In the new issue of HEROINE, we profile the Bedroom Producers – eight exciting young musicians making music out of their bedrooms. Drawing inspiration from art, film, culture and fellow music-makers, they pull it all together to create their own individual output. We’re pulling out those rich references that guide these young creatives in this new series – step behind the creative process to find out how the magic happens.
A previous collaborator of King Krule, south London illustrator and songwriter Jerkcurb is an emerging talent whose work imbues an air of old school romanticism, dark humour and buckets of imagination. Read produces smouldering downbeat tracks, accompanied with animated visual counterparts that depict dense retro- futuristic scenes. Here, he takes us behind the creative influences that drive his music and artwork.
On being American
“I do illustration, but I approach it from a fine art perspective so I’m always on the lookout for books with weird visual references, usually with an Americana aesthetic and about American cultures that aren’t really around anymore. Perhaps it’s because I’m half-American and I have a lot of childhood memories of being in America, but I have books on small newspaper adverts, 70s house plants, Tiki Culture and I collect a lot of weird trinkets.”
On contemporary stuff
I usually take these references and add something modern to it, like the Apple Finder icon and I’ve recently been into characters where you can’t see their eyeballs, so it’s not very clear if they are robots.
On Die Hard
“I wanted to make music that I could actually listen to, like on the train or something and Jerkcurb began with my fascination with film. I used to study film and I loved watching films, watching a great film is the best escape. I didn’t really have an interest before I’d seen Die Hard or whatever and then suddenly I was like, “Yeah, I’m a film guy!” and I eventually started to make soundtracks to those films based on my own take on the narratives. It’s always been about narrative for me.”
“This book, No Wave: Post-Punk Underground New York 1976-1980 by Thurston Moore and Byron Coley really changed the direction of what I was into. I read the book cover to cover and found out about all these artists like Suicide, James Chance, Lydia Lunch, Birthday Party, Arto Lindsey, Lounge Lizards and I just fell in love with how raw and aggressive they were. It was a big eye opener for me.”
On cartoon heroes
“It sounds pretentious, but I always think animations and cartoons are a really good way to portray the human condition, like the exaggerated mannerisms and behaviours.”
“I have a lot of friends in the neighbourhood, and like I said, I’m really good friends with Archy [Marshall, AKA King Krule] and Jack [Marshall, artist and Archie’s brother] who grew up round the corner. We went to the same primary school, then we were all into skateboarding and terrible music like Blink 182 but he’ll never admit, then playing music together was the last thing. Jack and I started the other band, and there’s not many other people that I feel such a strong sense of competition with. We use to go around each other’s house and draw giant alien wars, and I’d have one race of alien and he’d draw the other and we’d just draw our characters killing each other.”
For more on Jacob Read head to his website.