“You've caught me at an exceptional time,” says Jarvis Cocker, on the phone from London earlier this month. The iconic frontman just wrapped up a day of lyric writing at his label Rough Trade’s offices and he’s feeling particularly inspired. “I think of myself as a volcano,” he muses, “most of the time, there is no real discernible sign of life as I sit on a couch or walk down the street. But underneath the surface, the magma is bubbling, and eventually, it produces a record, or a song, or whatever. I'm trying to make that happen now.”
He declines to elaborate on the in-progress material or how it will be released—“when it’s done, I'll decide what to do with it”—but as we wait for the lava, as it were, to flow, it’s a good time to look back on the 51-year-old’s legacy as the leader of Pulp. After breaking up in 2002, the band reconvened in 2011 for a host of ebullient gigs that showed little signs of the rust and desperation that commonly come along with such reunions. Thankfully, New Zealand director Florian Habicht decided to mark the occasion by filming their triumphant homecoming gig at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena on December 8, 2012. The resulting feature, Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets (which is now available digitally and playing in select theaters across America), is not merely a concert movie, but instead a chronicle of the group’s history as well as a brilliant character study of Sheffield itself.