Marcus Agerman Ross

Magazine Editor — London

Name
Marcus Agerman Ross

What do you do?
Founder and editor of Jocks&Nerds, an independent culture and lifestyle magazine.

Where are you from?
It’s complicated. I was born in England but my parents are Irish and I spent the first 10 years of my life between England and Ireland, a place called Bray which is just south of Dublin. Afterwards I grew up in Surrey and went to school in Bristol and pretty much moved to London the day I left school.

Describe your style in three words?
Slightly scruffy classic

If you could keep one book - what would it be?
The Magus, by John Fowles. As I know I could read and re-read that book till my last gasp.

Which British subculture will have the greatest style legacy?
The great thing about subcultures as a rule is the codes are meant to be insular and private; not to be understood by outsiders. Equally they are always pushing against the norms of the day so in that respect they are all equal. But as one of Jocks&Nerds’ contributors once pointed out the Teds still look outré today which says something about how outrageous it must have looked then.

Gene Vincent was a true pioneer, setting the template for leather as rock n roll garb and working with his own backing band not session musicians. I think it is often forgotten how much he set the rules for rock n roll.

You can spend an hour with anyone from history - who would it be?
Caravaggio. I studied Fine Art at university. There’s putting paint on canvas to mimic what we see and then there’s Caravaggio who made flesh alive. There’s an Italian renaissance room in the National Gallery in London. Obviously all the artwork in there is really impressive and by the greats of the day. They all look amazing until you see the Caravaggio; after that they look like the crude attempts of amateurs.

Simon Fisher Turner, who we profiled in the magazine a few years back, wrote the soundtrack to the Derek Jarman Caravaggio film. They were long time collaborators.

First track you played on repeat?
Remember getting obsessed with the Nightclubbing album by Grace Jones. I have a brother four years older than me which is very useful for learning about music and looking cool in front of your mates when you are very young. This was one of his albums that he made me listen to. I think I was around nine when it came out. I loved everything about it, the artwork, her voice, the mood of it. I’m glad to say my love of it has only grown as I have got older.

One record you would keep forever?
Forever Changes, by Love. I actually think that everything they did was really brilliant but this is their crowning glory; musically so brilliant and in many ways unusual. The lyrics are odd, acerbic, romantic and brilliant and I think Arthur Lee was one of the key figures of the 60s.

Although not written by Lee I have to say Alone Again Or. It’s just so beautiful. I think with just the intro to this song you know you are listening to a truly great album.

Song that defines the teenage you?
Prince for sure. I’d say about 90% of the time I listened to Prince for almost my whole teenage years. Purple Rain. Epic and beautiful. He could do it all and looked cool as hell too. As Eric Clapton once said when asked “what’s it like to be the greatest guitarist in the world”, he replied “I don’t know, ask Prince” That tells you something about just how special he was as a musician and performer. He had it all.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
I need you more than want you,
And I want you for all time
'Wichita Lineman' by Glen Campbell.

I just love how simple and powerful the image is in those lines. I think i might have said it to my wife when I proposed, in fact. It’s such a brilliant song in every way. It’s actually quite weird with the guitar sounds mimicking electricity going along the telephone lines.

Best Gig you have ever been to?
So many but I have to mention three:

Herbie Hancock at the Phoenix Festival (think it was 1995).
I have this thing when I see live music that I want to see the musicians’ hand and get inside the “live” experience. This was mind-blowing. All the musicians on stage with him were amazing in their own right - Sheila E was on drums with a kit that encased her. They all played these amazing solos. I still think about it today.

The Roots at the Astoria in London.
Again, they are all amazing musicians who did these amazing solos. The bass player did a heavy metal lead guitar solo on the bass and the drummer did that drum and bass sounding breakdown on “You Got Me” and Rahzel did a human beatbox solo where he started playing the whole band whilst still rapping. I have no idea how he did it. To cap it all Jill Scott came on to sing the Erykah Badu song - the crowd had never heard of her at the time!

Al Green at the Royal Albert Hall - it’s Al Green!!

A song you wished you had written?
Mannish Boy, by Muddy Waters - I have a theory it’s the greatest pop song ever written. It has all the ingredients and I don’t believe anyone has ever truly tried to challenge the template in that song since

Four songs you can’t stop playing now?

Maiysha - Robert Glasper featuring Erykah Badu 

Blackstar - David Bowie
I’m still listening to this a lot. The whole album gets richer with every listening

The Joy Beyond Hills - Mandré
This is a cheat as it’s really old from the 70s. I listen to his stuff a lot. I don’t think many people know of him. He was this amazing musician who worked with all the greats but his own music was really pioneering and so technically skilled when you think it was all made on analogue equipment. This album A Difficult Journey is really a soundtrack to an imaginary film; it’s just amazing. And I’m sure Daft Punk ripped off all his iconography.

Hollie Cook 
we are working with her at the moment on a secret project which is going to result in a limited edition “Live” album that we will be selling later. I love everything about her - she’s cool, creative, warm, down-to-earth. I like to see today’s musicians act and think like her. She’s also in a really cool fashion shoot in the mag so big up to the lovely Hollie.

Gilles Peterson and Thris Tian from Boiler Room who have just launched Worldwide FM. This is great news for music lovers and we are hoping that Jocks&Nerds are going to have a show on the station moving forward so watch this space.

Name
Marcus Agerman Ross

What do you do?
Founder and editor of Jocks&Nerds, an independent culture and lifestyle magazine.

Where are you from?
It’s complicated. I was born in England but my parents are Irish and I spent the first 10 years of my life between England and Ireland, a place called Bray which is just south of Dublin. Afterwards I grew up in Surrey and went to school in Bristol and pretty much moved to London the day I left school.

Describe your style in three words?
Slightly scruffy classic

If you could keep one book - what would it be?
The Magus, by John Fowles. As I know I could read and re-read that book till my last gasp.

Which British subculture will have the greatest style legacy?
The great thing about subcultures as a rule is the codes are meant to be insular and private; not to be understood by outsiders. Equally they are always pushing against the norms of the day so in that respect they are all equal. But as one of Jocks&Nerds’ contributors once pointed out the Teds still look outré today which says something about how outrageous it must have looked then.

Gene Vincent was a true pioneer, setting the template for leather as rock n roll garb and working with his own backing band not session musicians. I think it is often forgotten how much he set the rules for rock n roll.

You can spend an hour with anyone from history - who would it be?
Caravaggio. I studied Fine Art at university. There’s putting paint on canvas to mimic what we see and then there’s Caravaggio who made flesh alive. There’s an Italian renaissance room in the National Gallery in London. Obviously all the artwork in there is really impressive and by the greats of the day. They all look amazing until you see the Caravaggio; after that they look like the crude attempts of amateurs.

Simon Fisher Turner, who we profiled in the magazine a few years back, wrote the soundtrack to the Derek Jarman Caravaggio film. They were long time collaborators.

First track you played on repeat?
Remember getting obsessed with the Nightclubbing album by Grace Jones. I have a brother four years older than me which is very useful for learning about music and looking cool in front of your mates when you are very young. This was one of his albums that he made me listen to. I think I was around nine when it came out. I loved everything about it, the artwork, her voice, the mood of it. I’m glad to say my love of it has only grown as I have got older.

One record you would keep forever?
Forever Changes, by Love. I actually think that everything they did was really brilliant but this is their crowning glory; musically so brilliant and in many ways unusual. The lyrics are odd, acerbic, romantic and brilliant and I think Arthur Lee was one of the key figures of the 60s.

Although not written by Lee I have to say Alone Again Or. It’s just so beautiful. I think with just the intro to this song you know you are listening to a truly great album.

Song that defines the teenage you?
Prince for sure. I’d say about 90% of the time I listened to Prince for almost my whole teenage years. Purple Rain. Epic and beautiful. He could do it all and looked cool as hell too. As Eric Clapton once said when asked “what’s it like to be the greatest guitarist in the world”, he replied “I don’t know, ask Prince” That tells you something about just how special he was as a musician and performer. He had it all.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
I need you more than want you,
And I want you for all time
'Wichita Lineman' by Glen Campbell.

I just love how simple and powerful the image is in those lines. I think i might have said it to my wife when I proposed, in fact. It’s such a brilliant song in every way. It’s actually quite weird with the guitar sounds mimicking electricity going along the telephone lines.

Best Gig you have ever been to?
So many but I have to mention three:

Herbie Hancock at the Phoenix Festival (think it was 1995).
I have this thing when I see live music that I want to see the musicians’ hand and get inside the “live” experience. This was mind-blowing. All the musicians on stage with him were amazing in their own right - Sheila E was on drums with a kit that encased her. They all played these amazing solos. I still think about it today.

The Roots at the Astoria in London.
Again, they are all amazing musicians who did these amazing solos. The bass player did a heavy metal lead guitar solo on the bass and the drummer did that drum and bass sounding breakdown on “You Got Me” and Rahzel did a human beatbox solo where he started playing the whole band whilst still rapping. I have no idea how he did it. To cap it all Jill Scott came on to sing the Erykah Badu song - the crowd had never heard of her at the time!

Al Green at the Royal Albert Hall - it’s Al Green!!

A song you wished you had written?
Mannish Boy, by Muddy Waters - I have a theory it’s the greatest pop song ever written. It has all the ingredients and I don’t believe anyone has ever truly tried to challenge the template in that song since

Four songs you can’t stop playing now?

Maiysha - Robert Glasper featuring Erykah Badu 

Blackstar - David Bowie
I’m still listening to this a lot. The whole album gets richer with every listening

The Joy Beyond Hills - Mandré
This is a cheat as it’s really old from the 70s. I listen to his stuff a lot. I don’t think many people know of him. He was this amazing musician who worked with all the greats but his own music was really pioneering and so technically skilled when you think it was all made on analogue equipment. This album A Difficult Journey is really a soundtrack to an imaginary film; it’s just amazing. And I’m sure Daft Punk ripped off all his iconography.

Hollie Cook 
we are working with her at the moment on a secret project which is going to result in a limited edition “Live” album that we will be selling later. I love everything about her - she’s cool, creative, warm, down-to-earth. I like to see today’s musicians act and think like her. She’s also in a really cool fashion shoot in the mag so big up to the lovely Hollie.

Gilles Peterson and Thris Tian from Boiler Room who have just launched Worldwide FM. This is great news for music lovers and we are hoping that Jocks&Nerds are going to have a show on the station moving forward so watch this space.

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