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|Interview: Art Brut's Eddie Argos and Jasper Future
by Dagmar Patterson
Art Brutís Eddie Argos and Jasper Future met with me after their high-energy blinding set at Bumbershoot. We met at the artistsí tent while Devendra Banhart played and talked about soaps, socks, and cats. Art Brut is a sparkling and cheeky band who will tour the US through November 21st with the Hold Steady and the Blood Arm. See them! Love them!
Q: You used to be a social worker, what did you do?
Eddie: I worked with adults with learning disabilities. It helps in every facet of my life. I loved it. A great job Ė when this is ever finished Iíll go back to it.
Q: You mentioned your coworkers were a lot of middle-aged women and youíd talk about soaps with them.
Eddie: It was just me and a lot of middle-aged women. I loved it.
Q: Do either of you watch the English soaps?
Eddie: Weíre away too much now.
Jasper: I used to watch "Eastenders" all the time.
Q: I watch "Eastenders" and "Coronation Street."
Jasper: I used to be really into EE.
Q: Iím about a year behind.
Jasper: It gets a lot worse. I donít want to spoil it, but it does.
Q: Grant has just left.
Eddie: It gets a lot worse.
Jasper: I might pick it up again.
Q: In November youíll be touring with the Hold Steady.
Eddie: Canít wait.
Q: Are you both fans of the Blood Arm?
Eddie: My girlfriendís in the Blood Arm.
Q: Really? Dyan (Valdes)?
Eddie: Yeah, sheís here somewhere.
Q: She is a beautiful woman. I love the Blood Arm.
(Eddie points out the pin he has on with Dyan on it).
Q: You were on Conan OíBrien with Daniel Radcliffe. Was he a jerk?
Jasper: No, he was nice.
Eddie: Honestly, he was really cool.
Jasper: Though he was like an adult. It was strange. He was more adult than me.
Q: I love the NME cover that you did.
Eddie: The naked one?
Q: Yes, was that fun or . . .
Eddie: It was weird at first because I was naked in front of a bunch of people. But then I got used to it, and they didnít.
Jasper: Heís naked all the time now. Iím astounded heís got clothes on now.
Q: Itíll be a different story later.
Eddie: Oh yeah.
Jasper: In the tent.
Q: You two went to school together?
Eddie: We met when we were about 16.
Q: Youíve managed to stay friends.
Jasper: On and off. Iím a careerist.
Q: I read that the French throw socks at you. Do you still get socks thrown at you onstage?
Eddie: Yes politely, underarm (he indicates a throw). Clean, new socks Ė itís nice.
Q: I will have to remember that for November.
Eddie: Bring me socks? About 11.
Jasper: I need socks too.
Q: I will do this.
Eddie: UK 11.
Q: Iíll convert that.
Q: Eddie, you have a cat?
Q: Do you have a pet, Jasper?
Jasper: My roomís not big enough.
Eddie: Youíre Mikeís [Breyer Ė drums] pet. He lives in Mikeís house and has a very small room.
Q: I think you would be a good pet.
Jasper: Iím housetrained.
Q: What kind of cat do you have, Eddie?
Q: Cream colored?
Jasper: I thought you said a talk show cat.
Q: I like that idea. Whatís she called?
Eddie: 54. We just kept calling her cat. But itís like a prisoner.
Q: Prisoner 54.
Eddie: Sheís a lovely cat. She loves a party. If thereís a party sheís right in the middle of it. She gets on peopleís shoulders and nuzzles.
Q: What was doing the video for "Direct Hit" like?
Eddie: Like a young Orson Welles the director said I was. Ian [Catskilkin - guitar] looks great in a toga.
Q: Youíre really into art. Like van Gogh?
Eddie: I love van Gogh, and the stories behind him.
Q: You guys are all pretty fashionable Ė is that something youíre interested in?
Eddie: I think you and Mike are very stylish.
Jasper: We try.
Q: Youíre both wearing pink, I think that color looks good on every one.
Eddie: Itís my favorite.
Q: Whatís the plan for your next video?
Eddie: An eighties live video. Getting onstage out of airplanes Ė like "Born in the USA."
Art Brut will play the HUB Ballroom with the Hold Steady and the Blood Arm on November 4.
More on Art Brut: www.artbrut.org.uk / www.myspace.com/artbrut.