dream did you have last night?
JC:
No recollection whatsoever, I’m afraid. I’m sure it was unpleasant and anxiety-ridden.

FJM:
Who is your biggest influence no one would expect or you keep hidden?
JC:
Well, if I kept it hidden. Let’s see. I’m sure this is one of those questions I’d answer differently whenever asked.

FJM:
I am asking you to reveal your soul.
JC:
Patricia Highsmith.

FJM:
Why her?
JC:
For tackling gay themes and animal rights when hardly anyone else dared to. For being both cold and compassionate.

FJM:
What are you disengaged and cynical about, like the flâneur? What are you passionate and optimistic about, like the dandy?
JC:
I think the reality is that I am both ways about almost everything. My mood fluctuates. I care and I don’t care. I’m excited and bored all at once. Except about bulldogs. They never fail to warm my heart – and soothe my worried mind.

FJM:
You mean actual bulldogs or like a Jason Statham, Gerard Butler, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy bulldog?
JC:
Tom Hardy and Gerard Butler? Ugh. No, to both. Actual English bulldogs.

FJM:
Who was your first artist crush?
JC:
Francis Bacon. The crush is still active.

FJM:
He and his art scare the shit out of me.
JC:
It’s not easy. But there’s a tenderness to it, too.

FJM:
Why him? Talk about the tenderness.
JC:
His work certainly tackles the grotesque. The horror of flesh.

FJM:
I am very Libra sun and Sagittarius moon – can’t take him, even astrologically. Isn’t all flesh beautiful not grotesque?
JC:
But there is an equal fascination there, a way of seeing past the viscera. I don’t think beautiful and grotesque are mutually exclusive

FJM:
Are your tattoos your way of horrifying your flesh?
JC:
My tattoos are neither that meaningful nor conceptual.

FJM:
Affectation or plumage?
JC:
Plumage, please.

FJM:
Pleasure or sensuality?
JC:
I’ll stick with the P’s. Thanks for your interest in me.

FJM:
You are welcome – thank you for being interesting, and agreeing to do this!
JC:
My pleasure.

FJM:
Keep making music that burrows!
JC: 
I promise.

FJM:
Off the record, “Candy in the Sun” is a song that keeps sad boys alive.
JC:
That is a very kind and encouraging thing to say. Couldn’t ask for a nicer compliment. Don’t hesitate to publish that thought.

 

Learn more about KOORTWAH here