“There’d be less photographic evidence walking through school naked, I think?”
When given the option of playing a gig naked or walking through his old school, Will Joseph Cook goes for the tactical approach, fully assessing his choices. “I think I’d be arrested though,” for someone with their debut album newly released, getting arrested probably isn’t on the list – as rock’n’roll as it may seem.
It’s the first night of his UK headline tour since the arrival of Sweet Dreamer. “So much has changed since our last headline,” Will explains whilst slumped in a chair of the upstairs restaurant. He seems nervous yet excited to see the progression as a live band, “Plastic has never been played live before and I’m always apprehensive with how new tracks will go down so I’m just going to throw myself into it.”
For a debut record, Will really knocks it out the park. A collection of fruitful tracks topped with sweet harmonies and candied melodies; one for a day in the sun but maybe not a trip to the dentist.
“They’re like kids to me,” he declares when asked to decide a favourite, of course, who can blame him? The album grew for over a year before its appearance, so naturally it’s full to the brim with feelings.
“There’s one called Treat Me Like A Lover which, lyrically, came really quickly to me but I couldn’t get the arrangement to work,” pushed out of his comfort zone and forced to strip the track down to bare vocals and a snare drum, it took four or five tries to arrive at the favoured listen.
.“At the core, I knew it was a good song but it was a weird and difficult process.”
As one door closes, another opens – Will began writing the album whilst just finishing school yet he leaves it after living in London for a year and a half.
“Some of the musical directions really surprised me but so much has changed over the past year including what I could and wanted to listen to,” he’s not wrong, the world is flourishing around different music tastes but Sweet Dreamer still manages to stand out, “there’s tracks from two years ago and some from three months ago so they’re not going to be within the same headspace.”
Both new and treasured songs tie together though, depicting different moments that impacted Cook’s life. Biggest Fan, for example, is about coping with a long distance relationship through poorly connected facetimes and skype calls whereas Alive takes on the fight for optimism through bad news.
Whilst the instrumentation seems all fun and games, the lyrics don’t always match and where there’s joyous lyrics, there is one destructive line. Each track, however, still promises a blissful listen.
“There’s a memo for Hands from when I was really jet-lagged and you can hear the horrible whirring sound of an aeroplane with me humming a melody whilst trying not to wake up the person next to me.”
If one thing is certain, it’s that Will Joseph Cook is definitely a creative. Conceiving his tracks through memos recorded via a mobile phone in wherever the idea comes to mind. He describes the beginnings of Hands as “the most horrible recording,” although the track now boosts a psychedelic illusion.
His life has evolved around creativity, growing up in a household that fed off inspiration; it’s no wonder Will has emerged as an artist of his own. It was, however, a job the 19-year-old was told to avoid.
“I had some crazy, Russian lady tell me that I’ll never have a wife, never have a girlfriend and never have any money as a musician.”
In a world where this industry has so much to show and offer, he explains his annoyance towards those narrow-minded views,“there’s more of an appetite for content (visual, sounds etc) than there ever has been and I think if it were the 1970’s, you would be just as frustrated at how rigid it was then to how frustrated we are because it’s not rigid at all.”
As an artist that bathes in versatility, Will Joseph Cook is quickly rising to the spotlight with his delicious palette of sounds; whilst it has been confirmed that he can infact cook (although Hollandaise sauce is admittedly not a strong choice), he also has a Twitter account dedicated to ‘poorly drawn pictures’ of him. It’s safe to say he is on the verge of some sweet dreams.
Words by Alice Hadden.