Joseph Coward, 21, creates poetic, thought-provoking pop. As his latest single is released Louder Than War’s Roisin Kelleher talks to him about his music, his plans for the future and more.
Joseph Coward, 21, creates poetic, thought-provoking pop. He has released singles on O Genesis and played with the likes of The Charlatans and TOY. We predict big things from him. He will release his new single, ‘Children’s Bones’ on Blank Editions on February the 25th, and there is a launch show at The Old Blue Last in London on the 26th.
Louder Than War – What made you get into music?
Joseph Coward – When I was 10 my cousin was receiving some kind of counselling because she was depressed and suicidal, and her counsellor recommended that she get rid of all her music because he thought it might be a contributory factor to her illness, and so she gave all her CDs to me. I started listening to Nirvana‘s discography and never looked back. Terribly irresponsible of her I suppose, but I probably owe her some royalties all the same.
Louder Than War – Do you have any big plans for the year ahead?
Joseph Coward – There are whispers of a summons from the other side of the Atlantic but nothing in writing just yet. Other than that I’ll be writing and recording, and hopefully hitting the road. Dates will be announced as soon as everything’s confirmed.
Louder Than War – What inspires you more than anything else in the world?
Joseph Coward – My own ambition to succeed. I think I know some pretty inspiring people too, my favourite band at the moment is Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs; Charlie doesn’t need any praise from the likes of me but he’s a witty lyricist and comes up with very impressive arrangements for his band to accompany his words with, so it’s inspiring to watch an artist doing something incredibly well, and succeeding too. Stardom beckons, I should think. I don’t ever compliment other artists on their lyrics, either, just so you know; mostly because they’re terrible and because I fancy myself as a bit of an old literary bod.
Louder Than War – If you could save three objects from a fire what would they be?
Joseph Coward – The guitar on which I wrote all my records, the blanket/cape I wear around the house which I imaginatively named my house cape and my dog, Dennis. He’s not really an object but I love that little bugger, he’d be coming with me as I dashed heroically through the flames.
Louder Than War – Who do you admire?
Joseph Coward – Anyone who can live for themselves, on their own terms. To me it’s not good enough just to say that life’s boring but we have to keep our heads down and get on with it, I like people who struggle against the tide and do what they’d like to do, to try and make their life better. Oh, and Edgar Davids: I liked his goggles, but where is he now!
Louder Than War – How important do you think image is to music?
Joseph Coward – In some cases it’s vital because image is sometimes all there is to the entire package, and you’re left with nothing if you strip certain singers and performers of their glamorous clothes and cars, or whatever it is that makes them visually distinctive. We dress in a certain way because we want to be perceived in a certain way and that’s basically fine, I think. Women probably have a harder time standing out in popular music because there are only so many variations on the outlandish, skimpy outfit that one can wear before it just becomes pornography, and if, as a female pop singer, you don’t dress in that way, you’re virtually ignored by everyone.
Louder Than War – How successful would you like to be?
Joseph Coward – To me that’s rather like asking “how would you like to look, ideally?” or “how nice would you like this meal to taste?”, to which the answer to both is obviously as nice as possible.
Louder Than War – Good answer!
Louder Than War – What is your favourite lyric you’ve written and why?
Joseph Coward – “I’m weak, I’m the water and you make me ripple/How’d you like to wrestle with a sexual cripple?” from a song called “Thin”, because it’s really good. I don’t mean that facetiously, either, there are certain songs that come out sounding better than expected or reading really well and I think “how did I do that?” Ghosts in the machine or a very good production team, I’d have thought.
Louder Than War – What would be your ideal superpower?
Joseph Coward – Seeing as all males are basically seven-year-olds in their heads, I’ve thought about this quite a lot and I think I’d either like to have the ability to somehow disrupt the space/time continuum so I could travel through time and stop time and all sorts of things like that. It’d be good if I could fly, as well. I hate airports.
Louder Than War – Tell us something you would like to share with the world!
Joseph Coward – I will kiss full on the mouth the 99th purchaser of my new record, male or female, young or old. Come one, come all. If you know what I mean.
All words by Roisin Kelleher. More work by Roisin on Louder Than War can be found here.