In anticipation of the Tuesday release of his 14th studio album, Bish Bosch, reclusive pop experimentalist Scott Walker sat down with Jarvis Cocker for a very well-mannered chat about music-making. Back in January, legendary songwriter Leonard Cohen visited the Pulp frontman’s BBC Radio 6 show, “Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service,” for a similarly gentlemanly discussion, in which the phrase “buffet table” was spoken with mesmeric aplomb.
While Walker’s speaking voice is merely an affable shadow of his elastic on-album warble, the interview highlights are many, with the onetime teen idol explaining why he’s uncomfortable hearing his own songs (“It takes me a few years.”), his preferred songwriting style (“to dress the song”), the exotica influence on recent single “Epizootics!” (“It’s kinda like a Hawaiian nightmare.”), and his decision to include a 22-minute song on Bish Bosch: “I was thinking, ‘Oh God is this too much?’ but then Neil Young beat me … His was 28 minutes.”
Oh, and his response to Cocker’s assertion that his lyrics are bawdy? “Well you should talk, I mean really.” Listen to their interview, excerpted from the show’s two-hour running time, below.