FOXES Magazine #13

Page 144








of The Black Lips and Crush




Martin Ben Cope
EDITORS Ashley Roth Jack James Busa Ian Randolph Faris Badwan Ian Svenonius Louis Griffin Duncan Holzhall SPECIAL THANKS Elisabetta Marra @ Bvlgari Matteo Cassanelli @ The Queen Adeleide of Cambridge Heath Estela, Annick @ Wolf/Kasteler PR Danielle, Megan, Ashley, Chase, Sophie & Courtney @ Narrative PR Kacey, Jason & Maggie @ Sunshine Sacks PR James and Will @ Prescription PR Dave @ DawBell PR


Free The Tiger: Nell Tiger Free searches for and explores the truth between good and evil.




Photo Assistant: Elisha Shenstone

Fashion Assistant: Carys Travis, Jing Ying Toh

Part of an actors job is to observe and adapt to the circumstances given to them. Their ultimate goal is to bring forth something truthful out of this life they are representing. But with social media being an integral part of our lives, it’s hard to tell who’s being truthful and who’s just acting. For 23 year old London based actress Nell Tiger Free, she doesn’t act, she just is. Her career has explored the harsh realities of her characters that some may find heavily flawed or scary, but the truth can be freeing. Nell is free-spirited but grounded enough to know the blessings in her life and career and with a great sense of humor, she doesn’t allow her stand out haunting role in “Servant” and upcoming roles in The Omen prequel “The First Omen” consume her. Good or bad. Happy or sad. Embrace it because that’s the beauty of life and truthfully, she enjoys every part of it.

With the new season of Servant on it’s way, what are you the most excited about for the viewers to see that they might not expect?

NTF:ME! Just kidding(laughs). No. Honestly, we’re just going into a new direction this season which is completely unrecognizable compared to the last seasons. Definitely my character now is completely different. She...She like lost it(laughs). We’ve just added a lot new elements to the show and ramped it up to 1000 for the final season.

IR: This is the last season?! Damn...

NTF: Yeah, so all the questions will be answered!

Servant was also shot in my hometown of Philadelphia. Being from London, what was your experience like shooting there and were there any similarities to where you grew up?

NTF:Oh! That’s interesting!...I feel like Philly is kind of a second home for me. I’ve spent more time is Philadelphia the past few years then I have done in London. I’m down with the Philly kids.

IR: So you hang out in Fishtown(laughs)?

NTF: You know I’ll be in Fishtown hanging out and drinking a mimosa(laughs). I love Philly. Also, the show deals with issues that involve attachment. We all deal with that. On a healthy or unhealthy level. What are some ways you think we could balance these attachments we have?

NTF: If I only knew...(laughs). I’d loved to be balanced.

That sounds really nice! You tell me! IR:(laughs) That’s why I’m asking you! Who has the answers?!

NTF: Ahhh(laughs). But I think a theme of the show is unbalance. It’s leaning towards one idea or another one so heavily and everyone has their own complete perception of what reality is. The 4 main characters are all living in completely different universes. And truly, every single person in life is living in their own universe. We have constant dialogues going on in our heads, so it’s hard to understand any individual and their experience because you’re living your own. That’s what I’ve learned from this show. Like, Jesus Christ, none of us knows whats going on for the most.

We also can be attached to non-physical things like dreams or ideals. Is there an ideal or idea you’ve followed through out the year that might’ve changed or just dropped based on newer experiences?

NTF: Yeah, I think that is prevalent to my life and acting in general. I think that I’ve grown up a lot in the past year or two. I’ve done a lot of shifting. Like if we did this interview a year ago I would’ve been more polite and more worried about coming off a certain way. Now, I’m a bit more open with my personality because it’s way more interesting to be authentic instead of minding my P’s and Q’s all the time. You see people do interviews and they try to present a caricature of themselves.

IR: It’s funny because some of them act better in their interviews than in their actual movies.

Earrings / Mithridate Dress / DE LA VALI
“I believe that people are born inherently good and I think it’s circumstance or nature vs. nurture that is a very powerful thing.”
Earrings / Mithridate Top, Skirt, Shoes / TOGA PULLA

NTF: 100%!(laughs) I’ve just realized through time that my personality is not going to be for everybody, but I feel so much better about my life at the end of the day if just completely honest. So I think genuinely thats something I’ve learned. Also, by watching my co-stars, seeing how they sort of act in the public eye, and seeing how they navigate through it.

With the highly anticipated and long awaited prequel to The Original horror The Omen titled The First Omen. What can you tell us about this project and were you a fan of the film growing up?

NTF: Yes! This is so exciting because this is the first time I’ve been asked about it and get to speak about it. I love horror films. I’d watch some old ones on youtube when I was like ten(laughs). I love the original Omen and that whole franchise. It’s been really fucking fun. Probably one of the most intense shoots I’ve ever been on.

Do you think people are inherently good and evil or do you think it’s just a matter of circumstance?

NTF: I love that question so much. That is definitely something I think about all the time(laughs). I think that there are people...First of all, I believe that people are born inherently good and I think it’s circumstance or nature vs. nurture that is a very powerful thing. There are people who suffer with a darkness and it’s whether that darkness is quelled or managed and helped. The flames can be fanned or to be worked around because everyone has a bit of darkness in them.

There is a different between a bad person and a person who did a bad thing. That’s what I say to my friends who are hungover and did something embarrassing the night before.

I think the thing I ask myself everyday is am I a good person? I’m a doing kind things out of satisfaction or what does kindness bring me or do these things make me a bad person? I think we just need to give ourselves a fucking break because all you can do is be kind. Like my mom said to kind.

Are you a superstitious or experienced any superstitious situations in your life?

NTF: Where do I start...I mean, you may think this is crazy, but I’m definitely superstitious. I feel like many can attest to this, but I had a supernatural experience when I was a relation to the Omen though, we

all knew were going to get into some creeper stuff while shooting. Weirdly, so much stuff went wrong and things got derailed, but it was cool. We all enjoyed it like “Oh, we all have a deathly curse!”. But I am superstitious. I just don’t like the idea that there is no meaning in life. I think we’re all governed by something else which titters more on the religious side and superstitious goes along with that. I do tend to certain superstitious like always make eye contact when you cheers just in case. But yes, I’ve definitely had some experiences with the supernatural.

You play the role of Leanne so well that I’m sure people think you’re exactly like that in real life, haha. What’s the biggest misconception about you?

NTF: That I’m American(laughs).

IR: That was such a standard answer!

NTF: That was a cop out(laughs)! I think that sometimes people often confuse film with real life in general. Way back when I was in Game of Thrones and I was dating one of my co-stars who played my sibling in the show. Next thing I know people online were just saying “SIBLINGS ARE DATING!”.

People may not know this, but you’re a talented musician as well. Can we expect any music coming from you soon and what do you enjoy more creatively? Music or acting?

NTF: Yeah...I’ve been trying to. If only the boys in my band would answer there phones...This is the problem with being in a band with 3 23 year old men. It’s like it’s impossible to make anything! I’m being less professional about it and it’s more cathartic than anything for me. If I turned into my job then it wouldn’t be special anymore(laughs). I feel like acting my job as well as a passion and I love it so much. I’m very lucky that I enjoy it, but music is where I feel...When you’re acting, you’re being someone else. Your words are written for you. You stand where you’re told to stand.

Where as music is more on you and that is kind of a scary concept to make something that can be judged by others because it’s just purely you. So I’m more of a gatekeeper about it and get nervous to sort of share. It’s just a release for me and therapeutic. When I write music, I write really good when I’m sad. I can’t write fucking anything when I’m happy. By the way, the name of my band is called Your Parents...We take ourselves very seriously(laughs).

Earrings / Mithridate Top, shorts / RAQUETTE Shoes / Gucci
Earrings / Mithridate Coat / Milo Maria Dress / DE LA VALI
“There are people who suffer with a darkness and it’s whether that darkness is quelled or managed and helped. The flames can be fanned or to be worked around because everyone has a bit of darkness in them.”
Earrings / Mithridate Dress / DE LA VALI Shoes / Celine
Blazer, top, shorts / RAQUETTE
Dress / Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Shoes / Marni Earrings / Mithridate Dress / Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
“I think the thing I ask myself everyday is, am I a good person?”


of The Black Lips and Crush


In every generation it seems, a rock and roll couple comes along whose iconography and musicianship makes little punk kids around the world whisper, “That’s what I want.” Crush duo Zumi and Cole are just that couple. Aside from their super-star aesthetic, cinematic surreal melodies, world tours with The Black Lips, and their home which serves as a creative Wonka-Warhol factory, it’s the admiration, trust, and love they have for each other that makes this project sing.

I had the pleasure of catching up with these alt-rock icons as the sun was rising to discuss all things music, working in the porn industry, and of course each other.

Jack: Zumi when I met you I was surprised to hear your Natasha Lyonne adjacent accent.

Zumi: My New York Jew that I slip into?

Jack: I did not know that was gonna fly outta your mouth.

Zumi: I feel like I do it when I’m in New York or if I’m talking to people who aren’t even like Native New Yorkers, just anybody who is in New York. My soul is named Pearl and I’m an old New York Jew.

Jack: Cole, where are you from man?

Cole: I’m from Atlanta, Georgia. Where your bandmate is from.

Jack: Charlotte [Kemp Muhl]? Yeah, Charlotte’s from there.

Zumi: Charlotte! I met Charlotte because we did a pilot together. She was so hot. Just like, I mean, she is so hot. Like, I’m still stuck in the moment back when I first met her. Oozing, oozing with like, the most hotness I’ve ever experienced.

Jack: Yeah! So, y’all are in a heterosexual relationship, was it difficult coming out to your parents as straight?

Zumi: I would tell my mom I was gay all the time before I went to college. I was like, “Mom, I’m gay”. She’s like, “You’re not.” “Mom. I am. It’s okay.”

She knew I was fucking with her and I was... I mean, I am gay, so I wasn’t really fucking with her. But like, you know, just me being defiant. Announcing to my mom that I was a lesbian for some reason. Anyway, I love girls. I’m gay. He’s a little bit gay.

Jack: Everybody’s a little bit gay.

Zumi: I’m in a gay relationship right now. It’s true! Well, I also, I’m always trying to like, uh, encourage Cole’s, you know, homosexual possible tendencies because he appreciates all beauty in all humans of every shape and form. So we can appreciate men being beautiful or women being beautiful, but I’m always like, Cole, why don’t you, why don’t you just, you know, why don’t you suck a cock or two?

Cole: I’ve made out with guys but never fucked a guy.

Jack: If the right person comes along, not saying it’s this interviewer or anything like that, but it’ll happen.

Cole: I was into this guy once. It was more like just an infatuation, I guess. ‘Cause it wasn’t romantic or anything.

Zumi: I also like to use Cole as bait. My heroes are known homosexuals, like John Waters for example. I feel like Cole would be perfect as a John Waters character in his book about hitchhiking. Cole is like one of the characters that he picks up.

Jack: So really, you’re just using Cole as bait to build up your gay iconography?

Zumi: Yeah I like to exploit Cole. He’s fine with it. ‘Cause he’s very sweet and very, you know, he’s a very giving person.

Jack: So Cole, let me ask you the Reader’s Digest version of the story of The Black Lips. You’re one of two founding members, is that right?

Cole: Yeah, Me and Jared. It was originally a three piece. So me and Jared, then Joe left, and then the rest of the people we kind of found along the way.

Jack: It started in 1999, is that right?

Cole: We kinda pushed the ‘99 thing. It was really 2000 and our first album didn’t come out like 2002. We did start messing around in the late nineties. We played the talent show at our high school.

Jack: The Black Lips have been around for a significant amount of time. I remember growing up and being like, “Oh yeah, The Black Lips are super rad, man.” Probably discovered yall from like some sort of Sophia Coppola-esque film soundtrack, and feeling really cool in like, the suburbs of Texas. The band has evolved so much, what keeps you in it?

Cole: We’ve had some ups and downs and some successes and some struggles, but the fact that we never really blew up. It kind of keeps us kind of hungry. Not that we have to “blow up”, but I feel like you kind of plateau once you’ve “made it” or something.

Zumi: And, let’s face it, like what the fuck else is he going to do? Actually, Cole is incredibly smart and would be an amazing teacher if he wasn’t in this band.

Cole: I used to wash dishes.

Zumi: He knows so much about history and music and, and like, everything really.

Jack: Would he teach history or what would he teach?

Cole: Yeah, I’ll teach that. My grades were so bad though.

Zumi: I think he got held back from kindergarten twice. Right?

Cole: Kindergarten. And then I didn’t make it to senior

year and then I got kicked out. I was in special-ed classes actually growing up and stuff.

Zumi: Because you’re special.

Jack: What was the genesis of Crush?

Zumi: Cole asked me to play saxophone with The Black Lips for a show at the El Rey in Los Angeles. I was in a band called The K-Holes. Interestingly enough, nobody in the band besides me had actually done ketamine.

Cole: It’s like the Beach Boys, where only one knew how to surf.

Zumi: Exactly. We played a show with The Black Lips in Chicago and that’s when I first met Cole. I was like, “Who is this creature?” I wasn’t like, “I wanna fuck this creature.” I was like, “Who is this wild, interesting person?” The romance blossomed after that. I played a show with them in LA and then they had like four more shows left on their West Coast tour. And he was like, “Well, you should just come on the rest of the tour with us.” I was like, “Well, I’m wearing clothes and I have my saxophone, so why not?” Cole and I basically fell in love during this four show period which felt like a lifetime. Then he came to stay with me in LA very soon after. Our first romantic time together alone, we started recording music immediately and never stopped.

So the Crush kind of happened before I was really even an official member of The Black Lips. So we’ve always been making music together. We create, we make shit together all the time, all sorts of art and music and film stuff. It’s a major part of our relationship.

Jack: That’s lovely that creating together is a big foundation block of your relationship.

Zumi: Yeah, and to be able to travel around the world together. He inspires me constantly and is a really supportive person in terms of my own growth as a musician. I don’t think I would’ve gotten to where I am, in terms of just being able to write songs that are like on a record if he wasn’t really encouraging.

Jack: I listened to what you sent me of Crush today, which was sincerely wonderful. I really loved it. What do you guys think differentiates itself sonically from The Black Lips?

Zumi: I think we were a little more experimental. I think that we have complete freedom to do whatever the fuck we want. He’ll play a demo of something or like a snippet of something or I’ll hear him recording something, be like, “What the fuck is that?” And then we’ll work on it together. A process of evolution like that doesn’t happen in The Black Lips just because of its nature.

Jack: It’s a band, but it’s also like a brand at this point. Correct me if I’m wrong, perhaps there’s like a little bit of a different kind of trust to venture out onto other sonic landscapes.

Zumi: Yes. We like to do weirder things. The nuances that happen is because of the intimacy that we have together and like, just the way we record, we live in the space that we work and, you know, it really all adds to it. For example, “Come On Blood”, which I sent you. Cole wrote that song. He was like, “I have a song that I’ve been working on and I want you to record something on it and send it back to me.” So he sent it to me and I was like, oh, I want to do some sort of Serge Gainsbourgesque, like hot sexy Jane Birkin background vocals. So, I basically masturbated and recorded myself breathing. I was like, “Well this is sort of like sex magic”, you know? That would never happen with The Black Lips. Imagine I’m like, “So listen, Jared, I’m gonna be right back just gonna, uh, I’m gonna record me masturbating over here.” ... In the middle of this story, I forgot what we were even talking about. Oh! So anyway, that would never happen with the Black Lips.

Jack: I want to play a game. I tried to come up with a very clever pun on renaming it, but it’s essentially The Newlywed Game. I thought about calling it the newlydead game, but the questions aren’t that morbid. So working title: it’s the “Been In A Working Successful Long-Lasting Relationship In Which We Artistically Meld For A Number Of Years Game”. It’s basically “Who’s more likely to”, and if you have the same answer, you get a metaphysical point that attributes to me giving you many tangible kisses the next time I see you. First question is, who is more likely to cry at a sad movie?

Zumi: Hold on, hold on, hold on!! My pen wasn’t working. Hold on.

Jack: Write it in lipstick. All right. Ready? Go.

Zumi: Both!

Cole: Zumi- wait, can you say both?

Jack: You can do whatever you want.

Zumi: I was going to say “you”. We both cry. We both sob together.

Jack: Second question. Who is more likely to be on the news for a scam? 3, 2, 1 -

Cole: Me. Zumi: Cole.

Jack: I was gonna guess Cole, it’s actually a compliment. I’m very pro scammers. Question number three. Who is more likely to join a gang? I realize in the writing of this question, it’s not too dissimilar to being in a musical group or a harem of creatives but who is most likely to join a street gang?

One, two, three-

Zumi: Cole! Cole: Zumi!

Zumi: What?! I think you’re thinking of me wanting to be in The Shangri-Las. The like, dirty back alley version of The Shangri-Las. The like, stiletto wearing razor blade cutting Shangri-Las. I collect knives. I love switchblades.

Jack: You’re not really selling your case for picking Cole. It sounds to me like you’re basically asking to be in a gang.

Cole: Yeah.

Jack: Are they illegal?

Cole: Oh, they’re... legal..?

Zumi: Cole lost my favorite fucking switch blade.

Cole: I’m still looking for a new one

Zumi: He’s not getting in the fucking gang, let me tell you

Jack: Not at this rate. What’s your gang alias?

Zumi: Snaggle Puss

Jack: You need to be in a Quentin Tarantino movie called “Snaggle Puss”.

Zumi: I was an extra in a handful of pornos.

Jack: Just a tasteful handful. Wait, was it called “Handful of Pornos” or was it like many different pornos?

Zumi: No it was called The Sexth Sense as a spoof Sixth Sense.

Jack: Like Edward Penis Hands?

Zumi: Yeah. The Bitch In the Bellhop was another. I used to build porn sets when I first met Cole. I had a great job building porn sets with Erin from The Spits, actually. It was the best job ever. We got paid 20 bucks an hour to listen to music and get stoned and build, um, you know, college dorm rooms and stuff. It was for a company called Naughty America, which went under

and our friend was casting for Brazzers and he was cool and we needed a job, so he was very nice and, uh, helped his friends out and cast us as extras. We didn’t see anybody banging or anything, unfortunately.

Jack: I didn’t know extras were in porn.

Zumi: I was playing a resident in The Bitch and The Bellhop and my name was Miss Quivers.

Jack: Snagglepuss, but Miss Quivers, if you’re nasty.

Zumi: Yes, exactly.

Jack: This actually really coincides with my next question: Who is most likely to tell a joke that will get them into trouble?

Cole: I said Me. Cole.

Zumi: I said Me, because I have such a foul mouth. I love making perverted jokes, I don’t take anything seriously, and I laugh at everything. I mean, look, I just went on a rant about me being in the porn industry.

Jack: Who is most likely to disappear for a year?

Zumi: Cole.

Cole: Me. This is fun! I’ve never played this.

Jack: It’s the best party game. This is the final newlywed question:

Who is most likely to give me a sweet kiss the next time they see me?

Zumi: Me!

Cole: Me! We’re going to fight over that.

Zumi: Yeah, right bitch. Who’s got the fucking butterfly knife over here?

Jack: I missed a few questions about how you guys should be suing Beyonce for ripping off your album art but, oh well.

Zumi: What an honor to share a creative moment with Beyonce.

Jack: I love you guys and thank you so much for taking the time. It’s a total honor.

Cole: Let’s do a show sometime.

Jack: I’ll see you guys soon. Are you guys gonna play South By SouthWest?

Cole: I don’t know. When Is that? February?

Jack: It’s in March.

Zumi: Oh, we’re going to Australia.

Cole: We’ll kiss you when we see you

Jack: Hell yeah. I’ll get these cheeks ready. Bye guys.

Cole: Bye.

Zumi: Sweet dreams


Artist. Vegan. Intellectual. Infamous Viking. Sam Corlett wears several selves both on and offscreen, including that of Leif Erikson on Netflix’s Vikings: Vahalla. Foxes sat down with Sam to discuss his personal transformations, the metamorphosis of his character at the close of Season One, and the “beautiful journey” that awaits fans in Season Two.

Photography & Artwork WANDA MARTIN Creative Direction & writings SAM CORLETT Fashion Director TOM EEREBOUT Words ASHLEY ROTH

Ashley: What was your first creative calling?

How did it evolve to where you are today?

Sam: When my mom saw a stick figure I drew. I was laying, sitting in the playroom, in my family home and she picked it up and said, “You’re an artist.” It’s something I identified with when I was very young. That’s the way I saw; that’s the way I behaved; that’s the way I created.

I used to get into trouble a lot--like when I was in English class or History class--because my pages would be covered in all sorts of doodles. That helped me listen to them; that helped me learn, but you know it wasn’t really accepted for some reason in those days.

Then, I did art in school and one of my pieces got accepted into one of the state galleries here, a sculpture. I was always keen on exploring the idea between Nature vs Industry, Appearance vs Reality. That was something really inspired by my Mum’s reading of psychology and my English teacher, Mr. Cooper, who taught us TS Eliot. [Eliot’s Prufrock] spoke from the position of the outsider, the perspective of society. Like that line, “There will be time, there will be time/To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet” was really interesting because we spoke about the multifaceted nature of humans and that we put on different masks for different people. While I was learning that [poem], I picked up my mum’s psychology book and [saw] this quote. It said, “the human heart yearns for contact/above all it yearns for genuine dialogue/each of us secretly and desperately yearns to be met/to be recognized in/our uniqueness/our fullness/& our vulnerability.” How can one be fully accepted in their uniqueness and their vulnerability if they’re putting up these masks?

Ashley: All of the arts do have an industry tied to them. Sometimes it’s hard to separate a love of creating with the business side of it. How do you balance being a creator with the logistics of the business side?

Sam: Even working with this photoshoot, we creativedirected it together. I think that with certain things I once would have been a little, I suppose, repulsed by, I [now] see as an opportunity to alchemize and make a creative expression out of it. That’s kind of creativity at its core, being able to creatively adjust to circumstances that come towards you. That’s another thing that comes

from psychology--like when we see a tree planted in the city and its roots come through the concrete to survive or it’s crooking this way to get a bit of sun. We’re all kind of crooked and uprooted attempting to survive.

Ashley: You write a lot about identity in all its juxtaposed facets. Did you find that once you began having success as an actor that people expected that to be your entire creative identity, and either dismiss your other outlets or act surprised that there were other outlets?

Sam: Of course. That’s funny, because one of the main avenues of love and acceptance in our society today is Instagram. A lot of people are changing themselves in order to be accepted on that platform, and it’s such a small lens of who we are. I know, since working on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, that if I post something shirtless the likes go up, the followers go up. But if I post a poem of mine, the likes go down, the followers go down. I’m grateful I don’t attach myself to that number or place value on it. Though I see it as a tool for the business, like there is so much more—to everyone.

I’m guilty of trapping people into just what I’ve seen of them--and I’m guilty of trapping myself, or attempting to validate myself by external perspectives of who I am. During the second time [Sam’s mum battled cancer] that idea of “death could happen” distill[ed], ruin[ed] a lot of bullshit. [In school], I was a rugby boy who played music at the assembly. My mates still bag me out for playing music, like they still sing the song to me. I didn’t care because it made me feel good. That was something Mum really encouraged.

Ashley: Does the psychology of the


affect you in any way?

Sam: I know when I do post something that’s authentic, it will usually land on someone authentically. Whoever receives it will receive it in a place in their heart that actually matters. If I post something on the surface, it will touch them on the surface. I really admire those artists that are willing, courageous, curious. David Bowie spoke about walking into the water of the beach-that’s the place you’re supposed to create from all the time, because there’s danger. People like Kendrick or Frank Ocean, who are mute for a while and then they’ll drop out this incredibly critical and sympathetic perspective of society. I’m still finding my artistic voice.

You know, whether it’s looking at musicians and it’s like: single, single, single or coming out with lots of different opinions when it’s happening or whether it’s best to hone a body of work to present, whether that be art, music, or writing, or through filmmaking.

Ashley: You have so many iconic allusions in your writings. How would you sum up your creative inspiration?

Sam: Right now, hmmm. I don’t know. Leonard Cohen’s honesty is so down. He has this poem that talks about how there are a few in every thousands of poets that can really comment on our time and speak truly. The rest of them are fake laying in places where so called creative spiritual people stand. And he goes, I’m one of them: “I’m a fake. This is the story of my life.” I really appreciate honesty and truth. Coming back to Australia, and being around my mates--they’re the kind of people I want to move with my art. None of my mates are in the creative realm. I spend so much time there, and often there’s a lot of talk of artistic revolution. It’s almost a superior kind of level--but that never actually hits the ground of humans. I’m [also] really inspired by my dad who’s a builder, my mates who are tradesmen. I’m also inspired by the unique nuanced voices of Derek Cianfrance and Gus Van Saint. River Phoenix and Heath Ledger have always been an inspiration acting wise.

I think if your ears are open, the universe is providing such beautiful inspiration all the time. To reference Vikings, most probably wouldn’t associate Bob Marley being inspiration for Leif Erikson, but listening to Bob Marely’s interviews, and his integrity, and the clarity of his thoughts and the way he can cut through bullshit with just such love and sincerity. That was really inspiring. He’s seeking to understand, but from a very childlike perspective.

Ashley: When playing historical figures, there is a pressure to “get them right,” as they are/ were actual people. Playing Leif creates some challenges to do so, as there is limited factual knowledge. How did you study and prep for his character with these limitations? How did you develop his character psyche?

Sam: Obviously, there’s source material that speaks about the saga of the Greenlanders, the saga of Erik the Red, all these core texts. Also, me and Jeb Stuart, the show runner, spoke quite deeply at the start about

what inspired me. In the synopsis of the character there was this one line about his overbearing father, and that just shone out at me. There’s a thing between fathers and sons, you know. One of the main intentions of Leif was to outshine the shadow of his father—or accept and alchemize the shadow that exists within him. Like all stories, it’s all kind of the hero’s journey, seeking to become more whole with oneself. For me, it was understanding and reading the lore of the time, and then pertaining it to how it personally affected me and my relationships in my life as well as how that was communicated during that time. I think something that’s cool about the Vikings is they are like the indigenous people of Scandinavia, you know. Their relationship to nature was very similar to the indigenous people of Australia, whom I’ve always been drawn to and curious about. There are things we call lore and mythology now that were actually just accepted beliefs of life then. That really inspires me.

For Season 2, a lot of the readings I was going into, there was whispers of Walt Whitman, a lot of it was Marcus Aurelius, a lot of it was Rumi--all these poets that say things that are just as resonate now as they were then, if not more profound. I remember hearing Bono say, “Jeff Buckley was a pure drop in an ocean of noise” and these people seem to be those pure drops in the ocean of noise that happens to be our society today. With distance we’re allowed to amplify the nuances of the human condition that we often ignore.

Ashley: Historical fiction is a constant go to for both film and novels. Why do you believe we as people are always flocking to the past to be entertained? Why do you believe Vikings works with our current zeitgeist?

Sam: It’s genre in general, isn’t it? It doesn’t necessarily have to be historical. With film and TV, there’s an allowance that people go to the movies not to see just projected images on the screen, but a projection of themselves, and they more deeply understand themselves and others through the experience of escaping into this world. There is such responsibility in that. If you look at, you know, the film of the 70s and how they impacted culture or even in Marvel and how that [has] impacted culture so dramatically. Look at the power of Blank Panther! Incredible, you know? The beauty of fantasy and historical fiction is that we’re distant, but we’re able to be those amplifications and archetypes that have existed throughout time.

Ashley: You talked about the father and son relationship. You’re someone’s son, and how many other sons can relate to that with Leif:

Sam: And someone’s brother! I have a little sister as well. That was an important aspect. I think something that was a terrible gaping hole in Leif throughout Season Two was the distant from his sister and his family and all that’s known. He goes on a journey of self-discovery. It’s very metaphysical, this season, Season Two. It was very much an inward journey, which was a funny thing to speak about with Jeb, the show runner. Something I kept saying was clouds and dirt--be up in the clouds, but also [connected to] the gritty, human transformations we’re discovering here.

Ashley: What are the themes of Season 2? How do they differ from Season 1?

Sam: Dramatically! Obviously, at the end of [season] 1, we see how grief can act as a pin to the balloon of rage and there’s just this pop of absolute anger, [allowing] the “shadow” to be expressed. [Prepping for Leif], I dive into a lot of Jungian concepts. I enjoy diving into that for my characters. It’s deep grief coming out as rage and attempting to direct it towards the person who caused that grief. For so long that was swallowed. In Season Two, we see the release of that. And the shame of that. And the learning to accept that, that it’s part of who we are. Like all of us, we are all capable of so many things. That’s acceptance of the “shadow.”

Ashley: In your writing, you talk about wearing masks—do you feel that Leif felt he was wearing a mask and that the self he unearthed at the end of Season One was his true self, or is that another mask? Was his denial of grief a mask?

Sam: No, I don’t think it was a mask. I think he was yet to accept all of himself, and almost looking for mentors-whether it be Canute, whether it be in Harold’s way of being, whether it be any person of dignity around him. He was looking for a way of being that was “right.” So much of it was unnatural to him. The Greenlanders [came] from such a small—it was like going from a small town to a big city. It was like, whoa! It was more of a lack of acceptance of the shadow which resulted in a very stone like nature. He didn’t know how to express himself. He wasn’t given the tools to express himself. Other than in the wilderness.

Ashley: How do you balance between other

artistic pursuits? How do you make time for all your “selves”, creative and otherwise?

Sam: Ideally, they all complement each other. When I draw, it gives me space to connect to see the project I’m working on from a more spacious perspective, for new ideas to arrive, almost like a meditation. When I write, it’s often about expressing the thoughts of what I’m feeling at this point and time. Journaling, morning pages—I did The Artist’s Way in my second year of drama school. The discipline to sit down with a blank page is all one needs to do. Then as soon as pen hits the paper, or you start typing words, and it’s pretty much done before it starts. It’s giving yourself parameters or gifting yourself the parameters to create, explore other worlds. It’s childlike. The energy it gives you when you make the time is through the roof.

Ashley: You wrote “what are you afraid to write?” What else are you apprehensive about creatively?

Sam: During my morning pages, I started asking myself that. As a provocation to peel back the layers as much as possible of my ego. So, I can come to a sense of truth. The scariest thing is allowing yourself to be seen. That’s why the masks are so attractive. The scariest thing is allowing yourself to be seen. Being willing enough to be an open wound, to have your heart broken, open, whether by love or joy or sorrow. There’s a moment in Season Two, where I’m saying good-bye to someone (I’ll say it that way), and I thought of my grandfather and the simplicity and joy of his life. And that is what made me cry. The beauty of life made me cry. Not so much death. I looked over at the guy who was holding the boom mic, Paul, and he had just told me about his kids and wife at home, and he was tapping his foot and looking at the sun, and that just made me bawl my eyes out crying. That, in terms of inspiration again, was just a little gift that the universe gifted me, and it felt like the right time to honor the moment that we were attempting to tell.

Not long after Season Two finished, my grandmother passed away and, actually, just last week we spread her ashes with my grandfather. The physical touch of being a family together, holding each other. The only thing that’s missing when we say good-bye to someone is the ability to hold them, so we hold each other. That was beautiful--to hold each other.

Shirt: Rick Owens

Pants: Barrow

Boots: Shoe: Scarosso

Rings: hirotaka


Tank: Robert Geller

Suit: Dzojchen

Ring: Hirotaka RIGHT:

Pants: Bode

Shoes: Dries van Noten Rings: Hirotaka

Top: prada Bottom; Levi’s

Tank: Robert Geller

Suit: Dzojchen

Ring: Hirotaka Shoe: Scarosso

Sweater: vintage Shoes: Dries van Noten Rings: Hirotaka


The Murder Capital Are Recovering From Post-Punk

As the band prepares to release Gigi’s Recovery, their highly anticipated follow-up to their debut record When I Have Fears, they’re looking to reclaim their strength and individuality from genre labels.

Duncan Holzhall: You guys were formed in Dublin, as an Irish post-punk band. My first question to you is how do you think that your Irish heritage plays into your sound and differentiates you from some of your other peers in the space?

Cathal Roper (Pump): A friend of mine had a bit about it when we were doing the first album where he said “Irish people have a soul that nobody else owns.”

Diarmuid Brennan: There is an understanding, which doesn’t really have to do with the music, where Irish people travel, there’s a connection we all share that’s unspoken. There are ways we communicate very subtly to each other that outside people, people who tend to think more literally than us, wouldn’t understand. We tend to speak a little bit ironic most of the time if we’re trying to communicate. Some people might call it “shite talk”, while others just call it “having the crack line”.

James McGovern: There are some ironic colloquialisms used in “Ethel”, there are some Donegal-isms or Letterkenny-isms, I should say, so there’s certainly some Irish on “Ethel”.

Duncan: Speaking on “Ethel”, which is one of your new singles, musically, what motivated your expansion into those different timbral sounds?

James: Not being a post-punk band anymore and being a rock band.

Diarmuid: We’ll go from one big umbrella genre title to another, to the bigger one. We’ll try to fit somewhere into that one, instead.

Duncan: Do you feel like you were being closed off by being constantly labeled as post-punk?

James: It didn’t feel like a fair representation.

Pump: No, that was just what the first album did, but we had more to show.

Diarmuid: It’s a catch-all genre, post-punk.

James: I think that contemporary post-punk is the label that seems to be used for us and the other bands that are thrown with us (IDLES, Fontaines D.C., and others), no matter what they really make. The press that we’re involved in sees us as “these Irish and UK post-

punk bands.” And it’s all part of the human tendency to categorize.

Duncan: Wrapped into this, you’re taking a musical departure on this new record, but what was the headspace like making the first record (When I Have No Fears) versus making this new record (Gigi’s Recovery)?

James: The first record was very directly about grief, loss, and processing those feelings. There’s certainly moments within that space where there is no light at all, and I think it was a very chaotic time emotionally writing that record, whereas Gigi’s Recovery is a story that is deeply autobiographical in a lot of ways for us that has a light at the end of the tunnel and a way out. On the first album, a lot of it was written specifically about my friend’s suicide, an event that has you constantly asking questions about the past and how things could’ve been different, whereas Recovery is about returning to a place of strength. This album is all about looking to the future and asking questions about what is possible within your capabilities to shape the future using the small smattering of things that are in our control.

Duncan: With Recovery being more about that strength and the resolution of the human spirit, how do you toe the line of communicating that in your music without it coming off as cliche, vague “We Are The World” material?

Pump: With both albums, you’re very influenced by your environment and how you’re taken in by things, and I don’t think that “We Are The World” type of message comes to us at all. But with both albums, we were writing more about what we were going through within our environment at the time, or what we hope our environment will be in the future as well.

Duncan: How do you hope that your music will change the environments you’ve been living in?

James: It’s definitely affected us. Even doing these interviews help us to understand what it’s all about as well, and getting to tour it next year will give us a new understanding of what it’s all about. But there’s nothing in our music that’s like that grand “We Are The World” message: we’re writing about average human experiences, but the average human experience is extraordinary.

But there’s nothing in our music that’s like that grand “We Are The World” message: we’re writing about average human experiences, but the average human experience is extraordinary.

Pump: “We Are The World” is album three!

Duncan: You brought up that you guys are looking at the tour for Gigi’s Recovery as a way to figure it all out and what the music means to people more broadly. Given how impactful your first tour was to your career, are you going to approach this one any differently?

Diarmuid: We will be serving the songs from the first album in the way that they are written, but what’s around them now will create a different show. The sounds alone create a different atmosphere, and even now when we throw in a song from Gigi’s Recovery… It’s kind of hard to explain at the moment, but there’s a new feeling when you go back to old ones, where you’re playing it in the same way with the same notes, but the songs become something else when they’re part of a collection. Rather than “This is the only thing we have right now,” the audience begins to get a sense of who you are and get a sense of the different attributes of the band. To be able to zoom out on the puzzle is something I find exciting.

James: I think that the approach will be much the same in many ways. I think we always had a healthy approach of how to bring the most fervent occasion to every show. And that’s our job every night, to turn up and facilitate the possibility of anything happening whilst playing and singing the best we can. But there’s a bit of space there, on the road for two months, to come with some characters to play out… more as a coping mechanism on the bus, not as a glam-rock approach.

Duncan: Where does the name The Murder Capital come from, as well as the name of your record label, Human Season?

James: We used to play under my name at the very beginning, playing in college shows around Dublin. But we were working more and more together to the point where it felt collaborative beyond the point of standing behind my name. I had The Murder

Capital as a name, and when my friend died, it felt like the name was given a sense of meaning and a sense of purpose beyond the idea of what The Murder Capital sounded and felt like before then. Human Season was on from “When I Have Fears,” which is a John Keats poem, and Dee [Diarmuid] spotted another Keats poem, and the title was “The Human Seasons”. We were on a major John Keats bus, and we named everything after him.

Diarmuid: I still love that poem, talking about a man as he goes around different seasons of mood. Even around this time of year, he talks about “lusty spring”, and then in the closing paragraphs when he’s talking about the changing of autumn into winter, “His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings/He furleth close; contented so to look/On mists in idleness.”

LEFT: Rozie Corsets Black Bustier; Anabela Chan earrings and necklace Moschino bra top and stripe pants YSL heels: The Jennie Walker Archive; Earring: Anita Ko; Kallati rings RIGHT: Camila and Marc White dot mini; By Far gold boots; Anabela Chan earrings


Nothing happens overnight and Monica Barbaro is a testament to that. After years of low budget independent films, countless auditions, and gaps of employment, this “slow burning” candle is on fire starring in the critically acclaimed number one movie in the world, Top Gun: Maverick. How does one handle what seems to the untrained eye to be an overnight success? In her words, gratitude.

Photography BEN COPE Styling JEANANN WILLIAMS Words JACK JAMES BUSA Makeup Melanie Inglessis Hair Eddie Cook

LEFT: Camila and Marc White dot mini

By Far gold boots Anabela Chan earrings

Jack: Where are you from originally?

Monica: Northern California; The Bay Area.

Jack: May I ask the A to B of the Northern California girl to the woman who is in the number one movie in the world?

Monica: Oh, how did I get here? Yes. I grew up studying dance actually. I did shows here and there that required more character work. I realized very early in my life that was my favorite part. I sort of realized later that I think I was like playing at being a dancer, but really was more of an actor at heart. I went to NYU and finished out that program and then went back to San Francisco to start working commercially and got my foot in the door in like, some cool indie shorts and things like that. Just to get my feet wet with creators who were willing to take a chance on someone who didn’t really have a resume. Then I came down to LA, I took as many acting classes as I could.

Jack: Nice. Then cut to mega success. How are you handling all of it? It’s a lot.

Monica: It is a lot. It’s been very interesting. I would stop myself years ago saying this, but I’m really thankful for all of the time that I worked so hard and wasn’t getting these kinds of roles because I think it makes you appreciate it so much more. The years of not working even. Studying really hard and, and doing everything I could and just, you know, beating my head against a wall. Working a lot in television and, and making a lot of, you know, mistakes and learning from them and watching veterans in the industry and how they work. I’m thankful for a slow burn to feel more ready now. Nothing can really prepare you for this. I guess it’s also just lucky with this flashy movie, you know, it’s not just getting attention, but it’s getting a lot of positive attention. It’s a very warm room to walk into.

Jack: I like what you’re saying about gratitude and sweating it out and hustling. What was the call like when whoever called you and went, “Girl, guess what? You’re in mother-effing Top Gun: Maverick!”

It was nuts. It was really nuts. I was stoked and no one in my family really knew what was going on. My mom had no idea. I was at my mom’s house and I ran downstairs. Unbeknownst to me, the bottom floor of our house was flooding while I’m going through this euphoria. I had to explain it really quickly ‘cause I don’t even think she realized they were making a Top Gun

sequel. I was like, “And she’s not a love interest and she’s this and she’s that!” We both like, teared up and-

Jack: ... and the pipes in your home are bursting. Is that right?

Monica: Yeah, yeah, exactly. We were just sitting on the stairs with our feet up. It was really weird. It was great. It was fun. It was very real. It was just like a slice of life.

Jack: You said an interesting thing, which was my favorite thing about your character was that she was not a love interest. Typically, you know, they put the cute girl in and she’s a scientist, but she’s also really hot. My favorite part about it was that she was her own person independent of a man. I thought that was cool too, I’m glad you said that.

Monica: People have assumed there’s a love thing going on between her and Bob, right? Between her and Hangman. They’re like, “Did you guys hook up in the past? I don’t get it. Like, why would you dislike this guy?” I’m like, wait, what? Even my dad was like, “Well obviously there’s something going on with Rooster.” That’s all, it’s your interpretation. There’s tension, I guess. But, um, there’s a lot of tension between Hangman and Rooster too, so...

Jack: It is interesting that our minds are hardwired to go: we’re watching a movie, Tom Cruise is in it, beautiful girls are in it, great looking people are in it, they must have a thing. We’re sort of programmed to interpret it that way. Is that annoying to you ever?

Monica: I guess I understand that we’ve been fed storylines with that for so long. I don’t have greater expectations of people out there to assume that there must be something. That’s what we’ve been given in film forever. That’s a “woman’s role”. It’s more rare that it’s not. I think that is jarring for some people and some people didn’t like that about it. They wanted more of that and that’s fine. We’re talking about fighter pilots in 2022 and women have only been allowed to fly in combat since the mid nineties. There are a lot of incredible women who are fighter pilots. It’s not that fighter pilots can’t date each other, but they can’t be in the same squadron. They can’t go on the same deployments; they keep them very separate, like in any industry. There’s the expectation that they’d be respected as peers not as eye candy.

Fendi Black Top: The Jennie Walker Archive

Jack: You’re actually flying the plane in this movie. What was that experience like? That would really scare me.

Monica: I think phobias are really specific. Flying wasn’t something for me that felt like a phobia. One of the things that scared me was actually a swim test where we had to prove that we could survive in the event of an ejection over water or if a plane went underwater. This whole day of like, basically drowning. I love underwater videography, photography, but in water, I get scared. I think everyone in some respect had some fear, something innate within them that they had to overcome. Whether that be a fear of flying, a fear of being underwater, or a fear of talking to people as influential as Tom Cruise.

Jack: It’s not just the piloting, the aircraft is intimidating. It’s a big machine. These American institutions, like Tom Cruise, are perhaps as equally intimidating. What was it like working with him?

Monica: It was great. In any sequel, there’s tons of pressure. This one was 30 plus years in the making: it was his baby. He had required that all of the actors fly in it as well. So, you know, he had a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. In spite of that, he took a lot of time to really mentor all of us and to connect with all of us individually. I have very self-deprecating humor and he would see through that, cast it aside and find moments to connect and make sure that I knew I had every reason to be there as much as anyone else. We’ve been in touch ever since. All of the cast is, we’re all able to reach out to him anytime we want to. He’s a professional. He’s known for having a certain level of intensity and dedication to the craft that is pretty much unmatched in the way that he does things. I think we were all sort of surprised by how human he really is.

Jack: So you’re doing all this press for Top Gun now, but you filmed it before the pandemic, is that right?

Monica: Oh yeah. We had wrapped a year before the pandemic.

Jack: Everyone is different after what we all went through. How do you relate to the material now versus when you were making it?

Monica: The cast as a group, they feel like brothers to me. We became very bonded in filming this movie and experiencing something that no one else in the world has necessarily experienced. In the waiting for this movie

to come out, we had a lot of like conversations where we were just kind of holding each other up. I think it brought us closer together. It’s like in the same way I was saying before about the time I didn’t work helped me. I think in some ways the time we waited made us just so grateful for this to come out. It gave us the time to like, reflect on it properly and rather than it being this whirlwind thing and then, oh boom, your life’s changed forever. We just sort of held back and processed things before they happened. In that time we knew we had something great, we got to see it September, 2020. But you never know how audiences are going to feel about it. I remember after CinemaCon hearing that many members of the press were so elated to see this movie and so satisfied with the final product; that felt really good. Does that answer your question?

Jack: Totally. I think that was a lovely answer, my dear. I love what you keep saying about gratitude. I want to wrap up, but I want to ask you one more thing. In a dream world, what is the next role you would want to play? I have percolated an answer for you in this process.

Monica: I can’t wait to hear. I honestly love completely pivoting. I became an actor, in part, to live as many very different lives as I could. So I like to change it up. I guess I’m coming off the action front. I would love to do a period piece. I actually have not gotten to do much of that. I don’t know, I’m developing some of my own projects. I sort of know it when I see it. I’m really curious about what you have for me.

Jack: I’ve got it for you. It’s what you said about being afraid to be in the water and it’s a period piece. I think you should do a biopic of Natalie Wood. You look a little like her and it’s quite the story. I think that would be amazing. Monica: Oh my goodness. I fell in love with her and then did a deep dive on her work and then kept going and going and then I was like, “She what?” I’ve gotten that before, that’s the highest compliment.

Jack: Keep it in the pocket. If it happens and you win an Oscar for it, you can thank me in the speech. Monica, thank you so much for taking the time. I really appreciate it. You’re absolutely lovely. I wish you all the success with your very busy schedule and a happy holiday darling.

Monica: You too.

LEFT: Vivenne Westwood pink satin Bustier: The Jennie Walker Archive; Anine Bing peddle pusher pant; Le Vian ring RIGHT: Zimmermann stripe top and shorts

Thomas plays in a group called Position Nuit he describes as a rock n roll outfit … this group is making waves in Los Angeles, the city he calls home …

Ian : So your name is Thomas?

T: Yes

Ian: And you’re from France?

T: Yes

Ian: So why did you move to Los Angeles to make rock ‘n’ roll music?

T: Ah; its for a job really; not really for rock ‘n’ roll

Ian : Oh; so you moved here for employment? So you’re an economic refugee?

T: Yes, if you put it this way (laughter). So I work at the university but I also make rock ‘n’ roll music.

Ian : What’s your job at the university? Or is it a secret?

T: It’s not a secret, I’m a researcher; I’m a scientist.

Ian: Oh, wow, that’s a paradox to rock ‘n’ roll. What do you think of this “I believe in science” thing?

T: (laughs) Well, you gotta believe in science, that’s not really something you can discuss.

Ian: Do you think science , the findings of science, are politically and economically motivated?

T: Well, I don’t want to go into it but there’s still pure science: I fancy myself as a pure scientist.

Ian: Isn’t rock ‘n’ roll a paradox to science?

T: Well if you put rock ‘n’ roll in science or science into rock ‘n’ roll probably it is a paradox but I find it’s a good balance.

Ian : What’s the science of rock ’n’ roll? Is there a formula or some kind of control group? A scientific method as applied to rock ’n’ roll music?

T: I guess that’s what makes rock ’n’ roll so interesting is that there are no actual rules. .. I guess the way I think about it is that you have to keep it very wild and raw; to

keep it interesting … if you start to sort of do your little homework or calculate, that’s when it gets boring

Ian : Yeah yeah … I guess there is a kind of science to promoting your group and getting famous .. people definitely apply a scientific method …

T: Yes but that’s the boring stuff. The actual music shouldn’t answer to any science

Ian: But what about a formula .. to use a scientific term … there is a kind of formula to music making, songwriting … even drums, bass, guitar …

T: To be fair I really feel like it’s when you don’t try to apply any formula that you actually get your best ..I’m not a big fan of just “jamming” but I feel like when I play music, improvisation is when the best stuff comes out. All the thinking isn’t really a part of rock n roll.. when you try too hard. It’s good also to stay with a few things, a few ideas; otherwise you just go all over the place.

Ian: Limitations

T: But more, like, in an economic way .. I like cheap guitars for example, cheap amps , I like to “jam econo”; like the minutemen. I get a lot of joy playing my shitty guitar and still doing something sort of interesting. It’s like DIY; I record myself at home and I get a lot of joy just putting it out there and people like it and I’m like “OK cool it didn’t cost me anything.” It seems perverse. but I guess I’m saying ideas are the most important thing. If you don’t have any ideas or a good gimmick, you can pay thousands of dollars but it still isn’t gonna me you a good band or make you good music. You can pay thousands of dollars and if you don’t have an idea, it’s worthless; you need money of course but you don’t need a crazy amount of money.

When you infuse too much of that or think too much about what you should buy or do , that’s a problem.


Ian: What about the government subsidizing in France?

T: Well I have mixed feelings. Suffering is important. Even heartbreak; it’s good material. I’m not talking about social benefits or medical needs; that’s different. But for art, suffering is important.

Ian: The French rock ’n’ roll experience is very idealistic. Because it was a foreign import. The outsider has a pure vision of the form …for them its really distilled. Coming to America do you feel people have lost the plot?

T: There are people who really believe in rock ’n’ roll. Especially in that genre , garage rock. A lot of people still play it with passion and love … other than trying to be rich and famous or whatever.. That’s another part and I think the harder you try the shittier the music becomes. That’s my personal opinion; I don’t know if it’s true.

Ian: I think its a good conceit whether it’s true or not. .. that’s the thing about a conceit is they’re not science. You can hold a conceit dear regardless of whether it’s true or not. It’s like religion; people hold on to a religion even though they know it’s silly. They hold on to it because it’s important to their identity and their way of negotiating the world.

Thomas : One of the good things about the States is that you can make money out of anything … people here are ok with the idea that you do whatever you can to make money.

It’s different in France … it’s a bad look; people don’t want people to talk about them like they’re sell outs.

Ian: Rock n roll was popularized in the atomic age.. It obviously started earlier but it caught fire in the atomic age when people felt science went too far.

Do you think science has gone too far?

T: Well I’m not against progress but I think in some ways science has gone so far but in other fields its has stayed stagnant. Like with cancer research, treating cancer for example. So despite the fact that science has made a lot of progress , we still can’t treat AIDS properly but we can go to the moon or Mars … we can talk about how maybe in some respects , like Musk for example, wants to put microchips in people’s brains … the things I have a problem with are things perverted by money …like things like war for example or that water is becoming a

strategic asset is because of money …

Ian: In a sense the definition of rock n roll could be just electrified music … maybe it’s a foreshadowing of Elon Musks’ neural implant … because its man/ machine .. .mankind plugged into an electric machine. Rock n roll is notoriously hard to define but the way you could define it is you have to sing it through a microphone… if it’s acapella it’s not rock n roll.

T: But you could argue Robert Johnson … everything about this guy … the life he led and everything … this guy is rock n roll

Ian: Yeah that’s interesting; you’re talking ideologically I’m talking formalistically. What are the main difference in the values between French audiences ?

T: I’d say it’s pretty similar but in Los Angeles there’s a more professional approach because it can be a source of income whereas in France no one considers music as a source of income. But here, there are a lot of interesting opportunities.

Ian: Don’t you think French audiences are wilder?

T: It depends.. Paris is pretty stiff but in Bretagne it’s really great

Ian: You typically play alone … now you’re in this group … How did the group start?

T: I had been playing alone but during the pandemic I was craving human interaction .. I explained the influences ; the Gun Club, the Cramps … so I posted on instagram that I wanted to tart a band and Julian responded and said we have the same influences ….

Ian: Have you got any advice for people trying to start groups?

T: Don’t try to fit in too much.

Top: ÇANAKU Jewelry: BVLGARI Serpenti necklace & Ring B.Zero1

What director would you love to work with?

I would love to work with Christopher Nolan.

What would be your dream acting role?

My dream acting role would definitely be the Joker!

Who is your favorite fashion designer?

One of my favorite fashion designers has always been Kim Jones.

Who is your dream actor/actress that you would love to work with?

I’ve always dreamed of working with Brad Pitt one day.

How was it working with your sister in welcome to Chippendales and Lola James?

Was awesome! We’ve always wanted to work together, so was surreal and incredible to work on the same project.

Tell us what you have coming up that you are excited about?

I have a bunch of indie movies coming out that I’m really excited about – a thriller called Alaska and Resurrection of Charles Manson where I got to play an out there character which was fun and exciting for me.

You have a very distinctive style, what inspires your looks?

As an actor, I really love impersonating multiple identities. I really enjoy changing my style and, based on the look I decide to wear, I communicate a certain type of mood and attitude.

I have been collaborating with Bulgari for several years now and I must say that thanks to the jewelry I’m able to give my style even more character. The pieces lend themselves to continuous interpretations, they are very playful and perfect for mixes and bold combinations.

In your opinion, what is the “Power” of jewelry?

As I said before, the right jewelry really has the power to totally define a look. They are the special additional touch that gives a strong identity to an outfit.

Jewelry can have a seductive soul, elegant, rock, urban, minimal and so much more... based on the piece you decide to wear you give a precise connotation to your attitude.

You are wearing a bold mix of jewelry from

Bulgari’s B.Zero1 and Serpenti lines that I would define seductive and outside the classical connotations. Do you reflect yourself in these characteristics?

Absolutely yes, I love playing with a seductive and fluid style that doesn’t reflect classic canons.

We are moving, more and more, towards a fluid and nogender world and it is important that fields like fashion, accessories or jewelry also move towards this kind of vision and reflect these important changes. My vision of Bulgari jewels totally reflects this attitude!

You have been collaborating with Bulgari for several years, what is your first memory of the brand?

Actually I have been collaborating with Bulgari since 2018 but my first memory with the brand goes back much earlier: the first “important” gift received from my father -the kind that makes you feel you’ve grown up-, was indeed a Bulgari watch from the Bvlgari Bvlgari collection. Since that day, I have always associated the brand with that moment full of gratitude and love. When, years later, the collaboration with Bulgari began, I couldn’t help thinking that it was meant to be!

LEFT: Denim Trousers: Federico Cina Jacket: Alessandro Vigilante Tanktop: Dadsit Jewelry: BVLGARI Serpenti Necklace Earrings B.Zero1 B.01 Ring Pg Demi Pave

Right: Look: Alexander Mcqueen Jewelry: BVLGARI Necklace Serpenti Seduttori Earrings Serpenti Viper Bracelet Serpenti Viper Watch Octa Finissimo

LEFT: Look: Valentino Jewelry: BVLGARI Rings B.Zero1 Ring Pg Demi Pave

RIGHT: Look: ÇANAKU Jewelry: BVLGARI Serpenti necklace & Ring B.Zero1



Jewelry: BVLGARI

Necklace Serpenti Seduttori

Earrings Serpenti Viper Rings B.Zero1

RIGHT: Look: Alexander Mcqueen

Jewelry: BVLGARI

Necklace Serpenti Seduttori

Earrings Serpenti Viper

Bracelet Serpenti Viper Watch Octa Finissimo

LEFT: Look: Moschino Jewelry: BVLGARI Necklace Serpenti Viper, Ring B.Zero1

RIGHT: Denim Trousers: Federico Cina Jacket: Alessandro Vigilante Tanktop: Dadsit Boots: Hyusto Jewelry: BVLGARI Serpenti Necklace Earrings B.Zero1 B.01 Ring Pg Demi Pave

Look: Valentino Jewelry: BVLGARI Rings B.Zero1 Ring Pg Demi Pave
Look: N°21 Jewelry: BVLGARI
Serpenti Viper Ring B.Zero1
Serpenti Viper



Jewelry: BVLGARI Serpenti necklace


Over Coat: ACT N°1

Leather trousers: ÇANAKU Shoes: Hyusto Jewelry: BVLGARI Serpenti Sautoir Bracelet Serpenti Viper


For London punk outfit Sounds Mint, their fans and their scene are shaping who they are as well as who they hope to become.

Duncan Holzhall: The first question I have for you is how have your musical influences manifested in the music you’re making as Sounds Mint?

Kelvin Bueno: We try to really stick to our own train of thought and not get too inspired by anyone, but it’s hard to ignore the people that have shaped us as musicians in general, because we’ve all grown up on a lot of good music from when we were little that helped us learn our instruments. We try to listen to ourselves just to be 100% in the Mint world. But they play a massive part, I think it’s who we are. We wouldn’t be a part of the band if we weren’t inspired by bands of the past and shit.

Rudy Albarn: I also feel like the music we listen to on a daily basis might influence us when we’re making something, and it might be something subconscious in your head where you remember a little guitar riff or a little drum beat or anything that sticks in your head from what you may be listening to. And when you come to make a song, that will make its way out in its own creative direction. But you have influences from everywhere.

Duncan: What was the music you were listening to growing up versus what you’re listening to now on a daily basis?

Kelvin: I grew up on a lot of Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, Foals, Block Party, Kasabian, that type of shit, The Strokes as well. And more recently, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gone even more back in time and now I’m in the 80s with Joy Division. Going further back in time too, like The Stooges. And we obviously listen to a couple of current artists at the minute, but me personally, I keep going back in time. What about you guys?

Rudy: I used to strictly go to sleep to dub reggae when I was a baby. Then it was more Led Zeppelin, The Who, and rock, and eventually I got into hip-hop and Afrobeats. I love Tony Allen and Latin music as well. It’s just got to be rhythmically interesting at the end of the day. If it can get me in a bit of a trance, I really like it.

Robby: I’d listen to a lot of black metal… and loads of punk, The Kinks as well. Rudy: It’s a bit of a melting pot

Kelvin: Yeah,we listen to current music as well, like rap

and shit, and that can sometimes feed into the lyrics and the way that it’s delivered. We’re all music geeks, so we love to listen to a lot of music all the time.

Duncan: Does Sounds Mint have any other non-musical influences that seep their way into your music, whether it’s things from your environment, things from growing up in London, does any of that find its way in?

Kelvin: The London element for sure. We like to reflect on what we see and what we go through, so if we grew up somewhere else, we’d have a completely different story. If it wasn’t in London, the type of music we make would be completely different. I think the environmental influence is huge, more than anything else.

Rudy: When Kelvin and I were writing the first couple of early, early demos, we lived really close to each other, so the fact that I could just come to see him really quickly and everything was insular in our little area developed the first sounds of the band and the kind of music we wanted to make moving forward because it was very concise. We didn’t have loads to go to, we didn’t have a big massive studio, so it became very focused on who we were and what was around us rather than everything else. And I think that translated really well to tape and helped us to start the first ideas.

Duncan: Do you feel that there’s a balancing act between blending into the scene and bringing your own unique voice to it?

Kelvin: We’re a completely independent band. There’s no label push on marketing or nothing, so our priority is to build a real authentic fanbase. And through doing that, we create a bit of a scene in London. That’s how we want to do it, from the ground up. The most important thing is connecting with the fanbase, because having that will initially push us to a level. We’re not trying to skip all of that. I think it’s a crucial part of the journey to develop a fanbase. If the right opportunity comes along, that’s cool, but this is the focus at the minute. We’re not trying to compromise on the authenticity we’re building right now, to connect with the people who are coming to our shows this year.

Duncan: You’re about to begin a residency at Sebright Arms. Do you think having that residency allows you to connect with an audience over a longer period of time?

Kelvin: We’re really excited to do that, because it becomes our headquarters and it becomes a place that people know this lot [Sounds Mint] is starting out from. It’s a sick venue, but it’s a legendary venue that people will just stumble across. That’s how you make the real connections.

Rudy: I think it’s when you catch people off guard and they’re not expecting anything and they realize “Fuck, this really fits with me” or “I feel something” or “I get it and I like it.” And I think having an opportunity to do that and build some more is great.

Kelvin: I just love playing in pubs.


Coat: Canali

Turtle neck: Armani

Pants: Boss

Shoe: Givenchy

Fashion: Jaiin Kang

Grooming: Caroline Hernandez

Assistants: Gianni Catalina & Vincent Van Laeken

First gracing our screens as the titular prince in The Chronicles



Prince Caspian, Ben Barnes has since had a somewhat chameleonic career. Garnering a reputation for fantasy roles, his career began to shift with his casting as the misanthropic Logan Delos in the critically-acclaimed Westworld. Now appearing in Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, and releasing his first EP of music, Ben sat down with Louis Griffin to discuss the art of never standing still.

“We have a deep connection!” Ben Barnes laughs, after this interviewer recognised the unmistakeable face of Donny Hathaway gracing his jumper. “You’re the first person to recognise who that was – that’s it, I love you now.” This is what a conversation with Ben Barnes is like, an explosion of energy the moment he spots another avenue of conversation. Just moments before, we’d been discussing board games, and dancing at weddings.

As it turns out, this particular conversational avenue is apt – Ben is in the midst of tentatively exploring the world of music. “I’m actually doing my first ever concert in a week’s time”, he grins, “all my own songs that I released during the pandemic, this little record I released – it’s the first time I’m singing them in front of people.” Is he nervous? Excited? “I’m right in the middle. I’m excervous, or nervited … one of the two.”

But this mid-career pivot isn’t quite new ground for him. Ben’s career actually began in the realms of music, before the stage came calling. “It’s something that I thought I would go into, when I was 18, 19. I was signed to [music industry magnate] Simon Fuller to sing jazz with a big band, and it very quickly went off the tracks with the introduction of Pop Idol and all of that stuff, so it disappeared without taking a first step, really. I was quite disillusioned with it, and so I kind of left it behind.”

In fact, it turns out that Barnes’ original theatrical ambitions were as a musician, not as an actor. “My first ever professional job was playing drums in a West End production of Bugsy Malone, when I was 15. That was the first thing I ever got a pay-check for - we got £30 a show, I remember it very vividly. I can’t remember ever being happier than that, being able to stand up and leave school early on a Wednesday, because you had a matinee - I’d never felt special or different until that point in my life, it was a really lovely feeling.”

Theatre quickly led to cinema, and Ben found himself cast in the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. “Stardust was the first thing that anybody cared about. I remember auditioning to play the lead role in it, and they immediately said, ‘but you’ve never done anything?’ So I thought it was over – one of my first auditions and it was just ‘no’ at the time” he laughs. “I thought, ‘wow, they were right, this is a brutal industry!’, but then they offered me this smaller part in it.”

Following Stardust, Ben quickly found himself in a succession of fantasy roles. Is it odd, looking back, that his first film role became so typical of what was to come? “I think, in general, people tend to like to see [actors] doing what they know them to do. My friends always joked that ‘boy with sword’ was my moniker. Wide-eyed, try and kill the monster, try and kiss the girl by the end. I remember Colin Firth saying to me ‘listen, no one gives a shit till you’re 40, your face isn’t interesting enough. So just make it through to then, and then things will start to get interesting.’

Surely enough, more varied roles came calling in the mid-2010s, with the explosion of TV drama, seeing Barnes cast in shows such as Westworld and The Punisher. “Around 35 for me, everything switched on its head. The TV industry was booming, and I went from playing these slightly hopeless, earnest heroes, to suddenly these id-fuelled nihilists, playboys, manipulators, psychopaths … people want to see you in that same vein, but then you get this opportunity if you stick in the game long enough to subvert it and then do the opposite.”

Barnes relished the chance to flex dramatic muscles that had remained unused in other roles. “I strongly believe that we all have a capacity everything inside of us. So playing a commanding, manipulative character, does the vulnerability, the warmth, the fragility seep through the cracks?


I think that can serve to dial up those other traits, because you see what the potential is of that person. It’s almost a little heart-breaking to see someone who could make the right decision consistently make the wrong one.”

A role that saw Barnes relish the chance to play, in his words, a character “scratching [his] balls while everyone else is wrestling with the existential crises of life” was that of Logan Delos in the first two seasons of Westworld. A scene in season 2 that saw Delos attempting to distinguish between androids and humans in a crowded room remains a startlingly vivid highlight, and it turns out the series was pivotal for Barnes in many ways. “My time on Westworld, I don’t have time now to tell you all of the extraordinary ways that particular job interwove with my life. I wasn’t offered it at first. I’d [taken] some time off for family stuff that was happening, it’s the only time I’ve ever intentionally not worked in my life. Then that job came along, I discussed with my family as to whether I could take it or not, then it started the next day, and I broke my foot on the morning of flying back to the States to do it… I mean, it wove in and out.”

“When the second season started, my mum was not very well, with cancer, and so I went to the showrunners, Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, who are forever soldered into my life as the best of people in this industry. I said, ‘I don’t know what to do, but my mum’s got to go [and] have this surgery, and I can live with not being in the second season of the show, I can’t live with not being there for my mum.’ They literally [said], ‘bye-bye, get on the plane, we’ll figure it out.’ That was the entire conversation, they just said we’ll figure it out, and gave me a hug. Three or four months later, when she was back on her feet again, I came back - and I’ve not told anyone this actually - but they reshot my pieces of some of those scenes, which most of this business is too ruthless to ever allow. But they’re particularly special people.”

The scene in question had another layer of emotion for Barnes, when they did finally shoot. “I was so excited to get back to work, having not really worked for six months, and then [walking] into that scene and all these actors playing the hosts just stood completely still. That feeling of [an] out-of-body, slightly unique experience. It worked quite directly on me because I was so excited to be there, and even though it’s entirely sci-fi, it felt

quite real.”

Recent roles have seen Barnes return to fantasy in Netflix’s Shadow and Bone – a career boomerang that seems slightly out of keeping with his later roles. “I wasn’t really in the market for another fantasy thing, having been doing it for so long. But I’d just come off some disappointments [for] some very big film roles. I thought, well you can wait until somebody offers you one of those roles that come along once or twice in a career, or you can just do the things that excite and challenge you. Then I read the books and really enjoyed them, and thought this is a great world.”

The new role re-ignited Barnes’ passion for escaping into that fantastical realm. “Fantasy is the perfect platform for exploring allegory - look back to the Narnia movies, where I started, and the Christian allegory in that. Whereas you go forward to this, and we’re exploring themes of how people fit into the world, and found family, and where do we really fit in? There are all of those things which feel very contemporary to me. So it felt like a real treat, and then to get there and find that you had ten other actors who were getting their big break into the industry, and so passionate to be there and fit their characters so well. [That felt] really special.”

Ben’s latest part is in an episode of the anthology series Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, where he finds himself reprising a familiar role once more. “I do a lot of fantasy, and a lot of people involved with art - I don’t know quite what it is about that, I certainly don’t look for that intentionally. I said to my agency the other day, ‘no more period artists, it’s actually getting a bit ridiculous’.

He plays a painter in Del Toro’s adaptation of a HP Lovecraft story, ‘Pickman’s Model’. What drew him to the role? “[I] couldn’t resist something that Guillermo was putting together, and I’d never really done horror. I remember reading this script and getting to the end, and I had my hand covering my mouth. I think if you’re made to feel like that, [you think] ‘well, I have to be involved in portraying this’. The only reason to ever do something is because you can’t imagine not doing it.”

Jacket: Boss

Pants: Boss


Another art-adjacent project for Barnes is the forthcoming Patrick Marber adaptation of The Critic, seeing him star opposite Ian McKellen and Mark Strong. “Well obviously, I’d said yes before I’d read it, because it was Ian McKellen. I’ve had the extraordinary fortune of working with most of the people that I grew up watching -De Niro, Diane Keaton, Robin Williams. I’m like that film Good Luck Chuck, where you go on a date with someone, and then the next guy you meet, you’ll definitely marry. I worked with Alicia Vikander [and] the next film she did, she won an Oscar, same thing with Jeff Bridges, same thing with Colin Firth” he laughs. “But yes, the idea of it was so compelling, to do even just a few scenes with Ian McKellen, just watching him rehearse, watching him find the character.” So, what’s next for Barnes? Well, musical ventures aside, his aspirations lie in a somewhat overlooked genre. “I want to do a Richard Curtis rom-com more than anything else in life. I don’t care about anyone who says that he’s not a genius, Notting Hill is right up there for

me, I have the script in my house, which I sometimes just read a few pages of. That’s how much I love it.” He grins. “That’s definitely the big one to tick off for me. It’s funny though, because I never thought I would be in a film, full stop. I certainly never thought I’d be playing a Marvel supervillain, beating the living fuck out of John Bernthal on a carousel. I always thought I’m more built for a rom-com vibe, but now I’ve been doing this 20 years and I haven’t really done it - maybe I wouldn’t be good at it. I still have those self-conscious debates in my head.”

He pauses to consider. “You’ve got to do the things that scare you. I wasn’t going to do anything live with my music, I had no plans to do it, and then I thought, ‘no, I’m too scared of it not to do it, so I’ve got to do it.’ I don’t want to be an 80 year old with regrets. I want to say yes to things.”

Shirt: Laneus Pants: Boss Shoes: Dr Martens

Shirt: Ann Demeulemeester

Vest: Margiela

Pants: Boss Shoes: Bally

RIGHT: Coat: Zegna Shirt: Iro Pants: Boss Shoes: Saint Laurent LEFT: Vest: John Galliano
Jacket: Boss Pants: Boss



in conversation with FARIS BADWAN

One of the many things I love about production is the psychological aspect. The fact that you have to enter a room with a group of people and quickly figure out what motivates them to make their best work. It’s a situation that often requires a lot of trust, as you are essentially collaborating on something very personal. New bands may not have had the chance to record in a proper studio before, and I love encouraging those people to try different techniques for the first time.

Isolated Youth first approached me about working together a couple of years ago, and we recently recorded their debut LP at Lynchmob studios in Willesden. The recording space is above a scrapyard and behind a morgue, so both our destructive urges and vaguely gothic leanings were catered for in one fell swoop. The scrapyard in particular provided access to a whole range of pipes and machinery parts that made for interesting percussion textures.

Distortion-heavy guitar bands coming out of Sweden are a relative rarity, and the fact that Isolated Youth are from Norrtalje, a small town on the east coast, makes the name even more apt. Brothers Axel and William Mardberg form the core of the band, with longtime drummer Andreas Geidemark and bassist Elmer Hallsby completing the lineup. Their music brings to mind classic post-punk/goth touchstones such as The Chameleons, The Gun Club and Siouxie & the Banshees, as well as more modern references like Ice Age and Gilla Band. The interplay between Axel’s pure falsetto and William’s winding Johnny Marr-esque guitar lines is what immediately struck me when I first heard their demos.

I met with Axel and William to discuss creativity and their early musical discoveries.

F: I don’t know if fans of Isolated Youth actually know this, but Axel, you were incredibly young when you played your first gig. I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like playing a show aged 14.

Axel: We lied about my age when we started performing, I still sometimes lie about my age instinctively.

W: In the beginning we had to lie about Axel’s age because we were worried that the venues wouldn’t allow him in. When Axel was 14 we would say he was 16.

F: Playing live at 14 must be some kind of cold wave record (laughter from W & A). Do you remember how you felt the first time you stepped onto the stage?

A: At the beginning of the first show my mic wasn’t actually switched on because I hadn’t realised that it was one of those ones with an “on” switch (laughs). But after that it just felt so natural, it was such a freeing experience. And really addictive I think. We are from

Norrtalje, a small countryside town with no real music scene, so I guess to the crowd it came across as quite alien, what we were doing. I think especially because the show has always been fairly confrontational.

W: It was more like we were an installation almost, and the crowd were standing around us wondering what to do.

F: I feel like that’s kind of the perfect reaction to get from an audience that doesn’t know you - you want at least a few people to be confused and then ideally you want a few people to be angry as well.

A: For me, performing is like telling all your innermost secrets to a large group of people, and then vanishing. It’s a strange environment, especially if you’re not an extremely extroverted person (laughs).

W: For people who just knew Axel as my younger brother, they suddenly saw a different side to him, almost like he split into two people - the person onstage and the person from before.

F: Do you remember the first song you wrote as a band?

W: We came up with one riff that we really liked and basically played it over and over again. It was easier to go with force in the beginning.

F: Yeah that was the same for the Horrors actually. When you begin playing shows I feel like that first burst of explosive energy can be more important than actual songwriting in some ways. Obviously you develop and you move away from that approach, but those early shows should be all about instinctive emotional release.

W: We used to rehearse in the same way in the beginning, like full volume all the time, so the rehearsals would also be very intense (laughs). We didn’t know how to do it any other way.

A: Yeah, just the maximum of everything, devotion.. everything (laughs). It felt instinctively like we had something that we wanted to express, but we didn’t necessarily know how to do that yet.

F: So growing up in a place where there was no kind of scene, how did you first come across the kind of music that you connected with? Were your parents into that stuff?

W: It was going on car rides with our Dad. The car had a good sound system and he would play music really loudly, I’d be sat in the front and little Axel would be sat in the back. So whenever we would go somewhere it would always be a real musical experience, him playing something (laughs). Even now I’ll often hear a track and remember that my first introduction to it was in that car. It became a kind of common language between us. I would hear Axel in the back mimicking random parts of the songs, like he was figuring out how they fit together.

F: What kind of stuff was your Dad playing?

A: Err.. Stooges - Raw Power… it was really loud for a four year old (laughs), it was good though. And then David Bowie, Iggy Pop solo stuff.

W: I remember the guitar feeling like it was piercing our ears.

F: Ha yeah but that’s pretty amazing. Not many people’s

Dads play them the Stooges for the first time (laughs). I mean, I remember my Dad bought Shakira’s first album just because he found out she was half-Lebanese (laughter). There was definitely no Stooges! Even now I think there’s something special about listening to music on a car stereo, even a bad car stereo. Like I love hearing the Walker Brothers while driving down a motorway.

A: The song “Junkyard” by the Birthday Party made a really strong impression on me when I first heard it.

F: I remember listening to Junkyard at 15 thinking, “This is just noise” as if my ears couldn’t understand it yet, but there was something about it that made me keep listening. And then by the fourth or fifth listen it was as if the whole record suddenly opened up. Did your parents encourage you creatively?

W: Yeah I mean we’ve always been allowed to do music and free to follow our interests. We always had music and art around us in the house growing up.

F: What are you reading at the moment?

W: I’m reading “Poppy and Memory” by Paul Celan.

A: I’m reading “Flowers of Evil” by Baudelaire, which actually I’m always kind of reading (laughter)

F: Yeah I think I saw you reading that when we were doing the album session!

F: When you think back to your first times performing and making music, is there any advice that you’d give your younger selves? I feel like people change so much when they start being able to successfully express themselves creatively for the first time.

A: I think I’d tell myself to trust in my own natural emotions while performing. During those early gigs I used to feel as if I had to impose different extreme emotional states on myself throughout the whole show, I felt like if I didn’t reach this transcendent state then the show hadn’t gone well.

W: I think that on these recent sessions with you at Lynchmob studios, it’s the first time that we’ve actually been able to try a lot of the ideas that we’ve had in

mind, like extra arrangement parts, different ways of introducing rhythm. It can be difficult getting those things across until you meet collaborators who understand what you want to achieve. You’re basically taking an abstract idea and trying to make it real.

F: Yeah I find that a lot. I mean as a producer I’ll often have an idea in my head and then when it comes to the practical moment it just absolutely doesn’t work. But that’s what I love about production, the fact you get to try all these things… on other people’s music! (Laughter)

F: When Foxes asked you to speak to me for this feature, did you have any thoughts about how it would go?

W: I thought it would be interesting to talk to someone we’ve worked so closely with. You obviously know us a lot better than most people because you know our music and our music is very personal.

F: When I was younger I would find it difficult being interviewed by people I sort of knew. I guess Axel it goes back to what you mentioned earlier, about the disparity between the type of expression required onstage and off. When you know people from day to day life and then you meet them in an interview setting, it’s like some of that other exaggerated, performative part of you has to come out, and then there’s a conflict between the two.

A: After a while the two sides sort of blend into one another.

W: You sort of cross the bridge and then you transform - it elevates you, like your energy becomes more vivid or something. Because once you’ve showed your hand you can’t take it back. Once you’ve been honest it’s more difficult to go into hiding.


Photography WANDA MARTIN Styling JORDAN GROSS Words IAN RANDOLPH Hair: Sascha Breuer Makeup: Cedric Jolivet Fashion Assistant: Hayley Langer

It’s 2:30 pm on a grey and damp December in Los Angeles. Definitely not the most becoming for a city that is praised for it’s weather. If you happen to enjoy Netflix on a day of chill like I do, you might notice a couple of shows that maybe to your liking. If you’re feeling nostalgic or never had the luxury of being alive before streaming, you might catch the feel good comedy show titled “Blockbuster” starring up and coming actress Madeleine Arthur. The Vancouver, Canada born actress stars as Hannah Hadman, a sweet and somewhat stable employee at a video store full of characters and nonstop hi-jinx. With a strong resume featuring acclaimed films and tv shows, the 25 year old has managed to stay clear of typecasts and bad material given her modest nature.Currently she’s in another Netflix series titled “Devil in Ohio” where she plays a cult escapee who becomes sheltered by a couple who will soon make a terrifying discover about her past.

Madeleine has something for everybody, but she is always herself. It’s now 2:35pm and I find myself in a zoom meeting with the actress. She appears jubilant as she sits spirited in the living room of her Los Angeles home. The room looks like it’s peak summer where she’s at, but maybe that’s just her good energy bouncing in the room. The world can be a dark and moody place sometimes, but she clearly shows that it’s all about the point of view.

IR: First of all, congratulations on your current success. You have two major projects out. One being Blockbuster and the other Devil In Ohio. With reboots and remakes having much success compared to some original films/tv, what do you think attracts us so much to nostalgia?

MA: That is such a good question! First of all, thank you. For myself specifically talking about Blockbuster, that was a huge part of my childhood and what really inspired my love for movies. Going there with my family, picking out movies we were going to rent each week, and everything from getting the popcorn to seeing the dvd cover; it just brings back great memories. The nostalgia is something that’s very real for me personally and I’m sure it’s just something that holds a very special place in people’s hearts.

What has been your fondest memory of blockbuster?

MA:Probably getting 25 cent candy with my family. My mom wouldn’t let me get it, but my dad was like “Ok, we can get those M n M’s just for today.”(Laughs). I also have one really strong memory of one of the guys that worked there and every time I saw him there, he was hackysacking which was always really funny to me.(Laughs)

Was there any nostalgic places that no longer exist that you would like to make a comeback?

MA: Ah! That’s such a good question! I haven’t thought about that...Blockbuster probably would’ve been the

biggest thing. I used to like going and getting cd’s but record players still exist and I don’t have a record player so maybe I need to get one.

IR: I mean, besides Amoeba, there were some good record stores back in the day like Sam Goody, FYE, and Tower records, which I feel definitely needs to make a comeback.

MA: YES! Yes! But see I grew up in Canada, so we didn’t have Tower, but we had HMV.

You’ve played a very diverse range of characters from teen comedies to sinister thrillers. What’s the number 1 thing that compels you to sign on these kind of projects?

MA: The number one thing that is enticing to me is the story and the character’s journey. I think that acting transcends all genres, so that’s why I enjoy doing a teen comedy and then switching to a thriller.. I just love to get to play, have fun, and develop these characters that draw me into them.

IR: Yeah, you sound very good natured and lively. I don’t want to assume anything, but it seems like you’re not the type to take the characters you play home with you. In Devil in Ohio, you look like you went to a dark place, but obviously with good acting, after cut, it’s back to having fun.(laughs)

STAUD dress Jimmy choo heels Kallati earrings Kallati bracelet

You were also in the show Snowpiercer, which derived from the popular movie Snowpiercer by the great Bong Joon Ho. Did you ever get the opportunity to meet him and what’s your favorite film of his?

MA: I would’ve loved to have met Bong Joon Ho.No,I never met him. I’m very much a fan like everyone else is. Parasite will go into our top 10 of all time. I met his son recently, who’s quite lovely. I loved working on Snowpiercer because I too was a huge fan. The series was great and everyone was welcoming. We had a great time on set and the set itself being the traincar was cool and always something fun to explore. But Parasite is my favorite film of his. It’s number 1 and one of my favorite movies of all time.

You’ve worked with some veterans in your career, notably in Blockbuster among others. What was the best advice you received in terms of acting?

MA: Ah! I’ve received so much good advice because I’ve been fortunate to work with these fantastically talented actors who are at the top of their game. there’s a few things that stick out to me. One thing would be... Christoph Waltz told me “Don’t be just an actor.”. That’s really important. To have other interests and stay curious and feed the mind, body and soul in all sort of ways. Be a student of the university of the universe, so just always stay learning from everyone around you. But advice for acting specifically, Nic Cage told me while working with him on Color Out of Space. The first day on set I was riding a horse and I was overthinking the scene after, because of first day jitters and the horse, and he was like “ah the art of the second guess”. I felt like that was such simple advice just to be present, enjoy and let it go.

Did you ever hear that quote from Robert Duvall saying “The best thing for an actor to have is hobbies.”? Speaking of which, what other interests do you have besides acting?

MA: I have so many interests because I have an insatiable curiosity. I don’t like to sit still. I love cooking and been getting into pumpkin related treats because it’s fall. I’m boxing currently. I love boxing. I love art. I adore going to a museum and absorbing art. Over the years I’ve done pottery. I take dance classes. I just like to stay alive and keep it fresh (laughs).

In Devil in Ohio, you play a mysterious character who has a chilling past. The story involves cults and satanic rituals. What made you want to do this project?

MA: Specifically what got me into this project was I was so captivated by how the audience would keep questioning her veracity until the very end of the show. As an actor that allows you to play with so many different complexities and layers. This character going through her trauma and trying to emulate girls from her high school was just always something to play with. The script just kept me on the edge of my seat, so I was like sign me up! Let’s do it!(Laughs)

Did you grow up religious?

MA: No, I mean, I did grow up going to church for Christmas and Easter out of tradition from my grandparents, but I would say I’m not a religious person. It was just something you do in support of them.

Who are some directors you’d like to work with in the future?

MA: There are so many directors that I admire. I would love to work with Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Greta Gerwig, and Denis Villeneuve. There’s so many actors and directors in general. I just saw Tar the other night. It was so incredible. I would love to work with Cate Blanchett. Literally I’m going to start naming every talented actor and director!(Laughs)

As an actress, what’s your philosophy in terms of your career?

MA: I have this kind of cheesy philosophy. The 3 P’s it’d like to call them. Prepared, persistent, and patience. That’s always something to remind myself of. To be as prepared as you can, work hard, be patient, and just be persistent.

IR: That’s a good motto to live by in general.

And for the cult fans out there...Will there ever be a Chad Movie?

MA: That’s an interesting question! For the show Chad, Nasim Pedrad is a genius and for a Chad Movie, I just want to see Nasim take it how ever far she can go with anything she does because she’s a comedic genius!

“The nostalgia is something that’s very real for me personally and I’m sure it’s just something that holds a very special place in people’s hearts.”
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““I think that acting transcends all genres, so that’s why I enjoy doing a teen comedy and then switching to a thriller. I just love to get to play, have fun, and develop these characters that draw me into them.”
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“Christoph Waltz told me “Don’t be just an actor.”. That’s really important. To have other interests and stay curious and feed the mind, body and soul in all sort of ways. Be a student of the university of the universe, so just always stay learning from everyone around you.”



The Other Stage, 5:15PM, Friday night. The first Glastonbury since the rescheduling of the Festival’s 50th anniversary thanks to COVID-19. Supergrass take to the stage as the sun starts to lower in the sky – the highlight, surely, of an eagerly awaited two-year long reunion? “Exactly that”, Gaz Coombes smiles. “It’s one of those high pressure gigs, I guess, it’s pretty spectacular. So yeah, we were really excited, but you get those nerves, and when you’re backstage, it’s quite chaotic, and everyone’s there. There’s a lot going on, it’s kind of sensory overload.”

The band were far from daunted by the task, though, going on to play a set that was far from sparing with the hits – ‘Alright’, ‘Richard III’, ‘Pumping On Your Stereo’ were all present and correct. “I remember feeling on-edge, but turning it into an energy. There was definitely an energy when we walked on stage, feeling that the crowd were with us straight away. It was a pretty beautiful moment.” It seemed that Supergrass were back, as a power in the rock music landscape, and it was a welcome return.

The Other Stage crowd weren’t the only ones enjoying hearing these 90s classics for the first time in over a decade. The word is that Billie Eilish watched the band’s set too – do Supergrass have one of the most influential popstars in the world as a fan? “I didn’t see her, but we were told by a few people that she was up on the viewing platform, singing along to ‘Sun Hits The Sky’” Gaz grins. “So that was cool. It’s weird, I think Supergrass – especially in the States – [have] had this cult attraction. You hear of random people that are just really into our records, especially those early records. So yeah, that was pretty wild, my daughter lost her mind, she was like, ‘what the fuck?’”

It seems to speak to a growing trend of previously generational bands being discovered by a whole new audience thanks to streaming and the ever-present

algorithm turning up new avenues – Kate Bush and Arctic Monkeys have both had similar Gen-Z listening booms. Has Gaz noticed a younger contingent of fans at the reunion shows?

“Well, I’m seeing an example of that with my daughter” Gaz nods, “she’s 14 and she’s discovering a lot of the older bands, she’s into The Clash and Fleetwood Mac, but then Nirvana’s a big one, and the Foo Fighters. The nineties was a strong time for British and American guitar music - when you get past all the hype of Britpop, there were some brilliant things going on. I remember being really into Frank Black’s record Teenager Of The Year, that must have been ‘94. So I think, that’s perhaps because of streaming, I don’t know if that’s one slight upside to it, but they’re discovering a lot of cool guitar music.”

Speaking of the Foo Fighters, there’s one more Supergrass show that we have to discuss before the conversation turns to Gaz’s new record – the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert in London, organised by Dave Grohl, with a line-up of bands that Taylor himself loved. Their performance at Wembley Stadium was the last of Supergrass’ reunited run, and surely an emotional way to sign off their reformation.

Gaz smiles. “That was an incredibly special night. It was just incredible to see how they put it together, and that there was no hierarchy, in a way - anybody went on whenever, and everyone was in it with the same goal. Everyone was going in the same direction.” He pauses for a second. “It was really beautiful to see. A really special thing to be involved with, and a really quite poignant way to end the Supergrass reunion.”

So, why now for a new Gaz Coombes album? Having spent the past two years on the road with Supergrass, does it not seem like an about-face to release a new solo album?

Gaz Coombes is that rarest of things – a Britpop star who has managed to retain both artistic credibility and popularity through a post-band solo career. The lead singer of Supergrass, his solo efforts have run the gamut from the soaring ballads of 2015’s Mercury Prize-shortlisted Matador, and the off-kilter electronics of 2018’s World’s Strongest Man. Louis Griffin catches up with Gaz following a celebrated series of shows with a reunited Supergrass, and the announcement of his imminent fourth solo LP, Turn The Car Around.

“This has been happening since I finished the last one. I had a selection of songs, around about the end of 2019, [but] then we started the reunion. I had them hanging around, and then the pandemic hit, so it hit the pause button on everything really. I guess some way through late 2020, I started working again and writing in the studio I built.”

Indeed, it turns out that a bit of DIY is central to the sound and feel of Turn The Car Around.

“I built a studio, which is quite mad. I was able to do that in the summer of 2020, my neighbour was a builder, it’s just this ridiculous serendipity, it just happened. It’s been an amazing couple of years in that way, I’m just glad it’s been so creative, after the uncertainty of the start of the pandemic.”

How has that uncertainty factored into Gaz’s music? “[The studio is] just across the driveway really, so I guess the record started to become my friend I come and visit every day” he laughs. “It was great to have that again in very odd times, to have an outlet just to explore stuff, and experiment. And to get some joy, get some happiness, feel good about music. That’s why I write, I just want to write stuff that makes me feel a buzz, you know?”

The body of work that emerged from that time became Turn The Car Around – all of Gaz’s solo albums have evocative titles, be it the bullishness of Matador, or the off-kilter assuredness of World’s Strongest Man. What’s behind this album’s name?

“These last two years, for me, have been full of everything, all ends of the spectrum of life and emotion. So that’s the thread, this period of time, processing whatever’s going on around me. I felt that was a phrase that I kept coming back to, and I really liked it - I found myself saying it recently to the kids, just like, “It’s alright, it’s all good, just turn the car around, we’ll start again, we’ll go again.” It just seemed to fit, and it’s good to sometimes be able to stop, and reset. Rewind and turn it around, and start again.”

One of Turn The Car Around’s most evocative tracks is ‘Long Live The Strange’ – a track that is, in part, inspired by a gig Gaz went to with his 14-year old daughter. He nods. “I went to a gig in Oxford with my daughter, who’s 14, we went to see Cavetown, at a very small club. I’d written a song, and I’d written a

lot of the lyrics, but I was missing quite a big chunk of it, and there was something quite electric in the crowd that evening. I looked around and I’d never seen such a diverse selection of human beings, and I thought it was quite poignant.”

He pauses for a second. “It was a live performance in the truest sense. The connection with the audience, you could tell everyone was in a bit of pain, but he was calming them, it was a great thing to see. It reminded me of when I was growing up, watching bands coming through Oxford like Inspiral Carpets or The Wedding Present. Going to a gig and feeling like part of a gang, part of a collective. There’s a togetherness in that room, in that moment, for an hour. I just felt quite in tune with that for some reason that night, and it was quite inspiring, so that helped me finish off the song.”

Turn The Car Around also arrives at quite a poignant point in Gaz’s solo career, marking ten years since his first solo effort. Is there a stand-out moment, or track, from that time? “Wow. I think, as a moment in time, Matador coming out,” he nods, “and realising, through the making of [that album], that trusting my instincts and believing in my gut feeling was working, I think that was really great for me to feel more confident relaxing into what I feel like doing, what music I want to try and explore. And then, knowing that worked, that album did really well, and it did connect, that was a special moment, and set the tone for what was to come.”

“As far as songs, ‘The Girl Who Feel To Earth” is a very, very special tune to me. ‘Detroit’ is another one, I’ve had a few moments with that, playing it live. I played it live with a choir once and I almost couldn’t sing it, because it was just grabbing my soul somehow, it was just one of those moments when some of the songs connect.” He pauses to consider. “I feel like it’s too soon to speak about the new records, because I need to have hindsight, they need to exist in the world, before I judge them against the others. But as a record, I think this could be the best one yet. That’s such a broad, vague thing to say in many ways, but I feel like lots of things have come into focus kind of beautifully on this record.”

On Turn The Car Around, Gaz Coombes remains unabashedly committed to reinvention, and ten years into his solo career, he seems as invigorated as ever. The car may have turned around, but it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Turn The Car Around is released on January 13th. Gaz Coombes tours Europe and the UK through March and April 2023.

“It’s alright, it’s all good, just turn the car around, we’ll start again, we’ll go again.”

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“so I guess the record started to become my friend I come and visit every day”
“There’s a togetherness in that room, in that moment, for an hour.”

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“I feel like it’s too soon to speak about the new records, because I need to have hindsight, they need to exist in the world, before I judge them against the others. But as a record, I think this could be the best one yet.”


Between starring in series such as HBO’s juggernaut hit Game of Thrones and currently AMC’s sensational adaptation of Anne Rice’s classic 1976 novel Interview with the Vampire (which was just renewed for a second season), a thriving career in music under the name Raleigh Ritchie (whose music videos have garnered him over 40 million views collectively), and a son to boot, it’s safe to say Jacob Anderson stays busy.

I was surprised in my interview with the vampire, pardon me, star on the rise to find not another multi-hyphenate “actor-musician” type, rather an artist who leads with his heart, despite his head. With his frank candor about dissociation, anxiety and depression, his music that plays as a diary reading in a neo-soul lounge run by Morrissey, and the complex and disturbed characters he portrays on screen, one might perceive Anderson to be pessimistic. While interviewing him, I discovered him to be quite the opposite. However, upon writing this article I found that he’s just like everyone else: a little bit of light and dark in the gray area of humanity. His acknowledgement of the intricate hypocrisies of the human experience bleed into his work as a storyteller in any medium, and makes Anderson an artist you can sink your teeth into.

Although he recognizes the darkness, his tenacious and humble spirit strives to make sense of it all in an attempt to be in the light.


Jack: I’m so pleased to be having an actual interview with the vampire. I can’t believe it. Jacob Anderson, how are you, my love?

Jacob: I’m good, thank you. I’m very good.

Jack: Good, good. Congrats on getting renewed for another season, dude. That’s fantastic.

Jacob: Thank you. Yeah, it’s very exciting. Actually, Sam Reid and I went to the writer’s room a couple of weeks ago, or a few weeks ago, and got to see what they’re planning for the next season.

Jack: Anything you can divulge or is it top secret?

Jacob: Absolutely not. It’s very much top secret.

Jack: All right. All right. You’re getting really great reviews. You’re so young and you’ve had so much success. Who or what is keeping you grounded in all of this?

Jacob: I’m not sure I’ve ever been grounded, to be honest. I think I’m always floating. I’m never satisfied with myself. I feel like I always have to, don’t know, maybe it’s like I need to change it a little bit.

Jack: Where are you from? I can tell by your accent that you’re clearly Italian. Where in England are you from?

Jacob: I’m from Bristol. I was born and raised in Bristol.

Jack: And what was it like growing up there?

Jacob: It was lots of things. I think now, I look back at it and I feel like I’m really proud to have grown up there because it’s a very artistic city. It’s a very creative city. It has a very dark history and a very complex history. But I think out of it, there’s just this really vibrant culture there. It’s not dissimilar to New Orleans in lots of ways. And I think when I think about the things I do, so I think about, I write, and I like to tell stories, and I write songs, I make music, I act, it never felt like a shameful thing in Bristol. It never felt unrealistic. It always felt possible. And it’s a real place of experimentation. And there’s a lot of experimental music that comes out of Bristol. Banksy’s from Bristol and Massive Attack and Tricky.

Jack: So you’re growing up there, you feel supported by the vibe of Bristol to be “a creative”. When did you start to percolate, “I could do this as a profession, I could make this

a real thing.” Around what age did that start to go, “Okay, I think I’m going to do this?”

Jacob: It’s weird. I was just talking about this and I think I always get a little bit muddled up and I don’t really ever know what the precise... I can never really remember the order of everything. But I think when I was younger, I just wanted to be Will Smith. It’s not that I wanted to be like Will Smith, I wanted to be him. I saw Men in Black when I was seven and it changed my life and I was like, “Whoa, I want to be him. I love him.” And I think in that way as a kid of course I was like, “I want to be in stories. I don’t know what that means. I want to tell stories somehow.” That was always something that I could escape to. I always escaped to the TV, and to films and to music. And so it was always a kind of safe haven growing up.

I used to go to drama clubs, and drama workshops and stuff and it was the only subject really that I didn’t sort of sleep through at school. It was a thing that I could hyper focus on and I guess get into my body a bit. Again, I can say this now as an adult, I didn’t really understand this as a child, but I have this thing now where I know I’m dragging my body around, like I’m so in my head. I’m not present anymore. I don’t feel like a tangible being. I feel just this sort of cloud that’s dragging my body about and I used to get that a lot as a kid and I guess it’s a form of dissociating or something. I’m not sure, maybe I shouldn’t label it in that way, but with acting and music as well, making music, or when I was watching a film, I really felt present, and I really clicked in and focused on it. So I kind of had a different plan. I didn’t really want to be on camera, I just wanted to make stuff.

Jack: Are you saying, instead of “dissociating” it’s like you feel more present when you’re working and if you’re not telling the story or making the music or creating the character, you feel a little cloudy. Is that what you’re saying? Jacob: Yeah, it was depression and anxiety, I think is what it was. And we don’t need to get into the specifics but I didn’t know the word, “Anxiety” when I was growing up so I wouldn’t have characterized it like that. But yeah, it was just what happens, it still happens to me now. It was, I guess, more overwhelming when I was younger because I didn’t identify it. I just knew that when I was working, or when I was making something, I wasn’t in that place; I could focus.

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“There is room in the world for everything and everyone to be loved by someone and something.”

Jack: I think that’s pretty classic. I think that’s the way for lots and if you are in your head it’s hard to create those things. It’s cool to keep the ball rolling so the voices don’t come creeping back in.

Jacob: Yeah and they’re loud. They’re loud voices.

Jack: And as you get older, do you find it’s easier to skirt them over to the side like, “We can’t do this today, we’re going to be moving forward?”

Does it get easier to combat that?

Jacob: Yeah, I think so. It still happens, but part of combating it was becoming a dad; I’ve got a whole person I’m responsible for. But also I think, to be completely frank, a lot of it was, Interview with The Vampire. I think a lot of it was making this show and everything that I did before it. I wasn’t really looking after myself over lockdown and I got really down, and I really didn’t know what to do with myself aside from being a parent, and got very stuck in that place in the fog where I’m dragging my body around. And then, I did Dr. Who, and loved it and I remembered how much I loved being on a set and I was suddenly excited again.

There were a few auditions for things that came through that I wasn’t really excited about, and then this came up, and I’d never been more excited or never felt more connected to something that I’ve read. There were a lot of rounds of auditioning, which required a lot of discipline and the learning of these lines was a lot. And it was pages, and pages, and pages and pages of stuff.

And I think part of it as well was probably, I don’t know if this was the intention, but it was really good preparation for what the work was going to actually be. We’re working through the night and it was a lot to hold in your head and it’s really weighty and it’s like, it’s a real depth to everything that’s being said, and everything that’s being done, and you have to hold all of that stuff in you, and do that and kind of keep your stamina up. And I got the part and I started running and I started to look after myself. I was eating better, and I was sleeping better and I just wanted to make sure that I could hold onto that kind of clarity for the shoot; it really helped. I don’t know about you, but between jobs or between when you are in flow in doing your thing, you get a dip. There’s a low that comes in.

And I’ve definitely had that at different points since this job, since we finished shooting the show, I have had that. But I definitely am finding now that I can call myself out of it much quicker.

Jack: What was it about the show or the role that pulled you back up? Or was it just the fact that it was a job and you had to be focused on something?

Jacob: No, no, it was definitely the fact that it was this, it was this. Because I got sent auditions for things and there was other work that I could have done, but there was never anything that really got me in my heart. There was nothing that I cared about enough.

Jack: What about this “cupid-ed” you, so to speak?

Jacob: I think everything that we’ve talked about really runs concurrent with who Louis is. He’s somebody that is very much trapped in his head and is very much... he’s somebody who questions, he questions everything. Questions his own behavior. He questions the behavior of those around him. He’s constantly in a space of

moral questioning and vigilance, I guess. And seeing this story where you are actually seeing somebody talking about, like in a therapeutic way, he is talking about who he was. “Who was I as a person?” Or, “Who was I as a young man?” And then playing that, playing those moments and how somebody changes over such a wide span of time. I honestly was like, “Playing Louis is either going to traumatize me or it’s going to be the most cathartic exorcism ever.” And it was the latter. It was so cathartic, it really helped me. Louis has helped me in so many ways.

Jack: There’s now a big canon of Interview. There’s the movie, and then there’s a bunch of different chronicles. So, how do you think that this series differentiates itself from the overall canon?

Jacob: I think there are a lot of ways that it’s different, but then I also think it’s, in spirit, very much the same as the books. I think, at least to my mind, in how I read the books, and have read the books since working on the show. It feels very much the same sort of thesis on... “Thesis,” sounds like such a-

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Jack: Go on

Jacob: ...way to talk about it. It feels... it’s very emotional. Anne Rice is a very emotional writer and she’s very detailed. Those details add up to a life, and to a person, or a vampire. They add up to these characters that you grow to love, and they do awful things, but they also do these beautiful things and they love each other. And that love is really complicated and complex, and you want characters to come together and you want them to be apart because you love this one and it’s such a knot where it’s very difficult to moralize. She draws out those characters so beautifully that even if you don’t agree with them, you understand why they behave that way, and you care about them regardless of how you feel about them. You care. You love them enough to hate them or you hate them enough to love them a little bit. And I think that that’s in this show. And I think it’s wise, particularly with Lestat, I think people get so torn about how they should feel about him. And actually there’s not really a, “Should.” It’s okay for your feelings about somebody to evolve and to change as time goes on. Rolin [Jones] described it as a third thing; everything can exist and everything has space to be loved. There is room in the world for everything and everyone to be loved by someone and something. And you have the book, you have the film, and you have us, and they all exist and they can all be dipped into whenever people want.

Jack: Why do you think we as entertainment consumers have such a fascination with vampires?

Jacob: I don’t know, I can’t speak for everyone. But I will speak for everyone! No, I think that my theory is that because vampires kind of derive from humans, and I know Anne Rice’s vampires derive from an alien species and from a male, but in simpler terms, they derive from humans. They’re almost like a virus that spreads through humans. I think that there is something about vampires living in the shadows, and living at night, and only being able to come out at night that speaks to the things that we hide about ourselves or the things that we are, I don’t know, that we’re ashamed of, but are secretly really drawn to as well. Or not even secretly; they’re things that we’re ashamed of but they’re alluring and repelling at the same time. And I think there’s something very desirable about that, but there’s something very scary about it because there are things that you might be frightened of other people knowing about you or thinking about you.

Jack: Completely. Sometimes the things we want, we’re almost afraid to have them. You were on this little under the radar show called Game of Thrones. I don’t know if anyone’s ever heard of it, but you’re also doing Interview and I just feel like you’re really slaying the franchise game over here. What is a character from a franchise you’d like to play next?

Jacob: I’m like, I’m scared to say anything because I would hate to say the thing that I would actually like to do and then me saying it means that I wouldn’t be able to do it.

Jack: This is literally what you said earlier about the vampire thing. You’re afraid of what you want.

Jacob: Yeah, yeah. No, there’s- Jack: You don’t have to.

Jacob: I don’t want to say the thing that I actually want to do because I actually want to do it, and I feel like I’ll say it and then somebody might read this and then be like-

Jack: And then put you in it?!

Jacob: Because that’s not how it works! The minute someone starts talking about it means it’ll never happen.

Jack: Oh my God. That’s the most British thing I’ve ever heard. My American mind is going, “If you say it’ll happen!”

Jacob: I would love to playJack: Ronald McDonald.

Jacob: Ronald McDonald. Let’s say that. I’m sitting on the fence right now.

Jack: All right, no worries. I won’t push you over the fence, dude. When I was stalking you before this interview, I became a fan of your music. I’m wondering why you use a different name for your musical project. Does the name lend itself to a character like Bowie had Ziggy Stardust, or is it just easier to compartmentalize aspects of your outward personality to separate egos? I guess, like Donald Glover does with Childish Gambino. Why is there a separate entity for the music?

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Jacob: I think it was just not wanting to... I write very honestly, and I just write how I feel about things. I don’t really shy away from anything. Those songs are basically my diaries. And so, I think if you are going to do that, it feels like it makes sense to just release it under your own name because it’s so personal. But actually, I felt like that was the one thing I could do for myself to kind of, I guess, protect myself from how personal it is. But then, it’s weird because then you start shooting videos and then you’re like, there’s not really any hiding. But I did at one point, I mean I can say this now because I’m not signed to them anymore, but I used to be signed to Sony and I really wanted to wear a mask the whole time.

Jack: That would’ve been dope. Like an Orville Peck or a Sia. The name was sort of a metaphysical mask instead of an actual one.

Jacob: Yeah, it was an ill-fated attempt to protect myself. Give myself some privacy.

Jacob: I love the sound of reloading a camera.

Jack: Oh yeah, that’s pretty hot.

Jacob: Hang on...

Jacob proceeded to snap a picture of me via Zoom. Jacob: ...that sound, camera shutter.

Jack: That’s a hot sound. What sound or noise do you hate?

Jacob: Oh, this is hard. I’m not very good at speed round questions. I hate loud sneezing. I just never think it’s necessary.

Jack: Yeah. Sneezing for attention.

Jacob: I think if somebody has a tick, then that’s fine. But if someone’s just doing it for attention, fuck that person.

Jack: Fuck that person.

Jacob: It’s not necessary.

Jack: Totally unnecessary! The next question is what your favorite curse word is, but I think it’s, “Fuck.”

Jacob: “Wanker.” “Fuck” is my favorite word, “Wanker” is my favorite curse word.

Jack: What profession other than your own, and you have many, would you like to attempt?

Jack: I want to play a quick little game. Have you ever seen this show called Inside the Actor’s Studio? There’s this guy, James Lipton: icon, legend, and star. And he’d ask these questions at the end of every episode and I’m going to rip him off and ask you those questions, if that’s all right.

Jacob: Yeah, I’ll try and give good answers.

Jack: You can give horrible answers too. It’s totally fine. Jacob: Okay.

Jack: What is your favorite word?

Jacob: Articulate.

Jack: What is your least favorite word?

Jacob: Moist.

Jack: Yeah. That’s not a good one.

Jacob: No. Actually, I think my favorite word is fuck. Jack: Yeah?

Jacob: I think it’s probably the word I use most, but I never use it in a sexual way, just like, “Ah fuck,” like in a very British way.

Jack: What turns you on? That doesn’t have to mean what you think it means.

Jacob: I always like fun. Funny. Anything funny.

Jack: What turns you off?

Jacob: Bigotry.

Jack: Yeah. It’s not good, is it?

Jacob: Well, close mindedness.

Jack: What sound or noise do you love?

Jacob: I would love to be a stop motion animator.

Jack: All right. Jacob: Yeah. Yeah.

Jack: I think you could do that.

Jacob: Or I’d like to just fix, like an engineer. Just something that’s really intricate and requires a lot of focus.

Jack: All right. What profession would you hate to do?

Jacob: I would not be a very good paramedic. And I really appreciate anybody that’s on the medical frontline because I’m very squeamish. I’d be terrible at it.

Jack: If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Jacob: I would like him to be singing. I would like her to be singing For Once in My Life by Stevie Wonder.

Jack: Wow. You want the Stevie Wonder version not the Judy Garland version.

Jacob: The Stevie Wonder version.

Jack: Stevie, dude. It doesn’t get old. Jacob: No.

Jack: Jacob, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. You’re very lovely and keep shining, baby.

Jacob: My pleasure. Thank you, Jack.

Jack: And say, “Hey” to the kids, okay?

Jacob: I will. Take care.

Tie / Paul Smith Shirt / Won Hundred Trousers / Scotch & Soda Boots / R.M. Williams

“I have this thing now where I know I’m dragging my body around, like I’m so in my head. I’m not present anymore. I don’t feel like a tangible being. I feel just this sort of cloud that’s dragging my body about and I used to get that a lot as a kid and I guess it’s a form of dissociating or something. I’m not sure, maybe I shouldn’t label it in that way, but with acting and music as well, making music, or when I was watching a film, I really felt present, and I really clicked in and focused on it.”

Suit / Carlota Barrera Shoes / R.M. Williams

Suit / Paul Smith

Gloves / Handsome Stockholm

Shoes / Palladium boots


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