Art is a powerful tool – it can bridge connections, provide catharsis and even make you cry. No one knows this better than Joe Talbot. In this episode, he shares how writing his song 1049 Gotho was an exercise in empathy.
跳跃 - 第三季 - 第2集
Joe Talbot is the charismatic lead singer of iconic British band Idles. They leaped to the top of the British charts last year in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and scored a big fat number one, with the album Ultra Mono. However, I got to speak to this captivating human being about one of the songs off their killer debut album, Brutalism. I was struck most of all by Joe's consideration and thoughtfulness, his humility and his wicked sense of humor. Listen on and you will hear for yourself. I'm Shirley Manson and this is The Jump.
Yeah, listen. I am so thrilled to have you on here today.
乔：谢谢。Where exactly are you?
Shirley: I'm in Los Angeles, California. Where are you?
Shirley: Lovely. That's where you live though, right?
Shirley: Yeah. I had no idea you were born in Wales.
Joe: Indeed, yeah. Is it St David's day today or, was that yesterday? I'm not much of a nationalist or anything but I think it was...
Joe: What day do you have? Is that St. Andrew's?
Joe: Yeah, we do. Between us, we've got all the fucking saints. Lucky us.
Shirley: Not all of them, Joe.
Joe: I'd rather have a thistle than a daffodil though.
Shirley: Well, fuck yeah. It's a lot handier in a fight, for a start.
Joe: Fuck yeah.
Shirley: So we are here today, to talk about a particular song from your debut album, Brutalism. How do you say it? 1049 Gotho, or 1049 Gotho...
Joe: That's a really weird [crosstalk]. No one's ever in the fucking... I don't know when we made that song. No one's ever asked me that. This is a new... this is like, "Is the dress blue or is it black?" It's 10, four, nine Gotho. I don't know why I say 10, four, nine, I'm not American, but it's 10, four, nine.
Shirley: Why did you pick this song out of all these amazing songs on this incredible debut album?
Joe: 10, four, nine, Gotho, was the first moment in my life where I unhinged myself enough to write a poem without deciding what the words were but that made sense as a message. Which was, I was writing about my best friend who explained depression for the first time and I wanted to put that in a song. So I just wrote this thing almost automatically when I was ready. And it was the first time I achieved that. But 1049 Gotho's the first time I wrote a song that made me cry and then every other fucking song made me cry because I like to cry, apparently.
Shirley: Nothing wrong with crying.
Joe: No, unless you're trying to sing in front of an audience.
"My friend is so depressed He wishes he was dead I swam inside his head And this is what he said. Help me, help me Won't someone set me free? There's no right side of the bed With a body like mine and a mind like mine"
Joe: I learned a lot from 1049 Gotho, in terms of giving myself enough slack to just write whatever came to my head. It's like meditation. You don't sit there and go, "Right. I'm meditating now. This is good. I'm meditating. Hmm. I'm good at meditating, me." You don't do that. You just sit there and meditate. You unthink. And I think with song writing, it's a meditative thing where if you're thinking about the audience, or what you're doing to the audience, or if you're thinking about your messaging or you're thinking about your word or your stanza, or... you're already too far removed, in my opinion, from the visceral nature of what music and art, does to me, which is save my life.
Shirley: How did the song come together then? What's the process on this particular song?
Joe: We always start with the music. It's not...
Shirley: In a rehearsal room or in a studio?
Shirley: And this is in Bristol, right?
乔：是的。In Bristol. In King Square.
Shirley: So you all squeezed in there?
Joe: We're all squeezed in there. It was...
Shirley: How many times a week?
Joe: We practiced there, three times a week, at least. So we'd do seven hours on a Sunday, six hours on a Tuesday, six hours on a Thursday.
Joe: Well, I kind of get involved with the writing process a lot. So, I'll either come to the band with a part, or a whole song.
Shirley: How do you all know when it's ready for you to jump in as a vocalist and lyricist? How does that work?
Joe: You know, we're like super cutthroat. When it comes to writing and when we're in the studio, because the only time we really witness other people's interaction with us as a band, being productive, is when we're in a studio, recording.
突然,工程师们坐在那里,“什么the fuck. You're supposed to be about love and community." We're there like knifing each other. We've got our own way of doing it and it is basically, "Stop playing that, that's dog shit and I'll explain why." And then you explain why and the person you just told that their part is dog shit, they'll go, "Yeah, you're right." And then move on. That's it. There's no like, "Oh, come on, man. That's bang out of order." We just cut the bullshit. And we're like, "This isn't working because..." And as long as you say, "because", you can use as many horrible adjectives as you want about it.
Shirley: So, you're all policing each other, I get that. And then, as you're working on the song, I'm assuming it takes a while to wrangle a song, so it's not just like over the course of one rehearsal, right? It's over a course of several?
Joe: I've never suffered. I never will, I don't think. I'm lucky. I get down and really depressed, situationally and I've been through a lot of trauma and I struggle with recovering from trauma in a lot of ways and I've dealt with drug addiction and stuff but I don't have the illness of depression where I, for no reason, have this huge weight of melancholia that's crippling. And I've never had that. But my friend made me understand it and that really shook me.
(singing): "My friend is so depressed He wishes he was dead I swam inside his head And this is what he said. Help me, help me Won't someone help me sleep? There's no right side of the bed With a body like mine and a mind like mine My friend is so depressed She wanted to have sex I pissed in the kitchen sink As she slowly undressed"
Shirley: It has no typical structure and there's a lot of repetition in it.
Joe: I'm glad you brought up repetition. Repetition was like, with each album I've taken on a different tool, linguistic tool. So with Brutalism, it was.... Brutalism literally like a sledgehammer, so I'm just repeating the thing. And that's the visceral nature of it. It's this big brutish message that I just repeat over and over again, like the windows or the stories of a car park. It's just like hammered in. And I wanted to use that.
Shirley: The line I love the most, if you don't mind me saying, is, "We won't last five fucking minutes with a body like mine and a mind like mine."
乔：是的。That was like, a line where it kind of crossed over from empathy where I experienced the perspective of his depression, with my drug addiction, bulimia and I guess, grief. And the way I dealt with grief, which was really dangerous for myself and other people really. And it was just me realizing that I was lucky to not be depressed, but also burning every bridge that could have been built for me. And I lived a very fucked life, I guess you'd say. I was very lonely and also scared. Like a scared little boy. I lived like a scared little boy in a man's body, doing a lot of drugs and drinking and being a violent prick. I wasn't a very nice man. Although, I also was. Like, I say this to people and they're like, "What you going on about?" And I think it was like, I wasn't very nice to myself.
乔：是的。And like, to my partners, I really tested those early relationships. So, I was a real nasty prick. And my friends that were always coming back to me, I really pushed and pulled those. I was a very passive, aggressive little man. And I'm lucky I've come out of it. Because you know, when you hate yourself, it doesn't matter what anyone does. You just push those people away. Especially when you have attachment issues and you have addictions, it's like this cycle of letting everyone down and then blaming it on every thing but yourself.
(singing) "Help me, help me Won't someone help me sleep? There's no right side of the bed With a body like mine and a mind like mine. My friend is so depressed She wanted to have sex I pissed in the kitchen sink As she slowly undressed"
And one of the things I think that producers do, that they shouldn't do and engineers do, which they shouldn't do, is what men do all the time. They fucking act like they know exactly what they're talking about and there's no other way but their fucking way. You ask them for directions and they send you down 18 different routes. And it's like...
Shirley: At last. Joe Talbot, I love you forever!
乔:噢,是的,就是这样。你问关于展位stuff. Yeah, I did. We try and capture the live element of our music and we've done it loads of different ways. With Brutalism and Joy and Ultra Mono, mostly, we gave each other three takes. So, the whole band played live together and recorded it. We had three takes to do the song. And that's it.
Shirley: And could you stomach the sound of your own voice?
Shirley: Such a great vocal though.
Joe: Brutalism is the first album we did. It's the first songs that I was really in control of the writing and knew I was writing the right thing and really enjoying it. So, with each bit, I was really just enthusiastic and just really happy that we were doing it. So I was happy hearing my own voice. I've never been one to worry about that.
Shirley: So, when you sing, especially as you grow up and you have more experience, at least for me, I felt like I could explore more. Like, I could try different things with my voice and then I realized I could also employ characters. Do you ever do that?
Joe: I do now. Like, I'll close my voice more for vulnerability. If I don't hear myself in the takes, I'll do it again. And I think that's key for me. It's like the characters. Music is a theater. It's like David Byrne writes about in his book, How Music Works. It's amplification. To see the eyes in the theater, you just draw bigger mascara, do you know what I mean? And it's like, the characters are like, they're all me... different parts of me. The small boy, the father, the alcoholic, the drug addict, the angry lefty, the hypocrite. All these. And they're all parts of...
Shirley: The lover.
Joe: The lover, exactly. And all the... the empathetic brother and all these things I want to portray. And it's just important to write those. And that does come with slightly different voices. And it's important now that I exercise that as much as possible, because it's like... It's more expressive.
Shirley: And then, what's the intent as a writer for you?
(singing) “With a body like mine and a mind like mine I guess this is as far as she goes I guess this is as far as we go I guess this is as far as we go. I guess this is as far as we go I guess this is as far as we go I guess this is as far”
Shirley: Thank you so much for your time and your consideration. I really appreciate it. And I can't wait to hear your new record. So much love to you.
Joe: And you. Well, thank you so much for having me on.
(singing) “Yeah... I guess this is as far as we go I guess this is as far as we go. My friend is so depressed…”
雪莉:跳是我主持的,雪莉曼森,and is produced by Dan Gallucci. The jump is an original series from MailChimp produced in partnership with Little Everywhere. Dan Gallucci and Jane Marie are the Executive Producers. The Jump is mixed by Mike Richter. Original music composed by [inaudible] and a very special thanks goes out to our wonderful Booker, Mara Davis.
没有什么比突破更好的了 - 当所有的硬工程都回报并击中黄金时。本赛季，主持人雪莉·曼森（Shirley Manson）与广受好评的音乐家谈论使他们的职业生涯成为超级驱动力的歌曲。
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