We got it together with one of Northampton’s busiest boys in a jungle-themed cafe.
His name is Joss Carter.
He’s a beat making Internet entity, he’s the lead singer of a noisy band and he’s done a bunch of other stuff. He is one prolific/tanned cookie!
How many musical projects and bands have you been in, in your life time, so far?
(Pauses) Hang on. One, two, err, eerrr, arrr. One, two, three, four, five. Five successful ones. Well, like, ones that I think are more successful than say, Bogus. (Laughs) Do you want me to tell the people about Bogus?
Why don’t you talk us through the musical projects you have been a part of so far? Because there is just so many.
Those particular five, or?
Any one you like.
The unsuccessful ones? The successful ones?
Let’s go for…let’s start from bad to good.
Bad to good.
Ok, so I was in this band called Drool. (Laughs) Er, that was a punk band, weren’t it. I was about eleven and I was, ok that was worse than Drool. I was eleven and I was in Free Advert Space and that was complete shite. I was like, yeah, trying to do Jeffrey Lewis-y stuff, but being a middle-class, English, white kid. So it kind of sucked majorly. Erm, Coastguard.
That was good.
It was ok, we had two good songs. One of them, I still play. I’ve done solo shows and they’ve been ok. Err, I’ve stopped going in order now, I can’t. Err, Blood Visions. Which is this, this noisy band that I’m in that are noisy. Bogus, which was a noisy band that we did and didn’t really do anything with. Various line ups, it’s like basically the same set…yeah. Err. J.Carter stuff which is all ambient-y electronic-y shit.
We’re going to get onto that.
We’re going to get onto that J.Carter stuff. Erm, ermm…erm, Boy Boy. Which is a pop band. And, and and and, I did about two songs under the name Illuminati Shit. And then put them on a J.Carter EP anyway.
So there is quite a few musical projects then…
Quite a few.
Do you think you are going to carry on being in loads of different musical bands and projects and stuff?
(Pauses) I think, like…yeah.
We both enjoy a chuckle before Joss makes a more in depth response.
Just, if you want to do something and you don’t think it fits in with the other musical projects, then you gotta do something else, haven’t you?
With your main band Blood Visions, where do the lyrics come from?
An angry place.
How do you go about creating songs as a band with Blood Visions?
Me and Lewis (guitarist from Blood Visions) will write a riff. And then we’ll show it to each other and then we’ll be like ‘hey! Why don’t we put this bit, on the end of that riff and then you can have a chorus.’ And then we might write a bridge or something together, then might write some other bits for it. Mostly Lewis, and I help him out. And when we get to practice, we tell Marvin (Blood Visions bassist) and Kirsty (Blood Visions drummer) what to do. And then we play songs. I write lyrics on my own, like the day before a gig or sometimes not at all.
What are the main inspirations behind the Blood Visions sound?
Cap’n Jazz. That’s it.
Nothing else? Or just, the blueprint is Cap’n Jazz.
No, there are lots of bands, it’s weird, the way we come at it. Because me and Lewis have kind of always shared musical tastes and like, when we started that band we were listening to a lot of Pavement and things. And Cap’n Jazz. At the moment I can honestly say that 90% of the music I listen to, is…you got like dub-ste…urgh. Techno-y stuff or R’N’B. So it has no relevance, really, to our music. And then like, the 10% of guitar music I listen to; tends to be happy music. So I don’t really…we are looking to write more slower stuff for Blood Visions. Jehu, this band Jehu, Justin Broderick has been in, have been a really big influence lately. Yeah.
Nice. What’s the best show you have played with Blood Visions?
That one last week was pretty swagged out. Erm. We had kids who were dancing and having fun. I think, I think that’s the best thing you can get at a show. I liked Umbrella Fair, as well. And I really like, as far as playing totally as a band goes, I liked playing Slum Party with Halo Halo and Pheromoans. I thought we played well that day.
How did the name Blood Visions come about?
It’s a good story this. We got to like, two weeks before a gig and err…Mel, who was putting on the gig, erm, was like ‘hey, hey! What are you guys going to be called? What are you guys going to be called?! Are you going to call yourselves Coastguard?’ And we were like no, Coastguard has been and done, Becca (Coastguard’s drummer) left and stuff. And we…this is new stuff now. And then we were like, sat around and we had some really shitty names flying around. I mean, Blood Visions is a shitty name but…
Photography By Jack Parker
What were the other names?
I kind of went back over the old Drool names, so like Balls Trapped In A Vice. That kind of thing.
We both enjoy another slightly immature laugh.
But yeah, and then we realised that Jay Reatard had died, the day before we had to do that naming. So we were like ‘Hey! Blood Visions!’.
One of his songs.
One of his songs, yeah. I think we might…
A tribute to him.
Yeah! Yeah, well his most famous song, and his most famous album. So…
With your electronic alias, J.Carter, is it like taking a break from the heavy, guitar-based sound of Blood Visions?
No. No, Blood Visions is like taking a break from all this, like J.Carter stuff.
So the other way around.
Yeah, like, cuz I mean lately…now that I’m off school, what I do, is I sit at a computer from nine till about five, making J.Carter songs.
Working nine till five! What a way to make a living!
Yeah (laughs). Erm, so to have a chance to go a bit mental and not be sat behind a computer screen…staring at it and concentrating really hard on getting beat cues and stuff right is kind of a nice break. That said, I enjoy the J.Carter stuff a lot, it’s not like it’s a chore.
Do you prefer working with others or by yourself when making music?
It’s hard to say, erm…I don’t know, it’s a different experience isn’t it? Like…I, I love the guys from Blood Visions because they are some of my best friends and they’re lovely people. So I like hanging around with them and working with them. And that’s always going to be a whole lot of fun. But I like working on my own because it’s always entirely what I want to do, y’know. I always find that I like Blood Visions songs a lot, but with the J.Carter stuff there is no compromise on it. I can, tomorrow, if I wanted to, I could go home and make a horrible noisy album, in one day. If I wanted to.
What music are you currently digging and listening to?
Err, err…like, I’m going to have to get my phone out because I can never pronounce his name. Yeah, this guy! Ezekiel Honig, he’s this German, ambient techno guy and he’s just really, really pretty. It’s just lovely. Lovely, lovely. You know when you’re listening to ambient music and you’re all like…
It feels right.
Feels right, and it…a lot of people say its background music but it’s, to me it’s like really lovely.
Yeah, you really feel part of it, you know, it’s really big sound, so…
A German guy then?
I think he’s German. He sounds German. A lot of people that make techno are German.
What’s your favourite music blog?
What was the first record you fell in love with?
‘Silent Alarm’ by Bloc Party. It was the third record I bought. The first two records I bought were kind of, well, not as good as that record. The first one I bought was ‘How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb’ by U2 and it was complete bullshit. Like, no, for a ten year old boy, hearing ‘Vertigo’ was awesome, it was like yeah! But, like, other than that, it was all quiet songs and it was shitty. Even at that age. Erm, then I bought ‘Hot Fuss’, which is an alright album. And then I bought ‘Silent Alarm’ which is a bloody amazing album.
Did it blow your mind?
Did it make you want to start making music and being in millions of different projects?
No, because I couldn’t play guitar at that point. Or do anything like that. I really wanted to and like, around the time I started playing guitar, I, who was I into? I liked The White Stripes a lot. And that was like, when I was starting…yeah. Secondary school. So, twelve.
I think I liked them then too. When you are first getting into music, it’s The White Stripes.
It’s good, it’s punchy.
What do you want people to get from Blood Visions, as a band?
As a band?
Yeah, from your music.
I think, its different things for different people isn’t it? I know that, it’s not meaning to be disrespectful or anything…but I know that we have a lot of people who come to our shows, who are a lot older than me. A lot older than us in Blood Visions. I don’t know what they take away from it, but like, I hope if you’re our age or whatever, it can be the sort of shit where you run around and punch each other to it. I mean, if you are older and you genuinely love that kind of thing then…not love it, like it. And you get fun out of washing us, then yeah, that as well.
Watching. Shut up man.
That’s going to be the best quote. What do you want people to get from your J.Carter music?
I don’t know, like, it’s weird because I was thinking about it the other day. And Im working on a new EP, which is going to have ‘Morningz’ and ‘I’m On’ on it. Also some other tracks, all of them, all of them…this is an interesting tid-bit, all of the tracks are named Caitlyn, Finn and Lorrie. Well I made ‘Finn’ the other day when he was coming home. I missed him, because he had been on holiday for like two weeks. But anyway! Get over that. The point is like, I don’t know, because it’s kind of techno but, techno and dance music stuff but it’s kind of for home listening stuff. And I don’t really see what…its music for me…to listen to. If people get fun out of listening to it, be at home or if they want to drop it in da club, then that’s a bonus. To be honest I don’t think it would work but they can do that.
If you could collaborate with any musician in the world, who would that be? Even if they are dead now.
Ooh. Ooh! Is this like a, assigning a dream line up for a band thing?
Yeah, if you want.
I’d have The Dream on vocals, he writes stuff for like Rihanna, Beyonce and is generally awesome. Matt Tong from Bloc Party on drums, err, Victor Villarreal from Cap’n Jazz on guitar…this is turning out weird. Who else would I have?
And then you on keyboards.
Me, me…me on keyboards with the guy from Four Tet; Kieran Hebden, and R.Kelly on backing vocals. And Beyonce, Beyonce can share the lead role with The Dream. Ooh, I dunno, can we just have a full on, just group of front people. So we’ll have Ciara, Beyonce, The Dream and err, Cassie. Yeah.
What would you be called?
Balls Trapped In A Vice. We’re going to be a doom metal band.
What, or who, do you think is the future of music? Excluding yourself.
Oh god, that’s a weird question.
Erm. Anyone currently listening to ‘Pet Sounds’ for the first time.
Erm. Anyone currently listening to ‘Pet Sounds’ for the first time.
Who is your favourite band?
The Beach Boys.
Do you prefer playing music live or recording it?
Live. It has to be. It’s difficult though because we haven’t done any recording for Blood Visions yet. So I don’t really know, but with J.Carter, the whole…I get more fun out of listening back to it than recording it. As bad as that sounds I enjoy the playing and the writing songs when things start going right. But generally with things that take that long to happen, there’s a lot of sitting around and looking frustrated at a computer.
Have you still got that old computer thing?
No no no. I got a new one. It’s downstairs in the living room. Not the living room, the dining room. It’s alright, I spend most of my time on it. Making beeeats!
Do you prefer watching bands live or listening to records?
I dunno. I think it depends on who it is. I mean, I’d choose listening to a Kanye West record over going to see the average, unsigned Northampton act. That’s not a slight on Northampton acts, that’s how good Kanye is. Like, I dunno, it depends on what the record is doesn’t it? And who is playing. Generally.
Have you got any final words?
These sweets are good.