Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

The Real Geneva Jacuzzi

Written by Sean Bailey
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Geneva Jacuzzi, born Geneva Garvin, is a musician, performer, writer, and artist based out of LA. At least, this is the conventional fiction. Beyond the myth of the flesh and blood human exists a hundred other unconventional fictions, including the Grecian Goddess, the Mime, the Moon, the Sun, the Idiot Dancer, and the Zygote, to name a few. Placing equal weight on the real and unreal, Jacuzzi’s music, performances, and identity often fluctuate between mundane and fantastical states, resulting in real/unreal hybrid outcomes. (This interview is no exception.)
Geneva Garvin is unreal. Long live the real Geneva Garvin.
 
Geneva Jacuzzi, born Geneva Garvin, is a musician, performer, writer, and artist based out of LA. At least, this is the conventional fiction. Beyond the myth of the flesh and blood human exists a hundred other unconventional fictions, including the Grecian Goddess, the Mime, the Moon, the Sun, the Idiot Dancer, and the Zygote, to name a few. Placing equal weight on the real and unreal, Jacuzzi’s music, performances, and identity often fluctuate between mundane and fantastical states, resulting in real/unreal hybrid outcomes. (This interview is no exception.) In the world of Geneva Jacuzzi, songs about a mess of clothes on the bed sit comfortably next to ballads describing the lives of zombie sharks. Through these charming juxtapositions, it becomes increasingly difficult for the audience to determine which fiction is more fantastical—that which we think is real, or that which we know is not real.
 
Sean: OK, so I’m just going to jump into the questions. First off, am I communicating with Geneva Jacuzzi or Geneva Garvin?
 
Geneva: Garvin silly!
 
Sean: Where did Geneva Garvin grow up?
 
Geneva: Just a couple hours south of LA. It was a trailer in the Trailer Shark, but a nice one. Double-wide.
 
Sean: So how did Geneva Garvin end up in LA?
 
Geneva: Who knows? It just happened one day. Oh, I think I may have gotten kicked out of my parents house or something.
 
Sean: You think you may have gotten kicked out?
 
Geneva: My parents didn’t want to make me leave. They had to. There was madness in the Shark Church. Neon madness. Blue-finned Zombies with Haunted Hairdos. Talking snakes and lakes of fire. But it was a controlled madness. Trauma-induced fantasy. I was unaware of being assimilated . . . Assimilation not a success. I was a mutant who was allergic to most of the food at the church picnics. It had strange effects on me, like, extra sensory vision and rampant acts of promiscuity. Spies would see these things and report back to the old men. There was a meeting held and the decision was made for me to be cast out.
 
Sean: And so you were then exiled to the city of Los Angeles?
 
Geneva: Typical big city story. Eighteen, broke, roach closet apartment, street sweeping. My only friend was an older woman that I met at a job.
 
Sean: Old as in ancient?
 
Geneva: Yes, she was an old Pum-Pum from the Tutu tribe. She was cool. We would drink coffee and then go power walking.
 
Sean: That sounds so luxurious.
 
Geneva: Luxurious? Coffee’s cheaper than crack.
 
Sean: So, you shared your apartment with her as lovers?
 
Geneva: No, I lived alone. But she moved eventually and left me with a big Yamaha. She stole the keyboard from a Bumba Clot. It was my first keyboard. Things got weird after that.
 
Sean: How did things get weird? And how weird did things get?
 
Geneva: I was in limbo. An adult retard who came late in life to the concept of mortality. Trapped in a coffin with imaginary mirrors and a melting TV. The talking keyboard would ramble on about mystery religions and creation myths but none of it made any sense. I tried to record it but the stories would change every time I played it back. Very frustrating.
 
Sean: Collage seems embedded in every format that you tackle, both aesthetically and technically. From your stage name, to the aesthetic references that populate your lyrics— pyramids colliding with Greek mythology and zombie sharks—to the music itself and its layering of synth and drum beats and eight-track production, to the album artwork which could be described as literal collage, to your music videos which make reference to ’80s production techniques while also mashing together aesthetics from the past and future. Can you elaborate on the use of collage in your process?
 
Geneva: All of those things aren’t exactly what they appear to be. Geneva Jacuzzi is a biomorphic entity from the Future/Past. She’s also encoded into all of the Geneva Jacuzzi art/media. The code uses the feedback loop of all things non-existing as a vehicle that manufactures its own destination in order to create itself, by uncreating . . . itself. There are certain vortices created in the rewinding and fast-forwarding wheels of the analog tape recorder where [this] can be witnessed.
 
This is a perfect example. You just implanted the “Collage Theory” into the feedback loop. Now the past demands more collages in order to complete itself.
 
Sean: Would you describe your work then as a sort of echo of the unreal?
 
Geneva: I guess you could say that but I don’t claim to be an expert on what’s real and what’s not real.
 
Sean: In Lamaze, there are certain quadrants of the unreal that you emphasize more than others—I am thinking of the mythological aspects specifically. Was this consistency intentional, or merely the result of there being so much unreality inside the feedback loop? Can we expect a Geneva Jacuzzi song about Andy Griffith in the future, or should we put all expectation to rest and just enjoy?
 
Geneva: Mythologies were ancient even in the ancient times. Why did Freud’s Love Caboose transform into a reality? A castrating Gorgon at the Knowledge College? Game theory at the Pentagon? Unreality is the new reality, or so it seems. Who really knows anyway? My intentions could just be more illusions created by crazy art entities with wild transdimensional sex drives. If that’s the case, Lamaze was the birth of whatever fertile things were doing it at the time of its creation. I’m just rambling now. Anyway, Andy Griffith? Uh, sure, why not?
 
Learn more about Geneva’s unreality by watching “Dark Ages” Part I: The Creation Myth, which was released in November of 2011 along with a twelve-page spread in Vice magazine of all the characters, along with the text of Dark Ages: A Nonexistent Play in Two Acts.”

You can also catch Geneva Jacuzzi live this weekend, Saturday, May 19, at the House of Yes in Brooklyn, NY.

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