Jesse Rose’s Tea & Cake Interviews


We like Jesse Rose at R$N.  He has fine banter.  And while that on its own is normally enough for us to claim an industry figure is newsworthy, in this case we also have the added bonus of said-industry figure actually using this banter for a better cause than merely our own entertainment; for Jesse has just started his own “Tea & Cake” series of interviews, where he sits down and chats to some of his old muckers in his LA kitchen.  Oh and he also has a load of new material on the way, a new band project, and a thoroughly interesting release concept, but if you want a proper read about all that then you will find plenty of other websites with their own re-hash of the detail, although in order to avoid a slap from his PR man, we will mention some of it as well, but you’ll have to wait.

So Tea & Cake opens up with its first episode a couple of weeks ago, and the man in the chair is Claude VonStroke… small talk out of the way, Jesse’s first question of the interview is “How many times in your life have you been asked to be Father Christmas?”  The answer turns out to be three, and the always entertaining VonStroke goes on to qualify in reasonable detail each request, and whether they were carried out with a false beard or his own beard.

“It was Christmas and you could imagine him dressing as Father Christmas,” Jesse explains, completely underplaying it.  Like Danny Baker’s sausage sandwich game on 5Live where he asks luminaries from the world of sport whether they have theirs with Red Sauce, Brown Sauce or no sauce at all, there is something to be said for furnishing the paying public with this kind of banality… Rose is exploiting a gaping hole in the dance music marketplace where impersonal email Q & As and re-hashed press releases pervade; but typical of him and his entire career, he does something for the shits and giggles that actually turns out to be really insightful.

“I did it because people keep saying to me my life sounds so interesting so you should have a reality TV show, but there’s no way I would, but I was thinking, people come over to my house a lot and it wouldn’t be hard when we’re not in the studio, just sat in the kitchen.”

“I only interview people that I’m friends with anyway – I don’t have to do it.  And when it’s with friends it’s cool, like with Barclay (Claude VonStroke) we were looking back on how we first got to know each other, and how ‘I was listening to you and you were listening to me at the same time but we didn’t know it’ etc. and it’s almost like a real catch up between friends.”

The next victim is Scuba: “That was done with just straight vodka… so it’s Vodka & Vodka rather than Tea & Cake,” he says. “The Scuba one was quite interesting because me and him have had quite a parallel career, like he was in London then moved to Berlin, we both had Panorama Bar and Berghain residencies, different styles of music within our styles of music… always changing and evolving… but then it ended up with us both being totally drunk because we were on straight vodka.”
No doubt that will be something to look forward to, and so too hopefully will be Jesse’s latest project, 12 x 12, where he will release material on the 12th of each month for 12 months on Play It Down.
“I took a risk and I spent the whole of last year not putting out any records,” he says; which is good news because rather than forcing himself to create something new every month, he has stockpiled some ideas.
“I could have done it as an album, but now, the way people consume music is not an album format.  The way that people consume music now is that they need it bit by bit, so it makes it more digestible to release music every month.”
And although it is stating the obvious that the consumption of music has changed markedly in recent years, it is very refreshing to see somebody play the system rather than living in denial of change, or worse, moaning about it.  Not that Jesse is against the odd moan – just check out his Twitter output from various airport departure lounges down the years – but he also takes the time to innovate and take the piss in equal measure, so if that’s your thing, keep an eye out for him in 2013.
Listen to the interview in all it’s glory: