Skip to content

Hear Jarvis Cocker Grill Scott Walker on Bawdy Lyrics and Long Songs

Jarvis Cocker Scott Walker Interview BBC Radio

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.